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May 12, 2008

"Postracial Candidate" Caught Deliberately Manipulating Race...

...again:

Does the Obama campaign want to downplay their support among the black community? Judith Klinghoffer points to the story from the Financial Times where a reporter notices this manipulation of visuals during Obama's visit to Charlotte.

About three-quarters of the 9,000 people who turned up to see Barack Obama at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Friday evening were black. Yet, the section of seating directly behind where he spoke was filled overwhelmingly by whites.

Admittedly, one report doth not a pattern make. But how about two in a row:

While the crowd was indeed diverse, some students at the event questioned the practices of Mrs. Obama’s event coordinators, who handpicked the crowd sitting behind Mrs. Obama. The Tartan’s correspondents observed one event coordinator say to another, “Get me more white people, we need more white people.” To an Asian girl sitting in the back row, one coordinator said, “We’re moving you, sorry. It’s going to look so pretty, though.”

“I didn’t know they would say, ‘We need a white person here,’ ” said attendee and senior psychology major Shayna Watson, who sat in the crowd behind Mrs. Obama. “I understood they would want a show of diversity, but to pick up people and to reseat them, I didn’t know it would be so outright.”

How about making it a trifecta?

Reporters in the hall saw Obama campaign workers usher photogenic white families toward the platform as they entered. The scene they composed was an effective, calculated rebuttal of the Clintons' effort to portray Obama as a black candidate whose victory depended on race -- a way of killing "this possible racial narrative before it could be born," as Gal Beckerman wrote in a perceptive dispatch on the Columbia Journalism Review's Campaign Desk blog ( http://www.cjr.org).

Such manipulation has become so commonplace that few other journalists bothered to mention the Carolina campaign tableau in their coverage, even though Beckerman estimated that 85 percent of the crowd was African American.

The problem with 'killing this potential narrative" is that, as Daniel Henniger notes, it happens to be true:

Barack Obama, the first "postracial candidate," is heading to the Democratic nomination almost entirely because of his near-universal support from black voters in the Democratic primaries. In both states Tuesday, his share of that vote was 90% or more. If one resets the black vote to the norm of earlier elections, Hillary Clinton is the nominee.

An enormous amount of media attention has been devoted to Hillary Clinton's recent observation that her campaign has managed to secure the support of a majority of working class white Democrats. For voicing an observation which is not only demonstrably true but has been aired by countless television news anchors, Senator Clinton has been accused of waging a "divisive" campaign with "disturbing racial undertones". She has also been accused of subtly discourging whites from voting for Barack Obama.

The more pernicious interpretation of the 'discouragement' argument is that Ms. Clinton's remark subtly encourages racism. To appreciate the full irony of this ludicrous charge, consider these facts:

In the last two Democratic primaries, approximately 60% of white voters have pulled the lever for Senator Clinton.

Approximately 90% - a virtual shut-out - voted for Barack Obama.

Let's stop and think about that for a second. What does that mean? Well, for one thing, it means that statistically speaking, if you took a hypothetical Democratic voter and you knew nothing about that voter other than the color of his or her skin, you could predict his or her vote correctly 90% of the time if that voter were black.

If the voter were white, your chances drop to about half the time.

And yet, to hear the mainstream media tell it, Obama is the candidate who will help us finally transcend race and his support in the black community has nothing to do with race. Oh, and by the way: those 40% of white Democrats who aren't voting for Obama?

Racists, every last one. It's the only possible explanation for their refusal to vote for him. In the Washington Post, Eugene Robinson energetically fans the flames of racial discontent. First Robinson claims she's playing the race card:

From the beginning, Hillary Clinton has campaigned as if the Democratic nomination were hers by divine right. That's why she is falling short -- and that's why she should be persuaded to quit now, rather than later, before her majestic sense of entitlement splits the party along racial lines.

If that sounds harsh, look at the argument she made Wednesday, in an interview with USA Today, as to why she should be the nominee instead of Barack Obama. She cited an Associated Press article "that found how Senator Obama's support . . . among working, hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again. I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on."

As a statement of fact, that's debatable at best. As a rationale for why Democratic Party superdelegates should pick her over Obama, it's a slap in the face to the party's most loyal constituency -- African Americans -- and a repudiation of principles the party claims to stand for. Here's what she's really saying to party leaders: There's no way that white people are going to vote for the black guy. Come November, you'll be sorry.

How silly of me. I thought the Democratic Party believed in a colorblind America.

Funny. When did achieving a 'colorblind America' depend on the near-monolithic support (90%) of black voters and the racial gerrymandering of the crowds behind Barack Obama to give the illusion that he's not a "black candidate"?

Several months ago, in a deep state of Romney-induced funk, I wondered what most people look for in a Presidential candidate? The answer, it seems, is fairly simple: it all comes down to someone we instinctively like and trust. My problems with Barack Obama go far deeper than my disagreement with his politics. Even setting aside the political calculations needed to win the Oval Office, I find that I simply cannot trust the man.

Several weeks ago, Grim took me to task for accusing Obama of subtle race baiting with the remark about his grandmother reacting like a 'typical white woman'. I did not use the term lightly, and it was not meant to be inflammatory. I see Barack Obama as a man who is half black and half white, but who (perhaps more importantly) was raised by a white family.

This is important, I think. Grim and I have consistently differed in our reactions to the Wright/Obama brouhaha. He was initially impressed by Obama's willingness to stick by his mentor and later revolted by his willingness to abandon Wright:


The first time Obama spoke about his preacher of twenty years' standing, I said that I was impressed by one thing: that he did not disavow the man. That took courage, and showed a certain decency of character. The worst and most damning thing about Obama's more recent statements is that they show the Reverend Mr. Wright was right about him: he is doing "what politicians do."

My own viewpoint is diametrically opposed. I tend to see both reactions as calculated. Obama intentionally distanced himself from Wright as soon as he declared his candidacy, refusing to allow him to deliver the invocation. From that time on, the two men were on a collision course, with Wright behaving more outlandishly as time went on.

And yet, Obama would not distance himself from his pastor. Why not?

Simple: he did not wish to endanger that 90% black vote. Obama has been less than honest about many things: about whether he was aware of Wright's controversial preaching (first denying, then admitting he was aware of it, then denying it again); about how mainstream black liberation theology is in the black church tradition (he claims here that Wright's preaching is out of the mainstream):

His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate and I believe that they do not portray accurately the perspective of the black church.

Yet as James Taranto noted several months ago, when asked, black pastors themselves saw nothing out of the ordinary in Wright's remarks:

I asked Davis what his personal reaction was when he saw video clips of sermons in which Rev. Wright said, "God damn America," called the United States the "U.S. of KKK A," and said that 9/11 was "America's chickens . . . coming home to roost." "As a member of a traditional Baptist, black church, I wasn't surprised," Davis told me. "I wasn't offended by anything the pastor said. A lot of things he said were absolutely correct. . . . The way he said it may not have been the most appropriate way to say it, but as far as a typical black inner-city church, that's how it's said."

...in an effort to gauge just how "out there" Wright's sermons are in the context of the African-American church tradition, Newsweek phoned at least two dozen of the country's most prominent and thoughtful African-American scholars and pastors, representing a wide range of denominations and points of view. Not one person would say that Wright had crossed any kind of significant line.

It's awfully hard to have an honest dialog on race with a candidate who engages in nothing but doublespeak:


MCCAIN CAMPAIGN: "We have all become familiar with Senator Obama's new brand of politics. First, you demand civility from your opponent, then you attack him, distort his record and send out surrogates to question his integrity. It is called hypocrisy, and it is the oldest kind of politics there is. . . . We understand why Senator Obama doesn't want to engage in a debate over leadership and judgment with John McCain, but the American people demand that debate take place."

Background here. Obama wants to run a training-wheels campaign while demanding that his opponents walk a tightrope. Well, hell, who wouldn't want that?

Funny. It's beginning to sound like Obama's 'change' is just more of the same old snake oil we've been sold for years. Only the packaging is different. And that's if you can believe that the charismatic young black candidate who promises to unite America along racial lines, isn't really black and isn't cleverly manipulating America's racial fault lines behind the scenes.

Posted by Cassandra at May 12, 2008 07:55 AM

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Comments

The overwhelming negative that has struck me about Obama in the last few weeks was his refusal to fight squarely for people who were willing to fight for him. I guess this is another example, isn't it? 90% of blacks are voting for him, but he's doing his best to push them out of view, lest they be embarrassing. Rather than have the conflict with Clinton -- whom he ought to be able to pound on the issue, given middle America's strong opinion against anything that can be called an overt display of white racism -- he's trying to hide from the fight. Avoid it. Even if it means shoving his friends and supporters out of sight.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 11:09 AM

I agree with you on that one :p

I think, however, that he has correctly assessed the national mood. It won't hurt him with the majority of blacks. Some will vote for him because they genuinely like him and support his views and sadly, some will vote for him regardless of what he does for a combination of racial reasons and b/c he will be perceived as the underdog (which is odd since he is clearly the media favorite).

He will also be voted for by a lot of white liberals: some because they genuinely like him and support his views (which is the right reason) and some for racial reasons (b/c they view him as a vehicle for racial reconciliation).

I think he knows he doesn't need to fight to keep the black vote. What he's fighting for now, on margin, is the white vote. Which makes him just another typical Dem - taking the black vote for granted :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2008 11:21 AM

Even if it means shoving his friends and supporters out of sight.

Wait for a few weeks -- he'll be shoving them under the bus...

Posted by: BillT at May 12, 2008 11:23 AM

My personal take on this. If 60% of white voters pulling the level for Clinton means that only 40% are NOT racist... doesn't that also mean that only 10% of black voters aren't racist?

Posted by: MikeD at May 12, 2008 11:46 AM

BFD. I personally have no problem if Obama (or his handlers) think it can help his campaign to accentuate the presence of white supporters in certain markets. Fundamentally, this is honest (he HAS white supporters), not dishonest. Compare, OTOH, past GOP campaigns to “play the race card” against Democratic opponents, with FALSEHOODS: e.g.: (1) the 1988 Bush-Quayle “Willie Horton” commercial playing to overt racism and fear mongering, and (2) the Republican 2000 smear campaign against John McCain in the South Carolina primary, claiming McCain was a stoolie while a P.O.W. in Vietnam, emotionally unstable, and insinuating that McCain fathered an illegitimate black child.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 12:11 PM

First of all, McCain did exactly the same thing to Bush over that stupid Bob Jones speech (except in this case, McCain actually accused Bush of being a racist himself, whereas there has never been one single shred of evidence that Bush had anything to do with that ridiculous episode in SC).

Huge difference, so let's not go there, OK? You so do not want to crank me up on this.

The point of all this isn't that Obama has white supporters and you know it.

His campaign has persistently painted Clinton as a racist every chance he's gotten for anything even touching race. When that happens, he always goes on and on about how "his campaign is not about race". Well, this shows that his campaign most certainly IS about race. Just as hers is. So it isn't racist for HER to notice which demographic groups are voting for her and it isn't racist for HIM to do so either. And he should stop throwing the race card when she is doing the same damned thing he is, and every politician does - playing the numbers. He's a hypocrite, and he needs to stop lying and playing the race victim every chance he gets.

I don't grudge him the change to play the same little games every politician plays. What I WILL call him on, every time he does it, is playing the same games and then hiding behind skin color while trying to hamstring his opponents.
There is a word for that.

It's called cheating.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2008 12:25 PM

Fundamentally, this is honest (he HAS white supporters), not dishonest.

No, it's fundamentally *dis*honest -- it's deliberately creating the impression that the majority of his supporters are white, rather than black. It's a trick Barry's Boys learned from the MSM: If you're covering an anti-war demonstration and only a dozen of the promised thousands show up, you bunch them together and skew the camera angle to give the *impression* that thousands showed up.

Compare, OTOH, past GOP campaigns to “play the race card” against Democratic opponents, with FALSEHOODS:

So, according to you, the Dukakis-Horton story was a falsehood? Sorry -- I was alive and reading at the time.
http://forerunner.com/forerunner/X0158_Dukakis__Willie_Hort.html

Evidently *you* were not.

Posted by: BillT at May 12, 2008 12:33 PM

Nobody’s denying that Willie Horton is/was a convicted felon who participated in a Massachusetts weekend furlough program that released him while serving a life sentence for murder, without the possibility of parole, during which furloughs he committed armed robbery and rape.

The dishonesty, IMHO, of the 1988 Bush-Quayle “Willie Horton” commercial was the suggestion that Dukakis was personally responsible for Horton's conduct and that there wouldn't be just as many criminal recidivists who would get into trouble under a Bush-Quayle administration as would under a Dukakis one. The whole campaign was one in a series of incidents that were/are the product of the Karl Rove-Lee Atwater mentality that made slander and false innuendo everyday tools of the political process, especially in the service of a certain political party in the USA.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 12:54 PM

"First of all, McCain did exactly the same thing to Bush over that stupid Bob Jones speech" ...

Just exactly to whom was it that GWB was playing by embracing Bob Jones University? In his speech, GWB (apparently) said (I wasn't there), among other things: "I look forward to publicly defending our conservative philosophy." What was that conservative philosophy to which GWB was referring? How about a ban on interracial dating? Can you honestly say that cuddling up to people who institutionalize racism in this way is not pulling cards out of the "race" deck?

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 01:05 PM

The dishonesty, IMHO, of the 1988 Bush-Quayle “Willie Horton” commercial was the suggestion that Dukakis was personally responsible for Horton's conduct...

No, the commercials stated that Dukakis was the Governor who personally decided that letting convicted murderers out on unsupervised weekend jaunts was a *good* thing.

Which was the truth.

However, the commercials didn't torpedo Dukakis' campaign -- it was his response to a reporter's question about whether Dukakis would reconsider his stand on unsupervised leave for convicted felons if the rape victim had been a member of his own family. Dukakis' answer left people with no doubt that he considered his policy *correct*, regardless of the number of resulting victims or their relationship to the Dukakis family.

Posted by: BillT at May 12, 2008 01:07 PM

Yeah, I think the Dukakis thing was fair play. The point was, here's a guy who thinks it's good policy to release brutal felons into the community unsupervised -- do you want him running prisons nationwide?

Well, no, not really. Regardless of whether Horton was black, white, or purple, I don't want the President to be the sort of person who wants him free after he's been convicted of brutal crimes.

I have no brief for the prison system -- I've long thought we should completely reconsider our justice system's reliance on prison as its basic model for dealing with serious crime. I don't think prison works at rehabilitation, which was the point of establishing a prison system to begin with; and so, if we can't rehabilitate people through prison, why pay for their upkeep for all those years?

Still, it is currently the only tool we've got in many cases. Until a better one is put into place, the last thing we should be doing is turning out the violent felons.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 01:14 PM

What was that conservative philosophy to which GWB was referring? How about a ban on interracial dating?

I subscribe to a conservative philosophy and it says that your choice of a dating partner is *your* concern, not mine.

Can you honestly say that cuddling up to people who institutionalize racism in this way is not pulling cards out of the "race" deck?

Can you honestly say that someone asked to speak at an educational institution is going to read that institution's Student Handbook before doing so?

Posted by: BillT at May 12, 2008 01:18 PM

Exactly.

The whole Bob Jones/Willie Horton thing is a perfect example of the Democrat tactic of misdirection and character assassination.

They call someone a racist on the most tenuous of grounds by claiming they can see "code words" in something the person has said. It's guilt by association, often on the most ridiculously thin grounds (AAAAIIIEEEE!!!! He gave a speech ONE TIME AT A COLLEGE WITH A RULE WE DON'T LIKE!!)

But Obama can go to a church for 20 years with a preacher who repeatedly gives racist sermons and the press will liiiiiiie about it and claim he's being 'quoted out of context' and that 'Wright doesn't speak for Obama' and it's 'unfair to draw connections between the two' (but it's totally fair to draw connections between Bush and Bob Jones U!)... until it is finally jammed down their throats and they can't lie anymore :p

Funny how that works, isn't it?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2008 01:24 PM

Or then there's Willie Horton:

Dukakis lets convicted felons out of prison for the weekend unsupervised and as a result, innocent people are raped, beaten and murdered.

But that's not a valid campaign issue! Oh no! The REAL issue is race! Oh, and it was UNFAIR TO BRING IT UP! It was a *Republican dirty trick*.

Yeah. Right. More like Democrats playing the race card again. Works like a charm.

[rolling eyes]

Posted by: Hey! Look at that Shiny Thing! at May 12, 2008 01:30 PM

"I subscribe to a conservative philosophy and it says that your choice of a dating partner is *your* concern, not mine.

I agree totally. And I support Bob Jones University's right to maintain and promote its own views, no matter how abhorrent I find them [but I draw the line at allowing it tax exempt status - cf. Reagan's effort to reinstate its tax exempt status].

"Can you honestly say that someone asked to speak at an educational institution is going to read that institution's Student Handbook before doing so?

WADR, this is such bovine excrement: the words "Bob Jones University" have been code words for "states rights", racism, reactionary-ism for a loooooooooong time. Only someone who turns a blind eye to this stuff would think otherwise.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:05 PM

They call someone a racist on the most tenuous of grounds by claiming they can see "code words" in something the person has said. It's guilt by association, often on the most ridiculously thin grounds (AAAAIIIEEEE!!!! He gave a speech ONE TIME AT A COLLEGE WITH A RULE WE DON'T LIKE!!)

How naive we can sometimes be.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:07 PM

But Obama can go to a church for 20 years with a preacher who repeatedly gives racist sermons and the press will liiiiiiie about it and claim he's being 'quoted out of context' and that 'Wright doesn't speak for Obama' and it's 'unfair to draw connections between the two' (but it's totally fair to draw connections between Bush and Bob Jones U!)... until it is finally jammed down their throats and they can't lie anymore :p

Take your pick: GWB's cuddling up to BJU was not indicative of the man's conscience or it was; BHO's attendance at Wright's church was indicative of the man's conscience or it was not. I don't think you can have it both ways.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:09 PM

So, giving a speech one time at a university that is influential in a state you need to win means you both know everything about its standards and endorse them; or, if we don't want to accept that, we must accept that 20 years' attendance at a church implies nothing about your feelings or beliefs (and anyway, you 'weren't in church that day')?

Good gracious, man.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 02:12 PM

Yeah. Pretty ridiculous, isn't it? :p

And you forgot that he distanced himself from Wright because of his "controversial statements" on the advice of his campaign manager but later claimed to know nothing about them....before admitting that... ummm... oh yes he did. And a few weeks later? Back to he'd never heard anything like that. What a maroon.

[rolling eyes]

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2008 02:15 PM

Re BHO and Wright:

How many readers here continue to attend Christian Easter services despite the presence in the Biblical "passion" selections of the condemnation of "the Jews" for killing Christ?

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:20 PM

So, giving a speech one time at a university that is influential in a state you need to win means you both know everything about its standards and endorse them

Come on - we all know that Cass's readers are smarter than the average bear. Only an ostrich could seriously contend that BJU is not a lightening rod for controversy on matters of race and religion.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:23 PM

Is condemning Easter another of your natural reference points for morality?

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 02:23 PM

Christ was a Jew, Mark.
As was his Mother Mary and his Father Joseph. He was of the House of David. No one in their right mind (except one looking to make something out of nothing) construes the Gospel that way. Christ was the heir who had been prophesied for generations. Try not to be so sharp you cut yourself :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2008 02:24 PM

No, he just missed a few too many Sunday School classes.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 12, 2008 02:25 PM

[sigh] I'm guessing some of you haven't been to Easter services in a while. I'm "lapsed" enough not to be able to say whether it's Matthew or which one of the others, but the whole "cursed to live in infamy" stuff is plainly still part of the Gospel on the Passion.

And yet, we (presumably) don't condemn Christianity for perpetuating the anti-Semitism woven into the Passion story (but some of us feel it's OK to hold BHO responsible for Wright's rantings).

Yes I know that J,M + J were all Jewish; duh.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:32 PM

"Only an ostrich could seriously contend that BJU is not a lightening rod for controversy on matters of race and religion."

Honest truth: I had never heard of Bob Jones' university until this controversy broke out in 2000. I've lived most of my life in the Deep South, and it never made the least impression on me.

That a guy from Texas who spent much of his life in New Hampshire might not have heard of it either seems completely natural to me.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 02:33 PM

No one in their right mind (except one looking to make something out of nothing) construes the Gospel that way.

The only person who doesn't see the Christian church's exploitation of the Passion references to the guilt of the Jews as the foundation of anti-Semitism is not much of a student of anti-Semitism or history.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:36 PM

I spent the entire Holy Week going to services, Mark -- Catholic ones, even, though I'm not at Catholic. I was in Iraq, though, and the chaplain who was available when I was free to go was Catholic.

He spoke about the very passage you're talking about in one of the homilies that week. His point was that the Jews who incurred that condemnation were following the instructions of their priests -- and yet were not spared. He reminded us that all of us likewise were sworn to obey authority, and that in doing so -- even when it was lawful authority, ordering lawful actions -- we could in no way avoid the stain of the sins we might commit.

Thus, "the Jews" were taken by the priest as a symbol of all humanity, and we were charged especially to think of ourselves as not simply being "like them" but being exactly the same as them. And so to seek forgiveness.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 02:36 PM

Honest truth: ...

OK.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:39 PM

Thus, "the Jews" were taken by the priest as a symbol of all humanity, and we were charged especially to think of ourselves as not simply being "like them" but being exactly the same as them. And so to seek forgiveness.

My view (in case Rome ever asks me, which I do not expect) is that the passage would be more what you indicate if it were revised to say "the people" instead of "the Jews". Maybe I'm more concerned about/sensitive to this, because it is primarily the organization which is the basis of my "faith tradition" which is responsible for the exploitation of the passages in question to perpetuate anti-Semitism.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:43 PM

I'm only telling you what the priest said. Although I think the Church would be poorly advised if they "revised" their holy texts according to what they would like them to have said, rather than what they actually say.

Now, what they can do is tell you what they think the right attitude is towards what the text actually says. The one being put forward by the priest was wholly unobjectionable.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 02:50 PM

Which, having said that, I looked the passage up. All the English translations say just what you wanted them to say.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 02:53 PM

All the English translations say just what you wanted them to say.

Well all-righty then ... mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Funny how all these Bible reference on-line things never include the RC version of the Bible.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 02:56 PM

Well, I tell you what. Here it is in Latin -- the Vulgate, actually, was translated in the fifth century.

...et respondens universus populus dixit sanguis eius super nos et super filios nostros.

"Jews" in Latin is Iudaeorum -- as in "King of the Jews," Rex Iudaeorum, which you can see several times in the passage.

"Universus populus" is "all the people." And dixit is the verb, it means, "said." Thus, the Catholic version also says what you'd like it to say -- and has, for at least fifteen hundred years.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 03:03 PM

Here it is in Latin -- the Vulgate, actually, was translated in the fifth century. ...

Well, I'm certainly no Biblical scholar, but my "fundie" friends all seem to think we have to look back to the Greek texts for the "real deal".

Oh, and perhaps you can understand and forgive my incredulity at the claim that someone who can quote me the Vulgate is unaware of the controversy surrounding BJO. Just sayin' ...

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 03:09 PM

Maybe it's my time to become an apostate ...

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 03:13 PM

Your "fundie" friends aren't the ones we were talking about -- you were asking about the Catholic version ("My view (in case Rome ever asks me... I'm more concerned about/sensitive to this, because it is primarily the organization which is the basis of my "faith tradition" which is responsible for the exploitation of the passages in question to perpetuate anti-Semitism."). Whatever the "fundies" believe, the Catholics have done it just the way you wanted it done for centuries.

As for why I can read Latin, but didn't know who Bob Jones was, it probably has more to do with personal interests. My point was merely that, if someone can grow up in North Georgia and never even hear the name "Bob Jones University," it's hard to blame someone from outside the South for being in the same position.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 03:15 PM

Nevertheless, if you want it in the Greek, here it is. I don't have the facility with Greek that I have with Medieval Latin, but it appears to use a word for "people" (laos) rather than a specific word for "Jews."

So now you can back it up all the way to the original text, two thousand years ago. They've always done it your way.

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 03:18 PM

Whatever the "fundies" believe, the Catholics have done it just the way you wanted it done for centuries.

YOUR Catholics, maybe, but not mine.

As for why I can read Latin, ...

OK; I'm just naturally suspicious and cynical, as those traits have worked fairly well for me.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 03:20 PM

Your "fundie" friends aren't the ones we were talking about -- you were asking about the Catholic version ...

I'd be curious to know what the Greek texts say on this subject. I'd be inclined to think that it would be more in keeping with "Universus populus" than "Iudaeorum", given that I expect the scribes probably would not yet be inclined to see themselves as something other than Jews themselves.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 03:23 PM

Mark,

Stop trying to have it both ways every bloody time it's pointed out you're wrong.

You claim the Easter service (in the Roman Catholic Church) condemns the Jews. Grim shows you're wrong. Then you claim that it's just the modern translations. Grim shows you the Latin (the ONLY approved translation for the RCC pre-Vatican II) which shows you're wrong. So now you move the goalpost AGAIN by claiming "fundie" Greek is the only standard that will do. Dammit man, just admit you were wrong.

I was raised in the post-Vatican II RCC. I know for a FACT that "blaming the Jews" is now officially disavowed by the RCC. They spelled it out in black and white. Sure, there are some anti-Semitic Catholics still. No doubt. But the fact is, the Catholic Church DOES NOT support blaming the Jews for the Passion. Get over it.

And as for the words "Bob Jones University" have been code words for "states rights", racism, reactionary-ism for a loooooooooong time. Only someone who turns a blind eye to this stuff would think otherwise. You have no damned clue what you're saying, do you? I've lived in the state of South Carolina since 1996. I never HEARD of BJU prior to that election. And suprise, suprise, I've not heard about it since. Know why? It's a pissant little college that doesn't even receive state funding. It is hardly a hotbed of conservative activism. And sir, please refrain from equating "states rights" with racism if you please. They're NOT the same thing, or code words for the same thing. Some of us actually support the Tenth Amendment without believing in racial inequity. And frankly it's a slander disgusts me in the manner you'd consider it a slander to have Pol Pot-ism associated with your political beliefs.

Posted by: MikeD at May 12, 2008 03:25 PM

Mark:

If you follow the link to the Greek texts, above, you'll see it transliterates and then translates every word. You can decide for yourself.

I'm not equipped to retranslate it, as I can with the Latin. But according to the webpage, it says, laos, which it translates as "people."

Then, if you back up to Matthew 27:11, here, you see that Jews (in "King of the Jews") is translated out of the Greek word Ioudaios.

So, it appears the original does not say, "...and all the Jews said..." but rather "...and all the people said..."

Posted by: Grim at May 12, 2008 03:34 PM

Oh, and perhaps you can understand and forgive my incredulity at the claim that someone who can quote me the Vulgate is unaware of the controversy surrounding BJO. Just sayin' ...

A knowledge of Latin and classical Greek doesn't necessarily equate with a knowledge of the Student Handbook at evangelical colleges.

Philadelphia College of the Bible is ten miles away from my doorstep, and that's the only fact I know about the place.

Posted by: BillT at May 12, 2008 03:37 PM

You claim the Easter service (in the Roman Catholic Church) condemns the Jews. Grim shows you're wrong.

Well, Grim attended (apparently) only 1 Catholic Easter service; I've been attending them for more than 50 years. No disrespect to Grim and his scholarship, but even the version he says he heard includes the references to the "Jews" and not the "people".

I know for a FACT that "blaming the Jews" is now officially disavowed by the RCC.

I know this too. I also know that the Passion passages I hear every year include the references to the "Jews" and not the "people", and it bugs me every year.

I've lived in the state of South Carolina since 1996. I never HEARD of BJU prior to that election. And suprise, suprise, I've not heard about it since. Know why? It's a pissant little college that doesn't even receive state funding.

So piss-ant that Republican candidates (and prob some Dems) traipse over there for the photo-op.

... please refrain from equating "states rights" with racism if you please.

I take it you haven't done much reading up on the civil rights movement in th US.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 03:39 PM

"So, it appears the original does not say, '...and all the Jews said...' but rather '...and all the people said...'"

I make no claim to being a Biblical scholar, and I certainly don't mean to be arguing with your scholarship. All I know is what I've been hearing every Easter service I've attended in my life, and they all point fingers at the "Jews". And, as I said above, I am offended by it.

Why all the several RC churches I've attended over the years are using the version blaming the Iudaeorum and not "Universus populus" I cannot begin to know; all I do know is that the Iudaeorum passages are still in there and they are read aloud every Easter. And I'd bet that Rome dictates what translation may be used in the parishes.

But the fact is, the Catholic Church DOES NOT support blaming the Jews for the Passion. Get over it.

I'm not meaning to diss MikeD either. But I'll get over it (maybe) when Rome officially removes the Iudaeorum passages from those little newsprint-type soft-cover booklets that they have available in all the churches.

Of course, then Rome will just do something else really annoying to piss me off, like canonize Pius XII, or continue with its condemnation of contraception.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 03:51 PM

Oh honestly Mark.

My daughter in law is Jewish, for God's sake. Growing up, most of my closest friends (for whatever reason) happened to be Jewish. Doncha think that if my church were ranting against "Joooooooos" I would have, like, noticed? Especially when I brought my friends to church with me, as I did a few times?

And as for equating states rights with racism, that is an ignorant comparison too. Most of the worst race riots were actually up North, and anyone who has actually *studied* the history of the South knows that many free blacks fought in the Civil War... on the side of the Confederacy. They fought b/c they didn't believe the North had the right to keep the south from seceding. You need to check the PC crap and really delve into a few history books that weren't written by Howard Zinn. You might be surprised.

Posted by: Sister Mary Bag O'Metaphors at May 12, 2008 03:54 PM

Racism has always been a nationwide phenomenon. I saw just as much of it in my childhood up North as I ever did once I moved down South. People in California love to blather on about the South. That's because they don't know what they're talking about.

The South is more integrated that most other areas of the country, including California. So put that one in your pipe and smoke it :p I've lived in all of these places, and it's true. It's just that folks out west don't like to admit this b/c it doesn't comport with their world view. But it happens to be true. This is not to say that areas of the South don't have their issues, but there is all kinds of racism including white-on-black AND black-on-white racism. People need to learn to think of each other as people and (as I believe Morgan Freeman said) stop yammering on about racism.

Posted by: Sister Mary Bag O'Metaphors at May 12, 2008 03:59 PM

MofSTTP,

You might want to consider a name/title change. Something with, I don't know, maybe WAG&Supposition incorporated in the title.

Now where is my ruler?

Posted by: Sister Mary Stigmata at May 12, 2008 04:08 PM

Now admittedly, I'm a lapsed Catholic and only spent about 18 years in the Church, but yeah... I can't say a single homily, sermon, or gospel reading from my priests ever gave me the impression to blame the Jews. Sorry.

"Republican candidates (and prob some Dems)" being all of... one? Yeah, clearly a political force in THE STATE I LIVE IN... Mark, listen to yourself. You live on the other side of the country. You are not FROM South Carolina (as far as I've been made aware). Yet you're telling ME, who lives here, the political importance of a university that has (I just googled it) a total enrollment of 4,200. Clearly, CLEARLY I'm a brain dead moron who simply lacks the political accumen to see what a powerhouse of South Carolina politics a 4,200 student population university has, right?

Now, let's apply Occam's Razor here. Either:

a) a minor university invites a Republican candidate for President to speak to its student body when he comes campaigning in their state, but unbeknownst to that candidate, this school has some skeletons in their closet.

or

b) a minor university which secretly is a hotbed of racism, states-rights (but only as a code word, right?), and discrimination invites a struggling Presidential candidate (you know... the guys who LOVE controversy) who just lost New Hampshire to speak. But he DARE not refuse, because this small campus is SUCH a political powerhouse... or he secretly agrees with their agenda, even if it's racist and repugnant, knowing he'll have to disavow this powerhouse if the media finds out about them...

I'm calling bovine fecal material on 'b' here Mark. Again, let me spell this out. It's a MINOR campus (heck, I hadn't realized how very small it was until I googled it). It has no political power in this state. And yet, according to you, it's so well known as a hotbed of racism and "states-right-ism" that even in California, prior to George Bush going there, that a presidential candidate would put his election chances on the line to speak there? Even AFTER he was already in a precarious position? That's insane.

And finally. Am I aware that "States Rights" was the rallying cry for the Confederacy? Duh. Was I aware that men like George Wallace claimed "States Rights" as the justification for segragation? Again, duh. However, I am also aware that the cross is a symbol of the KKK. Does that mean everyone who wears a cross is a Klansman? I am also aware that Pol Pot called for "From each according to his means, to each according to his needs." Does that make ever socialist a genocidal maniac?

To me, States Rights is nothing more or less than it implies (and what is spelled out in the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States). To wit, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Spelled out plainly... if the Constitution does not give a power to a branch of the Federal Government, and does not expressly forbid that power to the States, then that power (and the ability to legislate upon it) rests solely with the States.

This distinction is critically important to prevent the Federal government from becoming a tyrannical power. The State governments are directly elected by the people. No branch of the Federal government is. The Federal government was intended to perform those duties that the States themselves could not. However, we've allowed the Federal government to grow into a massive nanny state of gigantic proportions. One that routinely tramples upon the Tenth Amendment by passing laws that legislate matters that ought to be the sole purview of the States and citizens of this country.

One example? Medical marijuana. The State of California decided that it would allow locally grown, locally distributed, locally proscribed, and locally used marijuana to be used to treat medical maladies. Not a single seed, flower, leaf or plant would cross state lines from inception to consumption. And yet, while CLEARLY a local state matter in its entirety, the Federal government decided that "Interstate Commerce" applied and gave them the right to forbid the practice. That's an abuse of the Tenth Amendment. And I'm ashamed that the Supreme Court did not recognize it as such.

If we truly have outgrown the need for the Tenth Amendment (as I have heard some argue), then the correct course of action is NOT to ignore it, but to repeal it. We've done it before, why not now? Honestly because I think an effort to repeal it would be defeated, so the Feds would rather just ignore it, and have Federal courts allow them to.

That's what States Rights means to me. And I seriously resent the implication that because some racist bastards tried to hijack the original intent of the Constitution to fit their disgusting ideas that I should be tarred with the same brush.

At this point, I need to apologize to our kind hostess for participating in the derailing of this thread and excuse myself from further derailing. If you'd like to discuss this more, I am not walking away from such. Please feel free to email me in private, or suggest (again by email) a more appropriate venue. Thank you.

Posted by: MikeD at May 12, 2008 04:08 PM

At this point, I need to apologize to our kind hostess for participating in the derailing of this thread ...

I have, sort of, already apologized (off campus) to our hostess for my role in this tangent and thanked her, sort of. for her patience. Not in so many words, but that's what I meant.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 04:18 PM

You might want to consider a name/title change. Something with, I don't know, maybe WAG&Supposition incorporated in the title.

At my best, I'm only as smart as the average bear; at my usual, well ... either way, I don't understand what this means: WAG&Supposition


Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 04:20 PM

WAG&Supposition

WAG = Wild-Ass Guess. You might want to get out more -- that acronym's been around for fifty years...

Posted by: BillT at May 12, 2008 04:38 PM

WAG = Wild-Ass Guess. You might want to get out more -- that acronym's been around for fifty years...

funny - good tie-in with the remark about 50+ years of church-going. must be all the college-era pot and Olde English 800 and Boones Farm and free love that caused me not to notice ...

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 04:50 PM

C'mon people: I'm not saying that Rome is buying up land for new concentration camps - jeez louise - give me a little credit here, even if I am from the left coast.

Words mean something, ... and little insidious things have a way of creeping into our consciousness ... even if there is no official RC policy to blame the Jews for Christ's death (and I believe that there is no longer such an official policy, although JR just came out recently and said that the OHRC&AC is THE only way, the truth and the light ... which is what one would expect any leader of any religious group to say about his group’s tenets). I’m just pointing out that the OHRC&AC is still using these texts, wherever they came from, even in my “enlightened” little hell-hole out here in California.

Oh honestly Mark. My daughter in law is Jewish, for God's sake.

OK - you're the final word on all things Jewish, I guess. But what about Maxine and Rick S***n and their kids Craig and Aaron; and Jeff and Bonnie S***n and their daughter Brigitte; and Carla and Harvey F****e, and Norman and Bayla S****n, and and all the rest of the family [all of whom are long-time friends of mine and of "SWMBO"], and let's not forget Uncle Albie [Albert K**z, my sister's hub]. Doesn't my knowing and loving all of them give ME some street cred on these topics? I'm being sarcastic, of course.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 04:51 PM

Well, if you're looking for "official RC policy" here it is:

http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/v2non.htm

I quote:
"True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.

Furthermore, in her rejection of every persecution against any man, the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone."

So not only is there "no official RC policy to blame the Jews for Christ's death", but in fact there is the exact opposite... official RC policy to REJECT blaming the Jews for Christ's death.

Posted by: MikeD at May 12, 2008 04:58 PM

I'll look to this version:

http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 05:07 PM

The Vatican's version of Matthew 27:25 also uses "the whole people": http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PW0.HTM

Why the little pamphlets in the back of the church don't, I don't know.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 05:17 PM

Why the little pamphlets in the back of the church don't, I don't know

... but they don't.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 05:32 PM

Mark, I'm not claiming to be the final word on all things Jewish.

But you're making a mountain out of a molehill just because one phrase jars your ear. That's a bit much. I think you're being a bit oversensitive.

Christ was crucified under a sign proclaiming him the the King of the Jews. Did this make him responsible for his own death?

Sheesh. (*&^n Romans.

Posted by: Sister Mary Bag O'Metaphors at May 12, 2008 06:59 PM

But you're making a mountain out of a molehill just because one phrase jars your ear. That's a bit much. I think you're being a bit oversensitive.

Well, I'm not so sure that it's a molehill. These issues are a continuing story. See, e.g., "German Jews sever ties with pope", and article in the Jerusalem Post, at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1206632370637

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 12, 2008 07:38 PM

Mark,

Please show me ONE WORD of difference between the copy you linked here:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html

And the one I linked here:
http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/v2non.htm

Oddly enough, they're the SAME document! Why do you insist on being contrary and trying to score points? Do you enjoy it?

Posted by: MikeD at May 13, 2008 09:37 AM

Molehill, Mark, molehill. *Less* than a molehill, in fact.

The phrase in the prayer that raised the ire of *some* German Jews was, "Almighty and everlasting God, you who want all men to be saved and to reach the awareness of the truth, graciously grant that, with the fullness of peoples entering into your church, all Israel may be saved."

If you interpret that as the RC church fomenting anti-Semitism, you're hopeless...

Posted by: BillT at May 13, 2008 11:07 AM

Even if the proper text were "Jews," that would not support historical anti-semitism. The Jews in Jesus's day had to reject him and allow his death. His sacrifice was foretold. His rejection was foretold. It had to happen. It was supposed to happen.

I am to blame, because it was my sin for which he died. The Jews are to blame, because it was their sin for which he died. You are to blame, because it was your sin for which he died.

I can read the Passion scriptures with or without "people" or "Jews." I prefer that the translation be correct, but in either case, the meaning doesn't change.

If anyone reads those books written by Paul, you will learn that we gentile believers should not feel so uppity. Paul, who fought hardest to bring gentiles to Christ, warned gentiles not to feel so superiour to the Jewish rejectors of Christ. God has the discretion to show mercey on anyone, and his chosen people are more likely candidates than a gentile that is not in the fold.

Posted by: Hummer at May 13, 2008 11:31 AM

"Even if the proper text were "Jews," that would not support historical anti-semitism."

Does anything "support" anti-semitism? It is undisputed that, historically, it was the OHRC&AC that was the driving force behind anti-semitism in Europe: laws against property ownership, laws restricting residence to limited areas, laws requiring distinctive markings on clothing, laws prohibiting certain livelihoods, and so on.


Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 13, 2008 02:59 PM

The Jews in Jesus's day had to reject him and allow his death. His sacrifice was foretold. His rejection was foretold. It had to happen. It was supposed to happen.

If this is so, then isn;t it the case that nobody is to blame, because God had decreed that it would happen, no matter what?

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 13, 2008 03:01 PM

Yup. And that's spelled out directly in the Nostra Aetate (Section 4, last paragraph):

"Besides, as the Church has always held and holds now, Christ underwent His passion and death freely, because of the sins of men and out of infinite love, in order that all may reach salvation. It is, therefore, the burden of the Church's preaching to proclaim the cross of Christ as the sign of God's all-embracing love and as the fountain from which every grace flows."

Didn't you read the document?

Posted by: MikeD at May 13, 2008 03:40 PM

Does anything "support" anti-semitism? I don't think so, but there are things that I think are not supported by the Bible that one can make a stronger argument than anti-semitism. Of all the wrongheaded things one can say that the Bible supports, anti-semitism sure isn't one of them.

The Church being misguided on individual subjects isn't new. It took Luther to focus the Church on salvation through faith, which the Catholic Church and some Protestants still get wrong IMO. I am not suggesting that some Christians weren't mis-using the passages or mis-leading others into anti-semitism. My only point is that it isn't very good theology.

OTOH, there is a basis to condemn, say, a number of sex acts and and the people who engage in them. The language in the Bible on those subjects is pretty clear at times, and in one story towns were destroyed, in part, because of those acts. To believe that God's condemnation of such acts in the Bible justifies person on person violence against those that engage in them is just wrong. That said, unlike anti-semitism, there is a case to be made that would be more textually based than anti-semitism.

As for the "it is nobody's fault statement," that is also incorrect.

It reminds me a demotivational poster I saw once: "Responsibility: No single raindrop believes that it is to blame for the flood."

In the big picture, it had to happen because of each one of us. The sacrifice is our undeserved gift.

In the history of the moment, you can read the four gospels and decide for yourself which faction you want to blame. There is more than enough blame to go around, and the Jewish leaders were not blameless.

Posted by: Hummer at May 13, 2008 03:43 PM

well, if Jesus said "let he who is without sin cast the first stone", I take that to mean that it's up to God to sort out man's sins and that "man" should butt out.

Posted by: Ministry of Speaking Truth to Power at May 13, 2008 05:02 PM

Now what was the theme of this thread?

Posted by: bthun lost in the program notes at May 13, 2008 05:30 PM

Footless flannel caftans for Mom's Day -- ummmmm, I think...

Posted by: BillT at May 13, 2008 05:46 PM

"It's the Jooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooos!!!!"

Posted by: Cassandra at May 13, 2008 05:47 PM

Either that, or J-Lo's butt.

I lost track.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 13, 2008 05:47 PM

Cass was apologizing for not believing me when I told her a year ago that Obama was a snakeoil salesman.

0>;~}

And then the filthy troll came in, crapped on the furniture and tried to blame it on someone else.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 13, 2008 05:57 PM

Oh yeah... Thanks folks.

Now I remember a discussion on touch versus push, flying, holding my watch aloft, Elmer Fudd and catching this fashion advice for the night time repose with my sweetie.

Posted by: bthun at May 13, 2008 06:07 PM

Well, it seems we have that the Catholic church doesn't blame the Jooooooos. But some of the individual churches still use improper language.

So therefor, since the church doesn't teach anti-semitism and doesn't even abuse a misstranslation, attending this church once a year on Easter is the equivalent to attending a church for 20 years who's anti-semitism and racism is blatently displayed.

WHAT THE ...?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 13, 2008 06:31 PM

Never did make any sense. That's why I haven't engaged :p

Posted by: Cassandra at May 13, 2008 06:50 PM

"Never did make any sense. That's why I haven't engaged :p"
See, yet another difference between the male and female of the species. =;^}

Posted by: bthun at May 13, 2008 07:48 PM

Yanno, bthun, I woulda figured you as a *classics* kind of guy.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 13, 2008 08:20 PM

Yeah, my tastes in music are all over the map which is why I seldom offer a negative comment regarding other folks tastes in music. Hard to quantify good versus bad music, too subjective -of course there are exceptions to that rule-. And except for a couple of the idioms that have assaulted the publics ears in the last, ohhh, 30 to 40 odd years.

To paraphrase Billie Holiday, some of that ____________ stuff, ain't music. But I'll keep those opinions, like my views on religion, politics, progressives and so on to myself. =8^}

Posted by: bthun at May 13, 2008 10:51 PM

It's true. I can't imagine what you think about any of those topics.

Posted by: Grim at May 13, 2008 10:58 PM

Or why.

Oh, right. Cassie posts about them. Got it.

Posted by: BillT at May 14, 2008 09:59 AM

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