The Magazine

Remember Rev. Wright?

A colleague of his has just been added to the roster of the Obama administration.

Feb 23, 2009, Vol. 14, No. 22 • By MEGHAN CLYNE
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

By tapping the likes of Moss to help steer his faith-based policies, Obama could be using the White House to "translate the energy" of black churches into "creating lasting institutions" of left-wing political agitation. A look at the other members of the advisory council certainly supports this interpretation. Vashti McKenzie is another proponent of black liberation theology, and another friend and defender of Jeremiah Wright who has preached at Trinity United. Jim Wallis also publicly supported Wright and has even been an inspiration to the reverend. In his National Press Club speech, Wright quoted Wallis as saying "America's sin of racism has never even been confessed, much less repented for." In an earlier life, Wallis once said he hoped "more Christians will come to view the world through Marxist eyes." In recent years he has settled for working through congressional Democrats, helping them make their policies more palatable to people of faith. Wallis has been joined in that task by Rabbi David Saperstein--another prominent liberal and member of the new faith-based advisory council.The council looks like nothing so much as an attempt to build a powerful political grassroots network to advance the liberal causes dear to Obama's heart.

The ironic humor in the whole thing is that back when it was President Bush's White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, Moss warned other pastors:

Sometimes the king will call you up even out of your dungeon and ask: "Is there any word from the Lord?" .  .  . If we are tied to the stuff of the king, it is difficult to tell the president--or the king [laughter]--it's difficult. .  .  . It's difficult if you are tied to a "faith-based grant" [more laughter] and your whole sustaining budget is contingent upon the next appropriation. When the question comes up, "Is there any word from the Lord?" you might have to say, "Wait, let me check with the board. Let me check with the budget committee."

Now that he is in a position to shape where those faith-based grants go, one suspects Moss will be singing a different tune.

Meghan Clyne is a writer based in Washington, D.C.