March 20, 2008

Church Bulletin Bonus: Omid Safi and the Progressive Muslim Union (PMU)

Filed under: News from Other Sites,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:36 pm

In my Monday post relating to the weekly church bulletins of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, I mentioned that a person named Omid Safi had authored an item included in the July 8, 2007 bulletin on “Progressive Muslims.”

I originally only included a picture of the Rev. Wright’s introduction at that post.

Since then, members of the jihad-watching community recognized Safi’s name, and his organization, the Progressive Muslim Union (PMU).

There seems to be more than a little reason to doubt that the PMU is as “progressive” as it claims. Doubters with evidence include Daniel Pipes (here and here ["Omid Safi's Closed Classroom"]) and Jillosophy (warning; there is profanity in the Jillosophy comments). There are probably others who have linked over and weighed in that I have not yet detected.

Accordingly, I have uploaded all of Pages 9 and 10 from the July 8 bulletin to my host, and it can be viewed here. It contains the Reverend’s intro and Safi’s entire column.

My two cents, based on looking over what Pipes’s work, is that there are too many associations with CAIR for comfort.

But, I’ve linked, so you can decide.

Another ‘Close Religious Adviser’ to Obama Old Media Has Ignored

Illinois State Senator James Meeks has endorsed the presidential candidate I refer to as BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) for president.

Here is how James Meeks and his relationship with Obama were described in a 2004 Men’s News Daily report during Obama’s 2004 US Senate campaign:

Obama’s closest religious advisers — Fr. (Michael) Pfleger, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, and Illinois State Sen. James Meeks, who moonlights as the pastor of Chicago’s Salem Baptist Church – may have quotes from Scripture always handy, but are theologically closer to Karl Marx and black nationalism, than to Christianity.

….. According to State Sen./Rev. James Meeks’ humble, personal church Web page, “Meeks’ practical and charismatic style of instruction motivates the hearer to take action and has resulted in accomplishments of miraculous proportions.” When the good Senator/Reverend is not accomplishing miracles and other feats “never before documented in history,” he serves as the executive vice president of Jesse Jackson Sr.’s National Rainbow-Push Coalition.

The Rev. Meeks appears to have a problem similar to that of the now-infamous Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, as this excerpt from an August 2006 story at CBS Chicago shows (bolds are mine):

Rev. James Meeks made an about face and promises now that he will never use a racial slur after setting off a firestorm when he used a slur in a sermon.

CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports Meeks said the battle goes beyond language.

“I won’t use the word, but what about all of the ills that the word has caused society?” Meeks asked on WBBM Newsradio 780.

The chairman of the General Assembly’s Black Caucus says he’s “officially retiring” the “n” word from his vocabulary, just a few days after fiercely defending his use of it to denounce African-Americans with whom he disagrees.

“You’ve got some preachers that are house n——. You’ve got elected officials that are house n——. And rather than them trying to break this up, they’re going to fight you to protect that white man,” Meeks said in the sermon last month.

….. It is clear this controversy is not over.

Among other things in that controversial sermon last month, Meeks referred to unnamed white mayors and white governors, accusing them of running a lousy educational system that intentionally kept young African-American students from learning how to read and write.

Here is a YouTube video link with CBS Chicago’s story.

It’s likely that the Obama-Meeks adviser relationship has not been as close as the candidate’s relationship with Wright, and though I could find no evidence of it, Obama may have spoken out against Meeks’s ugly 2006 remarks.

But the news-related issue is why Old Media, first in the case of Jeremiah Wright, and now in the case of “close religious adviser” (and possible Illinois Senate mentor) James Meeks, never looked into their background. After all, neither man is a casual acquaintance, and a Republican or conservative candidate would never get the kind of pass Barack Obama received until the contents of certain of the Rev. Wright’s sermons were revealed.

Cross-posted, with some revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (032008)

Filed under: Business Moves,Environment,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:22 am

Humorous Headline Contrast, currently at Drudge:

DrudgePennVsFox032008

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An awesome IBD editorial on the racial divide cuts to the chase:

….. Obama is wrong to suggest that legalized discrimination still exists today. There is no conspiracy of racism in America.

The harsh truth is, much of the anger he speaks of is based on paranoia manifesting in urban legends about whites creating AIDS to kill blacks or crack cocaine to lock them up. Wright spreads these pernicious lies in Obama’s church, and Obama has rewarded him with $23,000 a year in donations, if not his own hallelujahs.

Intellectually honest blacks, such as Shelby Steele, will tell you that racism is such a distant memory that racial victimologists like Wright are now left with concocting wild-eyed conspiracy theories to maintain their power.

They see their power slipping, so “they rub racism in the face of whites,” said Steele, who like Wright and Obama hails from Chicago’s South Side.

It’s self-serving black leaders such as Wright who hold back blacks today. In fact, Steele says their victim-focused, racial-identity politics has stifled black advancement more than racism itself.

“The No. 1 black problem is not racism,” Steele says, it’s groupism and a desperate clinging to the black power movement of the ’60s.

Read the whole thing.

Taranto at Best of the Web chimed in similarly yesterday:

As for “the soul of our nation,” we have heard a lot of late about America’s need for racial reconciliation. Thanks to the Obama-Wright episode, we also have learned that racial antagonism and anti-Americanism are much more common than we would have guessed among predominantly black congregations in America.

Is this not an obstacle to reconciliation? In 21st-century America, does any greater obstacle remain?

….. here we have someone in a position of responsibility in the black community–no less than the spiritual mentor to a would-be president–who ….. made a career of promoting racial resentment. In response we hear a litany of excuses about understandable anger, a tradition of rebellion and so forth. The kindest thing that can be said about this is that it is a form of soft bigotry.

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Al Gore, call your office:

Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren’t quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

HT to Instapundit, who, echoing Matt at Weapons of Mass Discussion, says “I blame the Bush Administration.”

Positivity: Good News for the Deaf — Call an Ambulance via Cell-Text

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

Here’s a great idea being used in Israel that needs to be imported (HT “What’s the Good News?“):

Published: 02/17/08, 5:36 PM

For the first time, those who cannot communicate by phone will be able to text-message an emergency call for help.

The Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency health service has launched a new service whereby one can summon an ambulance or other medical help via cell-phone text message (also known as SMS). Until now, the only option for deaf people who could not hold a phone conversation was to summon an ambulance via fax.

Almost every Israeli is aware of the nationwide three-digit emergency numbers: 100 gets you the police, 101 reaches MDA, and 102 will alert the fire department. A new number will now be added to the array: 052-7000-101. A message indicating the caller’s name, exact address, and details of the case can be sent to this number, and it will reach MDA’s national headquarters. From there, an operator will dispatch the nearest ambulance and will respond to the caller via text-message. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.