Thirty Pieces of Silver From the Pulpit
By Erick Posted in 2008 | Michael Pfleger | Obamafiles | Rev. Wright | Trinity United Church of Christ — Comments (13) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
CNN is reporting that Barack Obama is leaving Trinity United Church of Christ. It is a little late for that. He has been there for twenty years. Why is he leaving all of a sudden? Is it because there is another untold story out there? Does he suspect the media will stop covering his connections to Wright and Pfleger if he now throws the church under the bus? The way the media operates, he is probably right. But I suspect there is one more untold story out there about Obama, Wright, Pfleger, and Trinity.
Anyone who has ever run a political campaign objectively knows there is a double standard between Democrat and Republican campaign activities in churches.
Were a Republican to go into a church and pass a hat for campaign dollars, he'd be thrown out and the IRS would swarm through the church doors to yank the church's non-profit status.
With Democrats, very typically fundraising goes on hand in hand with campaigning from the pulpit. Witness Reverend Pfleger's comments from the pulpit about Hillary Clinton. Witness also the $250,000.00 in tax payer funds that Barack Obama secured for Rev. Pfleger's church. Had it been, for example, Jim DeMint or Tom Coburn getting that money for their church, Barry Lynn and Kathryn Kolbert would be sending out their great hordes of lawyers to put an immediate stop to it.
Let me let you in on a little secret -- I've been known to run a Democrat race or two in my time. These are local races where, in Georgia at least, some Democrats are more conservative than some of the Republicans. And these local campaigns involve a lot of connections with a lot of pastors, particularly in the black community.
I generally give an initial piece of advice to non-partisan and Democratic candidates running for office: get into the black churches early and often. Every other constituency comes after the pastors. The pastors are the gate keepers between the candidate and the congregation. The pastors can turn out the money in the congregations that have it, like Trinity United Church of Christ, or, particularly in the rural south, the pastors can turn out the votes. I know of pastors endorsing from the pulpit. I know some pastors whose churches are broadcast on television who will keep their congregation until after the camera go off and open up about preferred candidates. Some times they do it with the cameras on hedging their bets that the IRS will not do anything.
Given the video we have seen of Reverend Wright and Reverend Pfleger stumping for Obama from the pulpit and given their high level of political engagement on his behalf, I suspect that they have raised money from within the church walls for Barack Obama.
Every candidate of every party goes into the heart of the community to campaign and raise money. Largely for historic reasons, in the black community the heart of that community is the pulpit. So how much money did Reverend Wright and Reverend Pfleger raise for Barack Obama behind their pulpits?