Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why William Ayers Matters

So over at Facebook, I have been having a few political back and forths with a fellow I knew in college who has become an Obamaton.

When "The One" ascends his throne in the White House next January and the despairing clouds of Bush are driven away, then we'll see the environment healed, disease banished from our shores, Democrats who governed our nation's cities with staggering incompetence will miraculously be filled with wisdom to govern without corruption, and the Hollywood elite who have been in exile from Washington these last 9 years will be free to return to the comforts of the Lincoln bedroom.

Or so you would think in our short-sighted and clueless postmodern culture with the 22-minute attention span that is easily hypnotized by luminous objects.

One of our points of contention during our interaction is the relevance of Bill Ayers, the 60s leftist terrorist who has had close associations with Obama for more than a decade. My challenger scoffed in one comment exchange that anyone who thinks he and Obama were more than just acquaintances is merely drinking the Republican Kool-aid.

Welp, contrary to this flippant brush, Obama certainly was more than an occasional neighborhood acquaintance, but carried on a close alliance with Ayers for many years as an up-and-coming Chicago politician. Stanley Kurtz of the National Review has been doing Woodward and Bernstein like investigative reporting on Obama's ties to Ayers tells how they both served on a board of directors whose sole purpose was to pass out money for community activities, including inner city educational projects. Much of the money didn't go directly to schools, but to leftist community activist groups like ACORN to use at their Marxist discretion to "radicalize" inner city communities with their anti-American propaganda. Kurtz summarized his findings on Hugh Hewitt's radio program on Monday and a transcript of that interview can be read here.

Additionally, Josephine six-pack, Sarah Palin, brought up Ayers and Obama's friendship in a speech a day or so after her debate with Biden. While she was scorned for raising a ridiculous non-issue that has been repudiated by Obama himself, Anderson Cooper of CNN aired a report on their connection that reveals a much deeper partnership than being occasional, neighborhood acquaintances. A You Tube clip of the report can be seen here. Keep in mind this is not the "biased" Fox News Network.

Now, what does any of this mean? Is it just a baseless charge to attempt to connect Obama to a man who did some so-called "terrorist" activities during the 60s? Obama was just 8 years old when Ayers was in trouble with the law as one of his advisers, Anita Dunn, points out in that CNN report. That's like 30 years ago. Besides, McCain was friends with that Keating fellow who got the government into all sorts of financial problems in the late 80s.

The McCain camp says the Ayers's connection reveals a lack of judgment on Obama's part as to who he associates with. Though I certainly agree it does reveal a profound lack of judgment on Obama's part to be aligned with a 60s era, American hating radical no matter what the setting may be, there is also severe lack of judgment on McCain's part to be taken to the cleaners in a financial scandal.

That being stated, however, there is a more fundamental difference between the two:

Whereas McCain learned from his foolish mistake and became a more aggressive financial reformer, Obama's alliance with Ayers reveals a foundational worldview perspective as to how he will pursue the political change he seeks. Moreover, the collection of characters like Ayers and his "crazy uncle" Rev. Wright show us who it has been shaping Obama's philosophical principles on life, leadership, and now government. That is why Ayers matters. Certainly Obama repudiates his violent terrorist past, but they certainly share the basic presuppositions which drive their left politics. That should be a concern for anyone with a bit of common sense.

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Blogger tdw2008 said...

First off – I enjoy vigorous political debates – so if I sound vehement, it’s only in views, not in any kind of personal way. I teach debate after all – at one of those Marxist public colleges. : )

That said, don’t call me an Obamaton and I won’t call you a Mcainazi! Actually, I voted for W. twice (I’m now ashamed to say). I was a Republican most of my life. I wasn’t even planning on voting in this election at all because I didn’t like Obama or McCain. McCain’s nomination of Palin polarized me and since then I am enthusiastically for Obama – not because I think he’s perfect or that I’m even that crazy about him. However, I do believe he is the better option in this race by far.

The tone of your post is more smart-ass than anything. Someone can support Obama over McCain without thinking all of our problems are going to go away. I’m a realist.

As for Ayers. If I felt like a nuanced discussion was possible, I’d expound – but I doubt that’s possible. We could get into discussion of rehabilitation, what he’s done for the past twenty years, etc. Even if he’s pushing Marxism as you state, at least he’s doing it within the limits of the law, is trying to help inner city kids, was voted Citizen of the Year in Chicago once, etc. Blah, blah, blah. However, I really don’t care if Ayers is repentant, a Marxist, whatever. The fact is there is no hard evidence, i.e. a blueprint for the overthrow of the US gov’t or even a freaking memo or thank you card - that there is any significant connection with he and Obama. They served on a board together – Ayers may have even thrown one party for Obama. Big deal. Obviously, Ayers is an accepted member of the political scene in Chicago. One party and one board – not exactly bosom buddies. No pics, correspondence, etc indicate much more than that. If these guys you mention turn up HARD evidence, not innuendos and the crap that is out there now, but HARD evidence, then I’ll re-evaluate my position.

Bottom line. I don’t believe Obama is a dangerous man intent on undermining the American way of life. If you do, then so be it. I don’t. Doesn’t mean I think he is any kind of savior. He’s a politician, nothing more, nothing less.

I don’t like the use of the common sense term in your post. It’s this lack of consideration that shuts down debate – or attempts to. Just because someone’s views are different than yours that doesn’t mean they haven’t taken a lot of thought to come up with them. And it doesn’t mean that a nuanced discussion can’t be had about the reasons for differing conclusions. Saying anyone who doesn’t completely agree with you has no common sense is a very Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Keith Olberman, Rush Limbaugh thing. And if that’s the kind of reasoning you like, then so be it – but it’s not for me.

You seem fixated on Marxism in a ‘conspiracy theory’ kind of way. If you subscribe to that worldview, then there’s nothing that can be done about it. It’s similar to the McCarthy era fear of Communism in my opinion.
Here’s what has turned me away from Republicans, particularly in this election–
1. Bush (which is plenty)
2. Spiritually, I have come to a point in my life where I honestly believe Jesus would be more concerned about helping people than about promoting capitalism. Capitalism is good. But it’s not the end all/be all of existence. It’s the best we’ve found so far. However, Jesus was much more of a socialist than he was a capitalist. Republicans seem only concerned for themselves – and if you can’t pull yourself up by your boostraps, then screw you. I see no sense of compassion in the Republican party.
3. Palin. I don’t like fundamentalists of any religion. I think they are somewhat unbalanced, usually fanatical, and often dangerous. Be they Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc. And hey – I went through my ‘a fanatic for Jesus’ thing. If that’s who you are as a Christian, then okay. It’s not how I experience my faith.
4. John McCain. He seems to have sunk to a low in this campaign – using horrible attack ads – allowing people to incite racism by using the Barack Hussein Obama name in introductions. Just sad to me. Yes, it’s his middle name, but we all know what they hope to do – incite a fear of Muslims and get people to vote for McCain because of it. I don’t think it’s ever good to appeal to someone’s ignorant prejudices just to get their vote. Do I think that Muslim extremists are dangerous? Yes. Do I think all Muslims are dangerous? No. But a lot of rednecks do – and that is who McCain is going after.

Guess that’s it for the moment. I suspect we are just so different that we’ll never find a particular common ground. I understand where you are coming from – I just disagree. Take Care! : )

1:57 PM, October 09, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...


Sorry to be late responding, but life and stuff has been occupying my time.

Note the main point of my post: It was asserted that Obama had just a shallow acquaintance like relationship with Ayers, and anyone who thought it was more than just that was a kool-aid drinker. Which is to imply they have been brainwashed to think in the absurd. However, the particulars of Obama and Ayers's friendship and alliance has been proven to be true, even more so now that the media has finally awakened to Ayer's significance. To claim there is no hard evidence of such a relationship is just denying reality.

Additionally, since I posted this article last Weds., even more has been revealed about Ayers's past, and he is still, to this day, the American hating leftist he has always been. To think his so-called community service with ACORN helping them radicalize inner city youth to think in Marxist ideology is to be commended and some how represents restitution for his violent past seems to be the typical naive relativism that poisons a lot of our thinking these days.

That being stated, as I noted in my post, I am much more concerned about core beliefs which shape how one interacts with the world. Ayers was not the only questionable character from Obama's past. There are many more from Rev. Wright all the way down to the Rezko fellow who just went to prison. These were individuals Obama was comfortable hanging out with and doing business, political business particularly, and such easy of acquaintance with these people demonstrates a significant black mark on not only Obama's judgment, but his overall worldview.

I am no more a "McCainazi" than I guess you think you are an "Obamaton," though one cannot deny the religious significance his supporters have attached to his character, hence the reason it is joked of him being "Lord Obama." Even Louis Farakan stated on a video that he is a messiah like figure. That is weird, don't you think?

As to whether I am responding with a conspiratorial mindset, such a notion is laughable if you have read any of my blog over the last three years where I have stated in many posts most emphatically to loathe conspiracy theories. I wrote at least three lengthy posts discussing what I call "tin-foil hat" theology that is so prevalent among fundamentalist Christians. You can locate them in my side bar. Conspiracy theories take speculative evidence and concoct an elaborate scheme to explain the way things are, 911 conspiracies being the most current example of such a meta-narrative.

Considering Barak's past associations with a known domestic terrorist, his lawyering for a leftist organization which is currently under FBI investigation in several states for committing and attempting to do election fraud (compare what they are doing to the goofy accusations against Bush in 2000), his 20 year association with a radical anti-Semitic preacher, and his involvement with a foundation that handed out money to organizations like ACORN to "educate" inner-city youth, there is plenty of "hard" evidence to draw some conclusions as to what Obama is about. This is hardly a "conspiracy theory." By the way, the McCarthy era comment is straight out of the Obama excuse handbook. Interesting how we now know McCarthy was right about a lot of his accusations.

As for the other stuff you mention, though I certainly would love for you to prove Jesus taught socialism, the one point you mention I find interesting is your dispersion of fundamentalists, which probably speaks more to your personal hang-ups with Christians in your past whom you considered more "hardshell" than you cared for. If by fundamentalists you mean to say you loathe those types of individuals I have listed under "Quack Theology" in the sidebar of my blog, I would certainly be happy to hurl insults upon them with you. If by fundamentalist you mean to say anyone who genuinely believes the Bible is an infallible, authoritative revelation from God that communicates to us God's mind so we can live rightly as His creatures, then I am that kind of fundamentalist. To equate such a conviction of faith with say, Hindu and Islamic fundamentalism, and even atheistic fundamentalism, as being all the same in bringing out the bad of religion, speaks to a truly uninformed opinion of fundamentalism in general, let alone biblical Christianity.

12:19 PM, October 13, 2008  
Blogger tdw2008 said...

Don't have much time to respond. All the Ayers stuff - I just don't care - and a lot of people are with me on this. I won't give you all the 'board funded by Republicans, etc" stuff. I'm sure you know it and have points to refute it. It just doesn't bother me - or a lot of people. And again, all i hear are stories and theories. Unless I see real evidence of a long-term relationship, I won't change my mind. There isn't even a picture of them together. It's not like they were big buds. You can work with someone and have a different worldview than them. I have done that a lot.

Guess this is where I'm coming from. I've been pretty far right in my life. Up until two years ago, I'd be right there with you on many points. Heck, I would have been there six months ago in some ways. I liked Hillary much more than Obama and Rev. Wright, etc bugged the heck out of me. But when faced with McBush (which is how I see McCain) I can get over Wright. I understand how people on the left AND right see what they want to -because I did it - and do it now. But at least I'm aware of my bias. I worry that you aren't.

On the last point- I'm quite informed on fundamentalist Christianity. It's where I came from and how I was raised. Individually, great people. Collectively, I'm not sure. As for equating them with others... If you just get down to a body count in the history of mankind - I think the Christians would be right up there with the Muslims - and way ahead of the Hindus. The fact is that I don't believe in the infallibility of the Bible - hence we will most likely never agree on most things. I do believe in Jesus. Everyone picks and chooses the verses they'd like to follow - except maybe Quakers. :) I don't really know any Quakers. So, do I have a bias against your kind of Christianity? Yeah, probably to some degree. But I don't throw it around blindly. I evaluate people individually. If that pursuit brings you joy and peace, then that's great. I have a problem when people try to push their religion on others and I don't believe in any kind of theocracy. History says those don't work without persecuting many people. All these things are very complicated and not easy explore fully. I enjoy talking about them, though I doubt much gets accomplished. I just find it strange when people think they REALLY know all the answers about Ayers, elections, etc. And everything I've heard you say is all the stuff straight from Rush, O'Reilly, Hanity, blogs, etc. Which is okay - I say a lot from the left. However, I realize that that perspective is a little skewed. It seems like you buy into it all whole-heartedly. I could be wrong, but that's the impression I get.
I don't think we are in any real danger of slipping into total socialism. Just as we weren't in any real danger of slipping into communism. Were there some about? Of course. In a free society there will always be - as I guess there should be if the society is free. But there weren't enough to make a true difference. McCarthy used the few there were and our fears of them for his own purposes. Which I think some do with the left (and the right).
This isn't the wild west anymore. It's a big country - some aspects of socialism help. Capitalism alone doesn't do it without leaving millions poor and hungry. Socialism alone won't do it without squelching freedom. So - mostly capitalism with a little socialism - I can live with. I want everyone to have healthcare who needs it - even those who are irresponsible - and I'm willing to give up $ to see that happen. That's the way I interpret the way Jesus would see it. Again, another complex issue. Just spouting off what comes to my mind.
I wish you the best and viva la difference! :)

10:12 PM, October 15, 2008  

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