Tuesday, March 25, 2008

FAITH TRUMPS HUMAN FAILINGS



Critics off base with 'Obama Commandment'


By Chuck Goudie
Chicago Daily Herald
3/24/2008


On Easter morning, Chicago churches would have been as empty as Christ's tomb if everyone were expected to live by "the Obama Commandment."

Ever since it was revealed that Barack Obama's South Side Chicago pastor said some things that certain white commentators have labeled as racist and seditious, the candidate has been crucified for his association with that church.

According to critics, he was supposed to have followed what is best described as the Obama Commandment: Thou shall not remain in a church pew when nasty ideas are presented, especially when those ideas are being shouted in a very scary voice.

The Obama Commandment (OC) requires that you immediately leave your church and never return when your pastor says or does something outrageous. If you are a public person, then the OC requires an exorcism-like ritual of spiritual cleansing followed by a network TV appearance to explain it all.

Of course, anyone who regularly attends a church, synagogue, country revival, girl's night out or men's smoker hears things that make them cringe. Politically incorrect ideas are sometimes expressed; unsavory language might be used; there might even be blasphemy or treasonous speech.

As Vice-President Dick Cheney likes to say in response to challenging questions, "So what?"
If Barack Obama is so sponge-headed that he might become hypnotized by a sermon, how could he possibly handle a crisis conversation with Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
"I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy" said Sen. Obama while reciting his race manifesto for the ages last week. "For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely -- just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed."
Most Chicago-area Catholics know the feeling. For years, we have had to figure out how to disconnect our faith from the actions of some of our faith leaders, including certain priests and bishops, as they sexually abused, assaulted and mentally disfigured boys and young men, enabled by bishops who responded by just transferring the priest-rapists.
Last week on the heels of Sen. Obama's speech, there was another clergyman in the news.
Pedophile Catholic priest Fred Lenczycki became the first man of the cloth to be indefinitely imprisoned as a danger to society. Lenczycki will remain behind bars even though he finished his sentence for molesting altar boys in the early 1980s in the rectory at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Hinsdale.

The Bishop of the Joliet Diocese at the time, Joseph Imesch, arranged "treatment" for Lenczycki and then sent him to St. Louis to be a hospital chaplain -- until they found out he was a pedophile.

Lenczynski's boss at the time of the Hinsdale abuse, St Isaac Jogues pastor Rev. Donald Kocher, later had his own problems. Kocher left the priesthood after being sued by a married woman who claimed she was fired from a church job after breaking off an affair with him. During a deposition, Kocher admitted affairs with a dozen women during two decades.

I knew Don Kocher. He was my pastor. Should his despicable behavior disqualify me from following my personal beliefs which have no room for such conduct?

Some Catholics are unable to separate what they see happening from what they believe, and they end up leaving their church. Under the Obama Commandment, it would be mandatory to disavow our church and find one that doesn't just preach good behavior but lives it.
Here's what it comes down to: If you have mature beliefs, you understand that racist views, combustible words or even pedophile conduct are all the sins of men and women.
Not the failings of a faith.

5 comments:

Agnes said...

I am very proud as to how Barack Obama has kept his dignity through all of these attacks. Thank you Catherine for this blog. Yes we can!

Anonymous said...

How can anyone who is Catholic support Barack Obama without committing a mortal sin? Without sharing the outcome of 4000 abortions a day. None of you can justify calling yourselves Catholic while representing the murderous side of the issue. What society can long survive the ongoing destruction of the most innocent and dependent of beings? If you are of legal age, I challenge you to go to an internet site and witness what an abortion actually is. Then you may not want to associate with someone who is okay with the mass genocide which is going on against the black race in particular.

Anonymous said...

Question for you: What happens if I say all kids only need to listen to their parents M-Th from 2-4pm? (In contrast to the Honor your Father and Mother Commandment). The imposition of this Law would be absolutely ridiculous. Childrenn should obey parents all the time (the exceptions being if the parents ask the kid to do something immoral, in which case there was no commnd in the first place). The same is true if we allow inficide to continue with Abortion. There CAN NOT BE EXCEPTIONS! THERE MUST BE ABSOLUTE TRUTH

Agnes said...

"There CAN NOT BE EXCEPTIONS!"

Sadly, none of the candidates are where we would hope them to be on life issues, so while we may believe this, we must discern the best way to promote a better society here in our fallen world.

Anonymous said...

What part of thou shalt not murder! does not Obama understnd? The Thou, shalt, not murder, or the entire stateent?

Prov 6, 16-17