Rev. Wright hush money donor named — plus — an Obama Muslim bombshell

On yesterday’s Sean Hannity broadcast, Sean interviewed author Edward Klein about his three hour face-to-face interview with Rev. Jeremiah Wright.  Over the weekend, Klein had revealed in the New York Post that after ABC News broadcast the infamous “God Damn America!” video from Trinity UCC, Rev. Wright was contacted by a “very close” friend of then-Senator Barack Obama, who offered him $150,000 to disappear until after the Nov. 2008 presidential election.  This was one of the many startling revelations about the Obama presidency from Klein’s new book, The Amateur.

On yesterday’s program, Klein identified that close friend: Dr. Eric Whitaker, a managing director at the University of Chicago Medical Center.  That’s the same hospital that employed Michelle Obama as Executive Director of Community and External Affairs, then promoted her to Vice President for External Affairs shortly after Barack Obama was elected to the US Senate (with a nearly 3x increase in salary), then eliminated her position after the Obamas moved to Washington, DC.  It’s also the same organization that just received a $5.9 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Then Klein dropped this bombshell when he discussed what Rev. Wright and Obama talked about during Obama’s “countless” visits to Rev. Wright’s home:

You know, we – all of us – complained about the fact that Obama sat in that church and listened to that hate speech for twenty years, but what we don’t realize is that even before he became a member of that church he was very close to the Rev. Wright, who was like a second father to him, and who was his spiritual advisor, his political advisor, and in fact the Rev. Wright told me on tape that Obama came to him and said, ‘I need some spiritual advice.  I don’t know exactly who I am.’  And the Rev. Wright said – and this is on tape – ‘Well we know your Islam background and you have that, but what you need now is some coaching on Christianity.’

And I asked the Rev. Wright, ‘Did you convert him from being a Muslim to a Christian?’  And he said, ‘Well I don’t know if I could go that far.  But I can tell you that I made it comfortable for him to accept Christianity without having to renounce his Islamic background.’

At this point, before the tapes are released and we actually hear Rev. Wright speaking, this is still third-hand information.  But what a fascinating revelation, which will no doubt prove to be red meat for those who insist that Obama is a closet Muslim.

But what does it really mean?  Perhaps we should take another look at who Barack Obama is.  Ann Althouse has been blogging “Dreams From My Father”; here are links to her first and second posts.  Her journey into the text of this book has left a singular impression on me, which is Obama’s constant insecurity and inner conflict, particularly about the dynamics of race and his own identity.  He was always the person who never fit in: the half-African kid in white American suburbia, or Hawaii, or Indonesia; the secularist Unitarian in a Muslim nation (Indonesia), the half-white kid in the black student clubs in college, and so on.

Obviously Lolo Soetoro saw to it that his step-son Barack Hussein Obama was integrated into the Muslim culture of Indonesia.  The Muslim-oriented schools in Indonesia probably provided Barack Obama with the only rigorous religious instruction he ever received.  But like many other Asian cultures, the Indonesians actually practiced a kind of syncretism, which although primarily Muslim, also included elements of Catholicism, Hinduism, and ancient animist religious traditions.  According to accounts of his time with Obama and his mother, Soetoro was “more of a free spirit than a devout Muslim.”

We also need to figure in the religious faith of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, and of her parents, who raised Obama during many of his formative years.  The Dunham family was not religious and Obama himself described his mother as a secular humanist.  Others described her as an atheist (during her high school years) or an agnostic who also developed her own syncretic worldview made up of snippets from Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, etc.  But one thing widely agreed upon is that while Dunham did not subscribe strictly to any religious creed, she was an intellectual who had come to accept what she believed by carefully working through various religious doctrines, aided by her own personal experiences and reasoning.

It’s reasonable to assume, then, that young Barack Obama’s understanding of “religion” was very similar to that of his mother – a syncretic set of beliefs and morality rooted in what had been determined to be the best teachings from numerous cultures. There is no evidence at all to suggest that young Obama was ever serious about Islam, or that he was ever a strict follower of any single religion.

His syncretic worldview probably made him an intellectual superstar at Columbia and Harvard, but when Obama found himself in inner-city Chicago, trying to identify with traditional American black culture and its religious roots — which he knew virtually nothing about — he once again found himself an outsider trying to fit in.  That’s when he went knocking on Rev. Wright’s door.

I would guess that Rev. Wright understood that Obama was desperately trying to understand how the Black Christian church had integrated itself so deeply into black culture.  But he also recognized that Obama would not be able to understand Christianity unless Wright taught it to him in a way that was based on a scholarly footing.   Therefore, Wright chose to teach the Christian faith to Obama by building it on the principles of critical race theory and black liberation theology.  Since Obama was already an accomplished student of Derrick Bell at Harvard, I believe that Wright’s education of Obama was successful.  And Wright was arguably proud of the fact that he handled it by edifying and enriching Obama’s existing worldview (including its Muslim elements) rather than dismantling it.

To me, this story simply drives home the fact that the way Obama understands and experiences his religious faith is very far out of the mainstream of most Americans who were raised in a traditional Catholic, mainline Protestant, or Evangelical home.  And Evangelicals, particularly, will be disturbed by the fact that neither Wright or Obama seem to share their deeply held conviction that Christianity alone contains the truths necessary for salvation.

I seriously doubt that Barack Obama is “closet Muslim” who secretly prays facing Mecca every day and feels some sort of spiritual kinship with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the Muslim Brotherhood.  But his understanding of how religion, race, and politics fit together is far out of the American mainstream, which is something we should definitely consider come election day.

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  • GarandFan

    The ONLY thing that Barry “believes in” is Barry.   Rejected by his parents, raised by his grandparents.  It’s telling that when his grandmother had terminal cancer, he questions why she’d be given a hip replacement.  Why waste the money?  Just give her a pain pill.  It never enters his mind “when” she would die – that was unknown.  As for Rev Wright, he was Barry’s meal ticket to elective office.  Associating with Wright gave Barry ‘street cred’ with the folks in the voting district.  And also got him re-elected again and again, with ZERO accomplishments other than voting PRESENT! at every opportunity.

    • herddog505

      GarandFanThe ONLY thing that Barry “believes in” is Barry.

      BINGO!

    • jim_m

      Absolutely.  Barry appears to use religion as a political tool and not to have any real affinity to any religion. 

    • Hank_M

      The ONLY thing that Barry “believes in” is Barry.

      And the level of this narcissism is unbelievable.
      Just read that “Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to
      the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin
      Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford)” on the whitehouse.gov site.

      http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/05/15/obama-drops-his-name-into-presidential-biographies/

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        It’s not been often that I’ve thought of a President as ‘tacky’ – but that’s just damn tacky.

        • herddog505

          Seriously.

          What’s next?  Adding himself to articles about the moon landing?  World War II?  The first aeroplane flight?  The invention of the steam engine?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7YIUZMXOD5JGZZTCYMVA75KFU Shadow

             The prison rolls?

          • herddog505

            We can only hope!

        • sarahconnor2

          Agreed-it’s a jaw dropping level of tacky.
          Barry worships at the altar of Barry.

  • Hank_M

    If Romney’s  religion is an issue, then Barry’s religion should be an issue.
    If Ann Romney is going to be attacked, then Michelle’s Obama is also fair game.

    And I think that the more we look into the background of each couple, it’s the Obama’s that have the most to fear.

  • herddog505

    It will be interesting to see if (A) these audio tapes of Rev. Mr. Wright are forthcoming and; (B) MiniTru bothers to broadcast them if they are.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G7YIUZMXOD5JGZZTCYMVA75KFU Shadow

       Is it possible this is what Breitbart had?

    • Walter_Cronanty

      I expect the MSM to be broadcast Rev. Wright tapes immediately after the MSM broadcasts the LA Times’  Rashid Khalidi tape.

  • 914

    He worships at his own altar and finding nothing there but an empty suit, gets landslided 55% to 44% in 2012.. 

    November can’t come soon enough..

    • William Payne

       914, do you mean that to be a prophetic word or are you basing your prediction on some hidden knowledge? I do not see that. I see a tight race down to the finish line.

      • http://www.rustedsky.net JLawson

        I’m not sure.  I’m thinking there’s a tipping point, and we’re either at it or past it.

        There’s a number of factors involved in my thoughts on that – primarily that we’re going into the summer driving season when gas prices normally go up – and they’re going down… as is the cost of crude.  Slowly, to be sure, but there’s some game-changing things coming down in the energy markets.

        The price of crude oil is inching down, last Thursday the GAO announced that the recoverable oil in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming was equal to the rest of the world combined.  Whole lot of that’s under government land, but I think that announcement, combined with a likely Romney Presidency, could drop energy prices significantly.

        If Obama looked likely to win (at least to the market) (and the polls don’t seem to be trending that way – we’ll look at it again in September and October) that would mean the oil would continue to be locked up – and the price would stay the same or rise a bit.

        What the heck – it’s just a prediction, reading tea leaves or chicken entrails. But I think people have just about had enough of President Whinypants, and the naked pandering to special interest groups is really having a negative effect.

        We’ll see.  (Shrug.)  

      • 914

        Just the way I see this going. Said so quite a while ago on here. And I don’t see Barry changing his pigheaded ways..

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bill-Payne/1619348843 Bill Payne

    Politics
    aside, this is an excellent essay that highlights how people form
    religious identity. An important read that will cause you to respect the
    Rev Jeremiah Wright. Missiologists who work with Muslims struggle to
    bring Muslims to Christ without dismantling their cultural identity. Of course, syncretism is not and end state and conversion requires the renouncing of previous allegiances.

  • http://www.alabamateaparty.org/ AlabamaTeaParty.org

    I was looking to see if there was any more news on the Wright tapes (5/1512). We’re all eager to just get on with it.That’s how I found my way here.

    Listen, boys and girls. Here is the way it is. You don’t have to be a thing to like a thing.

    Once upon a time I was a COMPLEAT Brazil fanatic. Went there a few times and really did my homework. I knew everything and loved everything about Brazil, but I was not a Brazilian. I was a simple southern American gringo with a Brazil fascination.

    Likewise, you don’t *have* to be a card carrying Mus boy to be in love with things Muslim.

    There is ample evidence that Obama has a Muslim fixation and an abhorrence of Jews.

    Isn’t that enough in itself?

  • ackwired

    This sounds like a blend of races, cultures, and religions.  Kind of like America!

    • herddog505

      Or somebody with multiple personality disorder.

      • ackwired

        LOL

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/2012/05/jeremiah-wright-he-made-it-comfortable.html
    Is it me, or is there still some bad blood between Jeremiah Wright and Barack Obama?  

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  • Olsoljer

    Good grief!  How many “fathers” does obama have?

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3HXDVYRKBWGTA5A4M5IOPN4DBU Emerson

    5 times a day Obama faces towards a mirror and chants, “You’re Good Enough, You’re Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like You.” Then he winks at himself and laughs.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/david.asset.9 David Asset

    A total Right Wing smear campaign with no credibility whatsoever! Sean Hannity is the same “journalist” who edited file footage into the his coverage of a Tea Party event to pretend it was densely populated.

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