For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life... (John 3:17)
According to Websters, a martyr is "a person who is put to death or endures great suffering on behalf of any belief, principle, or cause". About 2000 years ago, Jesus allowed himself to be martyred for the sins of mankind (if you believe the Christian Bible). There are two types of martyrs: Those that allow themselves to be nailed to the cross for the greater good, and those that nail themselves to the cross so they can feel noble and important. There are too many of the latter, and not enough of the former in this world.
Over the past few weeks, the Rev. Wright has been an albatros around the neck of Senator Obama. The fiery sermons were causing problems, and both of them knew it. Obama's famous "Pennsylvania Speech" on race relations helped to put water to the flames, but those in the media and those with an agenda would not let the embers die.
Over this past weekend, Rev. Wright made some extraordinary comments. He accused the government of introducing AIDS into the gay community... he danced around explaining the difference between white and black marching bands. Rather than tone himself down to match Obama's cool demeanor, he kicked it up several notches, thus putting even more distance between them.
The end result of the spectacle is that Obama became the "rational" one and denounced the reverend. Was the Rev. trying to hurt Obama for his attempts to create distance, as some have suggested? Or was he trying to help Obama by giving him the knife he needed to sever the relationship?
Being a man of the cloth, he is apt to feel empathy. He may have realized that he was a burden and decided to help Obama by removing himself from the discussion. There had been calls for Obama to dispute and disown the Rev., pleadings which Obama righteously chose to ignore, to his own detriment. It's possible that Rev. Wright knew that Obama would not disassociate himself unless there were actions and comments too controversial to ignore, and thus put himself out there to help Obama do that. Regardless of whether that was the raison d'etre
, that's exactly what transpired.
There was some discussion a long ways back that Obama wasn't "black enough" for the black community, which has proved to be untrue. The Rev. Wright debacle may have been promoting unspoken thoughts that he was "too black" for the white community. The end result is that - like Goldilocks and the porridge - he may have found a level that is just right (no pun intended) for everyone.
Only the Rev. knows whether he sacrificed himself for Obama, and - if so - whether he did it for selfish or selfless reasons. It's safe to assume that no one will know for sure until after November. Let's all hope that whatever the motivation, the "Wright" issue is finally ensconsed in its tomb.