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Real Answers™
Copyright: © 2008 Gary Hardaway
575 words


By: Gary Hardaway

When Catholic priest Michael Phleger used the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ to mock Hillary Clinton and inflame black hatred of whites, he, like Jeremiah Wright before him, disgraced his office and his calling. Worse, he performed this disgusting behavior in the name of Jesus Christ.

Remember Christ? The one who taught us to love one another, not mock one another? The one who taught us to forgive our enemies, not loathe them? The one who prayed, “Father, forgive them . . .” concerning the soldiers who nailed him to a cross and the howling mob who egged them on?

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has suspended the delinquent priest for two weeks, during which he is instructed to reflect on his remarks. Phleger has apologized, but, considering his outrageous spiritual malpractice, is that enough?

I don’t think so. If he were my pastor, I’d demand that he resign and not be allowed to serve in any ministry until much evidence of repentance accumulated over time.

Almost equally disheartening was the response of the Trinity audience. Thousands of people whooped and hollered with almost orgasmic glee as Phleger regaled them with his racism – a racism they obviously shared. The church itself has been subverted and perverted by an ominous spirit that Phleger stoked with skillful rhetoric.

Michael Phleger, Jeremiah Wright, and John Cone, who claim to be Christians, and Louis Farrakhan, head of the nation of Islam, preach that white America is thoroughly evil.  No forgiveness, no redemption is possible for such sinners. Jews also come in for similar bashing.

For years, these provocateurs have been dispensing their venom in relative obscurity. Only recently have they come to national attention. Most Americans –who bear no ill will toward neighbors of a different color -- are shocked and astonished by the horrific accusations hurled at them. They are doubly shocked by the spectacle of thousands lending their voices to the pandemonium.

As effective as these subversive leaders are, they could not succeed without cultural help. They receive it from likeminded teachers in public schools. Under the banner of multiculturalism, activists have infused some sectors of K-12 education with radical anti-American, anti-Western ideology.

Irving Kristol, a careful student of the ideological landscape, describes the movement as “an effort to persuade minority students to be contemptuous of and hostile to America and Western civilization as a whole.” Our cultural heritage is “interpreted as an age-old system of oppression, colonialism, and exploitation . . . . Under the guise of multiculturalism, their ideas . . .  are infiltrating our educational system “at all levels” (emphasis mine).

Certainly many – perhaps most -- advocates of multiculturalism are motivated by good intentions. Some versions instill useful knowledge and positive attitudes toward America’s diverse ethnicities. But the extremists have no use for the mild-mannered or merely tolerant. They bully opponents into submission and silence, mainly by accusations of “racism.”

The result is tragic: the warping and subversion of the minds of young students. Such manipulation leaves them helpless against demagogues and tyrants. It also fuels social pathologies – lawlessness, sexual anarchy, family breakdown, alcoholism, drug addiction, fatherless children, and racial enmity.

The black community needs true Christian ministers with a message of redemption, an ethic of reconciliation, and an agenda of moral righteousness. In other words, authentic representatives of Jesus. In South Chicago’s Trinity Church, such ministry has been woefully lacking. It’s a crying shame.


Gary Hardaway is executive director of Summit School of Ministry in Northwest Washington. He holds a Ph. D in foundations of education and is a member of the National Association of Scholars.  He has taught in universities in the USA, Lithuania and Canada. "Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091;

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