I watched Obama's speech today. I felt connected to him for the first time, really. I'm not condemning him, as many have, for not casting his pastor aside. After all, this pastor was very much like a family member to him.
I don't know about you, but I've been embarassed by things my family members have said. I loved my father very much, and even though I was blind to many of his faults, I knew he wasn't perfect. He was raised in a different era. My mother made comments that came, for lack of a better term, from ignorance.
True, you can't change you parents. Obama commented on his grandmother's fear of having a black man walk towards her on the street. I've heard similar comments from my mother. I have heard devote Christians comment that God had "damned" this country for it's sinful ways, and AIDs was one of God's way to punish the most grievous of these sinners. There was a man I worked with for a time that said "as a Christian" he could not support our governments efforts to give aid to Africa because he didn't want his tax money "going to people who had sex with monkeys". I asked what had happened to Christian charity? Well, that was for Christian's, of course.
I didn't speak to my best friend for 2 years because of an off-the-cuff comment he made about my husband's religion. Quite frankly, I was being very pig-headed about the whole thing and should have taken the opportunity to have a dialog on how we could agree to disagree. He is a Christian and my husband is a Buddhist. Over the years they have had long, thoughtful discussions which finally came to the conclusion they could agree to disagree.
To create change, you have to put effort into it. Perhaps Obama has had long discussions with Rev. Wright on the topic of race relations, and how it may not be as bleak as the Reverend sees it to be. Maybe they agreed to disagree. Perhaps some things should remain between a man and his pastor.