Not Wright: Black Man Damns US and Gets Vilified, White Man Calls for Nuking Cities and Gets Applauded
Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama has received copious criticism for the sermons of Obama's long-time (now former) pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Frank Schaeffer, son of seminal Christian right leader and author Francis Schaeffer, suggests there's a double standard at play which is both hypocritical and racist. But beyond Schaeffer's point is the sheer extremity of hate speech from the American right and religious right; at an October 2006 conference held by the Family Research Council in Washington DC, to thunderous applause, I heard Former US Secretary of Education William Bennett call for the incineration of entire Iraqi cities, for the crimes of a few. There were major religious and political figures present and no one, to my knowledge, objected in the slightest. If pastor Jeremiah Wright had called for the collective punishment of US municipalities in which racially-motivated murders had occurred, by incinerating their populations with tactical nuclear weapons or napalm, it is highly likely Barack Obama would have withdrawn his current presidential bid and might even have stepped down from his Senate seat. That is the state of American discourse, circa 2008. Hate speech is OK for whites, not blacks, and not Wright.
Frank Schaeffer is uniquely placed to level the following critique concerning the American's right's, and the mainstream media's, excoriation of Barack Obama because of condemnation of America from Obama's ex-pastor Wright. As Schaeffer wrote in an March 16, 2008 op-ed, "When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr." Frank Schaeffer walks right up to the accusation - that it is hypocritical and it is racist.
Frank's father Francis Schaeffer thought "humanism always leads to chaos" and, as a seminal Christian thinker who studied under the Presuppositionalist theologian Cornelius Van Til along with R. J. Rushdoony, Schaeffer went on to write works in the 1970's such as The Christian Manifesto that helped inspire a radical politicization on the American Christian right which has transformed American politics. But Schaeffer's son Frank, groomed to follow in his father's footsteps, eventually took a different path, as suggested by the title of his latest book Crazy For God: How I Helped Found the Religious Right and Ruin America. As Frank Schaeffer writes,