For some reason it just seems appropriate to talk about hypocrisy on Easter. Don't get me wrong, I'm not being anti-Christian or anything. I find it odd that we have probably THE most holiest of Christian holidays and Christians can't seem to celebrate a holiday without stealing from Pagans. In this case, bunnies, eggs, candy wrapped in ribbons......... nothing at all to do with Jesus rising from His grave and everything to do with the Solstice and celebration of spring. While I don't dispute that Jesus existed, no one knows when he was born or when he died, so instead, Holy Days were stolen from the "heathens". As if, long ago, some guys got together and picked this day just to convince Pagans that they were wrong (don't get me started on Christmas).
But, I can't single out Christians as being the only group to try to steal an event in order to erase it from history, or to attempt to otherwise "whitewash" history. We see whitewashing going on today from Ronald Reagan to Mao Tse Tung to the Confederate Battle flag and what it stood for.
During the past few decades, the media has been the “go-to” outlet to quickly and thoroughly make these revisions of history. Whether its George Bush’s many gaffs or the current controversy with Rev Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama.
Media outlets, politicians and pundits all attacking a man - a Presidential candidate - because he went to church and may have heard a sermon which may have had some divisive words spoken.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright was talking about racism and, among other things the bombing of Hiroshima, when he uttered these words back in 2003:
"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people"
Frankly, I happen to agree with the Rev, perhaps not with the exact words but with the spirit of, the intent, of what he was saying. Have we not caused harm in the world and to our own people? (slavery, Tuskegee, Jim Crow, and the more subtle forms of racism in the housing and job markets, as just a few examples).
My beef is not with the people that disagree with Barack Obama or the comments made by Rev. Wright, its the fact that the media has a double standard. I have heard very little on the fact that other politicians, from Bush to McCain, have stood hand in hand with the likes of (now deceased) Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and many others.
They have stood next to and not just listened, but applauded, men who have said things like this:
"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals” (Falwell)
“(re: 9/11 attacks) "...throwing God out of the public square, out of the schools, the abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked and when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad...I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who try to secularize America...I point the thing in their face and say you helped this happen." (Falwell)
“[homosexuals are] brute beasts...part of a vile and satanic system [that] will be utterly annihilated, and there will be a celebration in heaven.” (Falwell)
“Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up" –Pat Robertson, on nuking the State Department.
These quotes are just the tip of the iceberg!
Now, I don’t agree with what they said. In fact, how I feel about the above quotes is how many on the right feel about Reverend Wrights quote(s). So, why isn’t there some sort of fair play?
We progressives hold our leaders up to a high standard - we want them to be successful, but not at a cost to others. Seems the Right and the media also hold the Democrats and Independents to that same standard! But, its an honor we don’t want.
Barely a peep has been made of John McCain’s wooing of Pastor John Hagee, a man who has said many divisive things. Here is just one little tidbit, regarding Hurricane Katrina and its cause:
So I believe that the judgment of God is a very real thing. I know there are people who demur from that, but I believe that the Bible teaches that when you violate the law of God, that God brings punishment sometimes before the Day of Judgment, and I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.
Now, John McCain has said that he does not agree with everything that the good Pastor says. Seems that’s good enough for the right-wing pundits and the TV news channels and major newspapers.
Hmmm. Double standard?