The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

On Wright, Wrong, and My African American Religious Experience

I’ve kinda stayed out of the tussles regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Until now.

Had the honor and privilege to demonstrate with Free Republic outside the National Press Club while Rev. Wright was giving a speech there. (Actually, the highlight of the day was getting to meet Cornel West). The best recount is from Jonn at This Ain’t Hell.

Some excerpts from Wright’s speech:

If you heard the whole sermon, first of all, you heard that I was quoting the ambassador from Iraq. That’s number one.

But, number two, to quote the Bible, “Be not deceived. God is not mocked. For whatsoever you sow, that you also shall reap.” Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.

Our congregation has sent dozens of boys and girls to fight in the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, and the present two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. My goddaughter’s unit just arrived in Iraq this week, while those who call me unpatriotic have used their positions of privilege to avoid military service, while sending —over 4,000 American boys and girls of every race to die over a lie.

Now, I’m just confused.

First off, Rev. Wright’s “the ambassador from Iraq”-who made the initial statement that the events of 9/11 were the result of “America’s chickens coming home to roost-“was actually a former U.S. ambassador, Edward Peck. Maybe a factual slip, but okay.

What throws me here is how Wright equates having a family member-not even by direct relation!!-and members of his former congregation serving in Iraq as a measure of his patriotism. Um….last I checked, the military was an all volunteer force. The reality would then be that no one was “sent” anywhere by Wright or Trinity UCC.

Secondly-and I made this statement yesterday over at JJP-anyone who would equate the United States as being a nation that practices terrorism is beyond stupid. We haven’t done things like kill millions of our citizens just for voicing opposition or use chemical weapons on our own citizens. THOSE are actions of terrorist states.

Now, is that to say America is not without its issues? Of course not. You name me a country on this earth that hasn’t thrown someone under the bus at one point or another, and I’ll show you a figment of your imagination. What makes America different-and great-is that we have learned from our mistakes, made attempts to right the wrongs, and-probably most importantly-chosen not to dwell on them, but to look forward to what greatness is to come.

It intrigues me how the whole Wright saga has been made into an attack on the African American church. I remember growing up in my home church-Trinity Baptist in Richmond-and hearing all sorts of calls to activism. I still hear these calls today at the church I attend now. And there’s nothing wrong with that: of any organization in existence today, none has a better understanding of what goes on in the black community than the churches that pull their membership from that community. They are truly the “boots on the ground” in most inner cities.

However, the church-black, white, or otherwise-is supposed to be the one place you can go to escape the sort of racial divide that Wright’s sermons widen. And the church should be the LAST place you should ever expect to hear political statements being made from. One, it’s against the law (in that it violates rules surrounding the tax free status of churches). Secondly, it goes against the very nature of what the church is supposed to be-a healing place for everyone. The Jesus I was taught about was neither a democrat nor a Republican; He didn’t take a stand for or against the government of his day.

A final thought.

I am an African American. I am also a conservative. The two are not mutually exclusive, nor are they contradictory. I do not get paid to show up at rallies for organizations that I participate with (wish I did, so I could stop using my vacation time).

I’m not privileged; I struggle with life just like probably 90% of the rest of the world. What draws me to conservatism is the sense of personal responsibility. If you do well, you prosper. Your life is about what YOU make it, not what the government can give to you. I would rather bust my ass and have little to show for it, than be handed the whole world and having to give nothing in return.

If you disagree, fine; you’re entitled.

But there’s damn good reasons for why I believe what I believe. And if you don’t know those reasons, you’re best not trying to figure out my motives.




Written by Coby Dillard

April 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

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