Obama’s Mentor’s Mentor

By Lee Cary, The American Thinker

The influence of the black liberation theology of James H. Cone appears in the political philosophy of Barack Obama as well as in the recent controversial statement about national pride made by Michelle Obama.

The spiritual role that Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ (UCC) and its just-retired pastor Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright have played in the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama is well-established, as is the Africentric theology that is the cornerstone of the church’s self-proclaimed identity.

One largely unexamined element of that Africentric theology, though, is the pivotal role that black liberation theologian Dr. James H. Cone, Professor of Systematic Theology, Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and his 1969 book Black Theology & Black Power, have played in the life of that faith community. Examining Cone’s theology may enlighten us on Barack’s political philosophy and Michelle’s recently controversial statement about not having been proud of her country until the favorable reception to her husband’s candidacy.

The Trinity UCC website was updated early this year. Before that, Cone’s book was singled out as required reading for Trinity parishioners who wished to more thoroughly understand the church’s theology and mission. That highlighting was removed. Jason Byassee, of The Christian Century Magazine, wrote this about Cone and Trinity in May, 2007:

    “There is no denying, however, that a strand of radical black political theology influences Trinity [UCC]. James Cone, the pioneer of black liberation theology, is a much-admired figure at Trinity. Cone told me that when he’s asked where his theology is institutionally embodied, he always mentions Trinity. Cone’s groundbreaking 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power announced: “The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people. . . . All white men are responsible for white oppression. . . . Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’. . . Any advice from whites to blacks on how to deal with white oppression is automatically under suspicion as a clever device to further enslavement.” Contending that the structures of a still-racist society need to be dismantled, Cone is impatient with claims that the race situation in America has improved. In a 2004 essay he wrote, “Black suffering is getting worse, not better. . . . White supremacy is so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it. It claims not to exist, even though black people are dying daily from its poison” (in Living Stones in the Household of God).”

CONTINUE

February 25, 2008 | 1 Comment »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. Liberation theology views the world as made up of the oppressed and the oppressors. The former are the blacks and the Palestinians and the latter are the Whites and the Jews.

    Barack and Michelle Obama joined their church Trinity UCC, because of this theology.

    This is not an American mentality. It is a revolutionary socialistic movement that has no place in America.