Scrabbling For Any Bit of Red Meat They Can Grasp

It looks as if the Big Edwards Blogger Brou-Ha-Ha (hereafter referred to as BEBB) has created a few unfortunate side effects in its wake. One of these is the apparent re-emergence of Tucker Carlson, human weasel, as yet another soldier in the wingnut battle to turn pointless alarmism into "news." I haven't been compelled to watch video of his smirking yapper on the teevee for a long time; I thought if I avoided his "show," I would see the last of him. No such luck. Apparently, after giving Bill "secular Jews" Donohue a chance to yowl his filth unchallenged, and when his name was actually mentioned in the media outside of his total vacuum of a show, he got the vapors and decided to pull an Ann Coulter.

Let's see... everyone on the Right seems to loathe this Barack Obama character... if I say something... completely absurd and asinine, and don't... listen to my guest... I just... might... break... free of this show! (Said in the original Shatner.)

Well, playing the religious card worked well once this week; how about twice?

Tucker Carlson on Obama's church: "[I]t's hard to call that Christianity"

Ah, I see we're completely ignoring the "thin ice" signs today! Into the drink with you!
During the "Obameter" segment on the February 7 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, host Tucker Carlson criticized Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), a presumptive candidate for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, for being a member of a church that Carlson claimed "sounds separatist to me" and "contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity," a subject Carlson said he was "actually qualified to discuss." Carlson was referring to the "Black Value System" advocated by the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, of which Obama is a member. A February 6 Chicago Tribune article reported that "conservative critics have seized on Trinity's 12-point Black Value System, especially the portion relating to 'middleclassness,' as evidence that Obama is a divisive candidate who rejects mainstream American values and is primarily focused on the black community." Carlson pointed to the "disavowal of the pursuit of 'middleclassness' " in the church's tenets, calling the church's mission a "racially exclusive theology" and "a theology that ministers to one group of people, based on race." Carlson claimed that Trinity's theology is "racially exclusive" and "wrong," adding that "it's hard to call that Christianity."
I see that by my "Tuckometer," we've lifted above "smear," and gone into "throwing wild punches." When you actually look at the Black Value System, it isn't the big bugaboo that Carlson would have us think. Nowhere in the document does it state that its ethics should be adhered to while denying any other group the same opportunities. Carlson would have us believe that working to strengthen one's own community, a community that has been discriminated against and oppressed, is somehow separatist.

Check out how scaaaaaary this is:
Commitment to the Black Community
The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of substance to the strength and continuity of the Black Community.
Commitment to the Black Family
The Black family circle must generate strength, stability, and love despite the uncertainty of externals, because these characteristics are required if the developing person is to withstand warping by our racist competitive society.
Those Blacks who are blessed with membership in a strong family unit must reach out and expand that blessing to the less fortunate, especially to the children.
Shriek! Scream! Run and hide!

In a shocking move, Carlson actually had a guest on that could speak intelligently about this "controversy," and Carlson proves he's another expert in the fine Conservative club of television hosts that listen without listening.
CARLSON: ...So Barack Obama is a member of a church called Trinity United Church of Christ. It's a predominantly black church in Chicago, that espouses something called the "Black Value System," which includes calls for congregants to be "soldiers for black freedom" and a, quote, "disavowal of the pursuit of middleclassness." Now, it would seem to me, Tom, not to make a broad sweeping statement here, but a racially exclusive theology, a theology that ministers to one group of people, based on race, kind of contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity, and is worth talking about. Wouldn't you say?

ANDREWS: Well, let's look at what those values actually are. We're talking about hard work, self-reliance, belief in God, and if you have made it to the middle class, you have an obligation to those who have not. Now, those sound like pretty good values to me, black, white, or whatever, and I think that Barack Obama should not be ashamed of having those values and being part of a church.

CARLSON: Again, those are great values, that I, you know, that I hope I embody.

Wait for it... wait for it.... FACE!
CARLSON: However, it's the word before them, black. It's making them racially specific. Again, Christianity -- this is something that I am actually qualified to discuss -- is, it seems to me, almost explicitly anti-racial. The idea is that we are all equal in the eyes of God. And when you espouse a theology that is racially exclusive, as this appears to be, it's hard to call that Christianity. I think it's pretty easy to call it wrong.
Oh, for the luvva crumb cake. First, how is Carlson "actually qualified" to discuss Christianity? Does he have a degree in religious studies that I don't know about? Or is it just that he goes to church? Second, is it really that difficult to understand that this isn't an attempt to be separatist, but to work on furthering your own community? If anything crushes the Obama bid for the Presidency, it's going to be the weight of strawmen.

Just smell the privilege:
ANDREWS: Well, I don't think it's exclusive. I don't see anything exclusive about it. This is a church --

CARLSON: Soldiers for black freedom? How about -- what about soldiers for freedom for everybody. What does that mean?
Well, Tucker... if you'd actually read the document you're sputtering over:
Commitment of God
“The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activist, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind.
Emphasis mine. Stupidity yours. Serenity now.
CARLSON: I think this is fair, because I think this is -- trust me. I think a lot of opposition research, and I get a lot in my inbox -- it's crap -- but I ignore it, because who cares. But this is interesting because Obama has spoken so forcefully and so often about his own faith, and held up his membership in a Christian denomination as evidence of the pureness of his heart. He said, "Look, I'm a Christian, OK, period." So it's fair to take a look at his theology. And, you know, I like Barack Obama, and I don't think he's a scary guy, but this stuff sounds separatist to me, I have to say.
Fine. So take a look at his theology. Your own guest has pointed out that the values of this church are "great values" and "nothing to be ashamed of," which you agreed with, immediately after you stated that they contradict Christianity.

So what is it, Tucker? Is Obama not Christian? Or is he not the right kind of Christian?

Perhaps Carlson should be removing the speck in his own eye, before he begins digging in the sockets of Barack Obama.

And he just broke my Tuckometer.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus