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:
Obamaâ€™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 â€“ 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 Meeksâ€™ humble, personal church Web page, â€œMeeksâ€™ practical and charismatic style of instruction motivates the hearer to take action and has resulted in accomplishments of miraculous proportions.â€ When the good Senator/Reverend is not accomplishing miracles and other feats â€œnever before documented in history,â€ he serves as the executive vice president of Jesse Jackson Sr.â€™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.