I ran across this exchange between Jeremiah Wright and Sean Hannity. Wright is the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, the home congregation of Senator Barack Obama.
The right has decided that African American Christianity is a form of separatism. A quote by Wright: "The African-centered point of view does not assume..separatism. It assumes Africans speaking for themselves as subjects in history, not objects in history."
What does it mean to be a subject, not an object? That's a concept worth exploring, but obviously Hannity and Colmes was not the place to do it. It becomes clear how few avenues exist to meaningfully talk about religion and philosophy in a public forum today. That's a shame.
That became evident when Wright pressed Hannity on his knowledge and background with black liberation theology. How is it that in the media it is possible to make a number of definitive claims about a subject, particularly religion without any background.
There was a time when the media would go to a Tillich or a Niebuhr when raising a religious question. Now background on religion or philosophy is not needed to make pronouncements on these subjects. Any politician, any scientist, heck Ann Coulter will do.
That's unfortunate. Not just because it feeds into a negative view of religion in this country. But because it prevents any sort of honest discussion about the topic in a way which connects with the resources that are out there.