Readers write about Obama's speech and Burmese gemstones.
Reactions to Obama's speech on race
Regarding the March 19 article, "Obama seeks to clarify his views on race": Sen. Barack Obama's evasive speech did little to allay the concerns of the American public. Although he claimed to be absent with respect to some specific "sermons," Senator Obama could not have been ignorant of the overall hateful message of a church that he had been a member of for two decades.
Regarding the March 19 article, "Remarks by Barack Obama: 'A more perfect union'": I appreciated Senator Obama's refusal to entirely condemn and wash his hands of Pastor Jeremiah Wright. In a political discourse that is too often cast in black and white terms, he carefully separated the clearly offensive moments from the good that Mr. Wright has done, showing us by example how we can lift up our neighbors with whom we sometimes disagree and learn to work together for our common goals.
Regarding the March 21 article, "Obama speech opens up race dialogue": Although I acknowledge Senator Obama's loyalty and love for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on a personal level, I am uncomfortable with his decision to remain affiliated with Mr. Wright's church. Actions speak louder than words.
I went through a similar experience of having to make a choice on loyalty versus integrity. My children attended a Christian preschool and I came to respect the pastor in charge of the school to the point of allowing myself to attend his Sunday services. After I listened to his messages and recognized that some of his beliefs were out of alignment with my values and belief system, I stopped attending.
His messages, rooted in judgment, anger, and fear, contradicted what I wanted to instill in my children: tolerance, love, forgiveness, and acceptance. However, to this day, the pastor and I remain friends on a personal level.
I would have been out of the realm of integrity had I continued to be a member of the congregation and by my mere presence affirm agreement with the pastor's belief system.