I like Jeremiah Wright more and more

Ex-Obama Pastor: ‘Obama Threw Me Under The Bus’

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor, said in a letter obtained by The Associated Press that he is “toxic” to the Obama administration and that the president “threw me under the bus.”

In his strongest language to date about the administration’s 2-year-old rift with the Chicago pastor, Wright told a group raising money for African relief that his pleas to release frozen funds for use in earthquake-ravaged Haiti would likely be ignored.

“No one in the Obama administration will respond to me, listen to me, talk to me or read anything that I write to them. I am ‘toxic’ in terms of the Obama administration,” Wright wrote the president of Africa 6000 International earlier this year.

“I am ‘radioactive,’ Sir. When Obama threw me under the bus, he threw me under the bus literally!” he wrote. “Any advice that I offer is going to be taken as something to be avoided. Please understand that!”

I admit it, I was pretty disgusted when Obama suddenly found his long-time pastor to be “divisive and destructive.” To spend years under the man’s tutelage, to gain from his teachings spiritually, then to toss him aside as a sacrifice to an enraged public was disgusting and transparent. I’m glad to see Wright has no illusions about the way he was treated.

I found that whole episode to be a perfect example of the lack of real human beings in politics. There are only personifications of opinion polls. Real people get thrown under the bus.

Living Antimilitarism in the Kink Community

I wrote this for FetLife a few months ago, but I thought it would fit just as well here.


I’ve been wondering lately how to best respond to the assumption that I support and respect the police and military. Messages of support for the troops are seen by so many as apolitical, when I experience them as anything but. As an anarchist and pacifist, the insinuation that others act on the myth of redemptive violence on my behalf is not simply insulting, it turns my stomach. Being in the kink scene offers its own unique difficulties in dealing with this.

So much of the current BDSM culture has its roots in leather culture, which in turn has roots in the military and military culture. Despite not being leather myself, I recognize that it does make up a large part of and inform the BDSM culture as a whole. Beyond that, the BDSM scene is a microcosm of the larger culture it’s in, and so the prevalence of veneration of soldiers and police in the subculture is going to be seen in proportion to that in the rest of the culture. However, given the smallness of the kink scene, one runs a much greater risk by vocally opposing that veneration. Given the intimacy of what we do and what we talk about, a difference this stark could easily stand in the way of that intimacy.

So when I’m confronted with things like a celebration of a warship on my local group’s listserv (as one example), I see it has highly political, while most others see it as transcending political boundaries. It would be like if I were to send something celebrating members of the Animal Liberation Front‘s evasion of capture. How then do I remain authentically engaged while pointing out that my own foundational stories put such a celebration on par with celebrations of gang warfare and mafia extortion? Is this a situation where it’s best to let sleeping dogs lie? I don’t think so, as it only encourages the assumption that everyone buys into the myth of redemptive violence. But with such a charged topic, to simply say that I oppose state violence and am offended by it means that I’ll likely end up either enduring a string of invective meant to show me how very wrong I am or have to explain a hundred different points that lead up to my own pacifism before we’re even able to find common ground from which to dialogue.

It’s tough. And since I do value individuals who have been in the military, explaining the line between respecting them as individuals and not respecting the institution they gave themselves over to is very tricky and fraught with pitfalls. To refrain from doing so, however, feels as though I’m being inauthentic, and not giving my real, full self to the relationship and the dialogue, and to do that feels like a worse fate than risking offense.

Prayer

My friends know I’m a religious person. I’m pretty open about my faith, and it’s a big part of my life. As such they often feel comfortable asking me to pray for them, and I’m happy to do so. Sometimes I wonder, though, how much I should disclose about what that means to me.

God is not the big fix-it man in the sky. There is no master plan. And no, not everything happens according to God’s will. God doesn’t cure cancer or save children in plane crashes.

Many people seem to see the world in terms of a never-ending stream of terrible things. Disease, disaster and human cruelty are enough to convince many that there can’t possibly be a God, because if there were, God wouldn’t allow those things to happen.

I see the world as a series of beautiful moments, and no matter how much we try to destroy those, they continue to exist. In the lowest points of human existence there is still beauty and love. There is a thread running through existence that holds everything together despite all the disease, disaster and cruelty. That thread is where we find God.

My faith, then, is not that everything happens for the best in a plan that’s too big for me to understand. It’s not that God is in control, nor that God will give rewards for obedience or petitions.

My faith is that no matter what, God will not abandon creation. In the midst of fear, death and destruction there is trust, life and creation. There is beauty. There is that of God in each of us, and in everything around us.

So if you ask me to pray, I will pray. I will pray that you are aware of God’s presence. That life beyond a life touches you. That you see the light in the dark. That you know that through all eternity God has loved you, and in every moment is with you, hurting with you, crying with you, laughing with you and raging with you. And God will not let go.

And so I don’t pray for God to heal you, but I pray that God find a way to make you aware of the divine surrounding you to feed your hope. I pray that you know love.