"Mitt Romney was constantly challenged about the tenets of his Mormon faith and its past treatment of blacks, and finally under pressure had to give a speech in which he discussed the influence of his religious beliefs on his political actions.Barack Obama says on the campaign trail that his campaign transcends race, but he has refused to discuss beyond cursory comments what he thinks about his own pastor's wild hate speech -- speech that includes dark racial overtones.
Mr. Obama has attended the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for some 20 years, and has attended countless sermons there. But when a Jewish group in Ohio confronted him with a list of outrageous statements by Rev. Wright, including calling on blacks to sing 'God Damn America' for giving the minority community drugs and engaging in "state terrorism," Mr. Obama more or less waved away the objections.
'I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial,' he told the group. He said Rev. Wright 'is like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with,' adding that everyone has someone like that in their family.
Mr. Obama won't comment specifically on Rev. Wright's denunciations of the United States, but he did authorize a campaign aide to say that he 'repudiated' those comments.
But in presidential politics, that won't be good enough. In a summary of Wright sermons that Ron Kessler offers in today's Wall Street Journal, it's clear that Mr. Obama's pastor has done far more than merely speak favorably of Louis Farrakhan.
On the Sunday after 9/11, Rev. Wright mounted his pulpit and claimed that the U.S. itself had brought on the attacks because of its own history of terrorism. 'We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,' he told his congregation. 'God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human.'
At some point, in some venue, Mr. Obama is going to have to give a speech directly addressing his longtime pastor's views and answering a simple question: Why didn't he find another church that didn't include a leader who so frequently engaged in such hate speech?"
-- WSJ's John Fund