"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The excesses of Chicago community activist Fr Michael Pfleger – the white Catholic priest-turned-Angry Black Man – are more widely known today than they were eight years ago when the university at which I worked hosted him as speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Scholarship Banquet.
I was there to cover the dinner for the house organ. We always ran an account of the speech at the MLK Dinner. But not that year: Fr Pfleger's remarks were so intemperate and demagogic that I prevailed on my office not to run them, and we didn't.
I no longer have my notes from that night, but you can get a flavor of Fr Pfleger's oratorical style in this YouTube clip of him preaching at his friend Rev Wright's church.
He was more subdued the night I heard him, but you get the gist of his message. It was clear to me that night eight years ago that Fr Pfleger was a real piece of work.
Here is an excerpt from a Chicago Sun Times interview in 2004:
GG: Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?
OBAMA:Well, my pastor [Wright] is certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for. I have a number of friends who are ministers. Reverend Meeks is a close friend and colleague of mine in the state Senate. Father Michael Pfleger is a dear friend, and somebody I interact with closely.
GG:Those two will keep you on your toes.
OBAMA: And they're good friends. Because both of them are in the public eye, there are ways we can all reflect on what’s happening to each of us in ways that are useful. I think they can help me, they can appreciate certain specific challenges that I go through as a public figure.
I sat through one night of Fr Pfleger with great difficulty. Obama took his family to sit through this sort of thing at Rev Wright's church every Sunday for 20 years.
Is it "guilt by association" to note the "good friends" like Fr Pfleger, Rev Wright, and Bill Ayers with whom Sen. Obama has surrounded himself, and whose friendship helped make his political rise in Chicago possible?