Barack and Michelle Obama have a talent for choosing controversial pastors, or like most of us, perhaps they just follow their hearts to fulfill their needs. The family Easter outing was a visit to Shiloh Baptist Church, where Wallace Charles Smith has been in the pulpit since 1991. The church story of being founded by freed slaves is a wonderful one. A more current story in 2009 that Shiloh hosted The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Richard Falk, who has a deep hatred for Israel, in a three day SABEEL Conference, a seminar based on the human rights of Palestinians, is a completely different story.
The SABEEL Conference name was “Pursue Justice–Seek Peace, Framing the Discourse – Mobilizing for Action. Peace is a noble cause, and peace could be had in Palestine but they refuse to acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, so that needs to be up front in any discussion on human rights for Palestinians. The second is to consider Richard Falks’ positions, which is harshly skewed toward Jews. Note that on Day 3 of the seminar, one workshop topic was “The Obama Administration and Prospects for Peace,” and another “Dispelling Christian Zionist Arguments,” and yet another “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS), A Justice-Based Strategy of Solidarity.”
Echoes of Jeramiah Wright when he invited Hamas co-founder Musa Abu Marzook to deliver a Palestinian manifesto to the church members at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago – the Obama family home church.
David Horowitz’ NewsRealBlog reveals that Shiloh Baptist has connections throughout the Obama administration. During the SABEEL Conference, an associate minister was a White House Fellow. He won “one of only 15 coveted fellowship positions at the White House, while also serving as the Senior Political Director of [quoting NewsRealBlog] “of the far left ministry Sojourners run by Obama’s spiritual advisor Jim Wallis.” Taylor was very vocal during the Jeremiah Wright debacle and defended Wright’s “prophetic tradition.”
The group is known as Friends of Sabeel, which has spewed anti-Israel propaganda in both the United States and Europe since its founding in 1989. It has chapters in the United States and runs conferences in churches such as Shiloh Baptist Church to support the work of the Jerusalem-based Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. Among other things, they have helped spearhead the divestment campaign against Israel in churches receptive to the anti-Israel, Palestinian victimhood message.
The dinner speaker at Shiloh Baptist Church’s 2009 hate Israel conference was Rev. Naim Ateek, President and Director of the Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. It must be a small world since Obama’s spiritual advisor Jim Wallis is a great admirer of Ateek, whom he has reportedly referred to as “Palestine’s Desmond Tutu.” That makes sense since Tutu also hates Israel.
It is interesting to note that Wallace Smith’s pastorate was in trouble in 2007, and his job may have been saved by White House insiders. In 2007 after many years at Shiloh Baptist in D.C., Wallace Smith was having problems with his congregation. Church membership had dropped from 3,500 families to fewer than 1,000 persons attending worship services. The Washington Post said Smith was “at the helm of a ship in the middle of a storm.”
Smith was accused of poor management and bringing the church to a point of “financial mess,” of not being “truthful to the church and community,” of “fostering” division within the church. One member pleaded for Smith to develop a plan for “spiritual development,” to stop blocking “outside assessment to the church’s operations,” and to refrain from trying to change the constitution of the church.
According to the WAPO article, Wallace Smith prevailed and stayed at the church with the help of the Greater Washington Urban League, and “former White House officials and top aides to members of Congress.”
Smith isn’t the fiery preacher that Jeremiah Wright was, as you can see in the video below, and Smith doesn’t wear African tribal costumes, but the church enthusiastically welcomed the First Family on Easter Sunday with applause as they walked down the aisle, with the choir singing “Total Praise.”
In Sunday’s Easter service, Pastor Smith worked in some racism, via The Blaze:
“[Pastor Smith] talked about how his baby grandson’s gurgling is actually “talking” because he is saying ‘I am here … they tried to write me off as 3/5 a person in the Constitution, but I am here right now … and is saying I am not going to let anybody from stopping me from being what God wants me to be.’”
Never let the Resurrection of Christ get in the of making yourself the victim.
In the video below, Smith talks about racism. Whites are still racist. Smith mentioned young people often telling him they see no racism — “that’s for your generation,” they say. Smith isn’t even slightly moved by that. It’s never enough for Black Liberation. He says Obama’s election doesn’t solve the problem of racism. Good grief, the man goes back years. Jim Crow becomes James Crow Esquire. Talk radio is a big issue and it takes him a while but he gets around to equating Rush Limbaugh with the KKK. I believe Smith attributes “vile filth” to Limbaugh.
I hope you will click the link to the NewsRealBlog article and read about Friends of SABEEL. There is a lot of disturbing connections laid out in Joseph Klein’s article.
Wallace Charles Smith, Shiloh Baptist, on Racism (video)