I have written several times before, as have others (here and here by ArchPundit plus here by Pastor Dan), about the anti-Christianism emanating from conservative Illinois Review editor Fran Eaton when it comes to her perverse discussions of the church where her apparent nemesis Sen. Barack Obama worships, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.
Trinity United is hardly different from any other Christian church around the world. It is community-focused and reflects its congregation, to be sure, but that is no different than any other house of worship. In fact, in recent weeks, there was a great outpouring of sympathy throughout Chicagoland for Trinity United as their energetic and joy-filled choir director was found murdered under mysterious circumstances.
Ms. Eaton herself is both a self-proclaimed "Christian" (which is odd given how staunchly she opposes this one church) and is also rabidly anti-Obama. She was an Alan Keyes campaigner in 2004 when he packed his Maryland bags and ran for Senate against Obama here in Illinois. She also opposed then-State Sen. Obama for many years before his US Senate run on issue after issue in Springfield.
Unfortunately for those who value honest debate Ms. Eaton's biases are leading her to infopimp twisted hokum that just isn't true and, despite the fact honest Americans have repeatedly pointed this out, she is continuing to do so. Perhaps the glare of the spotlights is too appealing as she plays the part of publicity hound busily burying bones of out-of-context hooey here, there and everywhere she can.
To put it bluntly, Ms. Eaton is diametrically opposed to Sen. Obama and would be happy to tear him down any way she can and in the wake of his big Iowa win and close New Hampshire second, several more conservative media outlets are all too happy to help her continue to shovel her bull.
She began last year by originally using the hyperbole that Trinity United espoused "black supremacy" and is "racist" among other choice words. The local Star Newspaper group even gave her a forum for publishing her strange ramblings to a wider audience than the narrowcasted conservative blog Illinois Review allows (there's that gosh-darned [not so] "liberal" media again). Many in that newspaper's audience were nonplussed.
In fact, it was one of her newspaper columns which touched off this peculiar series of anti-Christian infopimping that she is all too happy to continue. From the original Fran Eaton column in the local Chicago suburban Star Newspapers:
"It is troubling that his church’s doctrine may demand he promote affirmative action, racial quotas, reparations, bussing and more government programs dependent upon skin color."
Of course, nowhere in any Trinity United material is any of this actually "promoted", despite these claims from staunchly conservative Ms. Eaton. Besides, I'm sure all the white folks who worship at Trinity United (there are several white congregants) would be just as surprised to learn of these things as other honest folks are. Indeed, Trinity United's head pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is opposed to any notion of "supremacy" whatsoever and isn't afraid to say so.
Oddly, Ms. Eaton claims that the fact Rev. Wright has written a series of tenets called the "Black Values System" is some sort of evidence of her non-existent black supremacy movement at the church. Yet, in reading what those values actually are they appear to be little different in tone than the "conservative values" espoused by Ms. Eaton* herself as I explained in an earlier post on the topic:
Is there a place for such nattering nabobs of negativity in today’s partisan political marketplace? Apparently yes, as Fran Eaton’s Chicken Little cries of “racist church” continue to be echoed throughout conservativedom with constant drips and drabs of “some say Sen. Obama’s church is racist” sprinkled throughout conservative talk shows and publications.
Here, again, is another quarter for the Clue Bus: “middleclassness” (like the rest of the 12-points at TUCC) is a way for the church to encourage its congregants to rise above the base material-centered world and become engaged in a Christ-centered fellowship of responsibility and accountability.
And here I thought that was what the so-called social conservatives also wanted to encourage — anti-materialism, responsibility for one’s self and a Christ-filled life.
Unfortunately, in their blind partisan zealotry they’d rather spout off anti-Christian fiction about a church they don’t like just because one of its members happens to be running for president. (Can you imagine the fire and brimstone if the coin were flipped and partisan liberals repeatedly lied about Pres. Bush’s church like this?)
Ms. Eaton has since ratcheted down her heated rhetoric (barely) as she began to attract the publicity she sought. Such "liberal" (not) media icons as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity picked up the malarkey on their TV shows... malarkey ultimately traced back to Ms. Eaton herself. And even supposedly neutral outlets like CNN ("Is Sen. Barack Obama's church racist?") and dead tree media like the Chicago Tribune ("...South Side church's tenets spark criticism...") and USA Today ("Activist Obama church enters spotlight") have helped Ms. Eaton infopimp the non-controversy by distributing stories based on her twisted interpretation of Trinity United.
For one thing, all churches by their very nature are "activist". For another, all churches promote their "values". Finally, as explained above, all churches promote the notion that congregants ought to better both themselves and their communities. In these regards, Barack Obama's Trinity United is no different in its efforts than Fran Eaton's church.
So there must be some other reason for Ms. Eaton to be so adamant in her promotion of these racially-tinged fallacies about Trinity United Church of Christ.
ArchPundit believes it may have something to do with the fact Trinity's Rev. Wright opposes Pres. Bush and his failed policies (which have been none too kind to America's black communities). Ms. Eaton is a staunchly partisan Bush supporter willing to go toe to toe with anyone to defend "W".
Others allude to the notion Ms. Eaton, as white as wonder bread, is trying to tell black folks "how they should speak, act, and think". If this is the case it would, obviously, be a subtle form of racism stemming from some superiority complex. To be honest, though, I've only ever seen ignorance of racial matters from her (ie, she's simply blissfully unaware of what some black Americans have to endure even to this day) -- not blatant racism. That said, Ms. Eaton clearly thinks her outside-the-mainstream beliefs are superior to all others and will often brook almost no difference of opinion.
It may also be related to the fact many conservatives do not consider the United Church of Christ to be a "real" denomination or, at the least, to be too "liberal" a denomination. I wonder if these same partisans actually think Christ cared about politics and partisanship?!
Bottom line, Ms. Eaton is promoting this schlock not out of respect for Christianity (clearly, far from it) but because she is conservative and Obama is not. Her partisanship has blinded her to the fact that she is attacking her fellow Christians (that is, if she actually can even still be considered Christian given the false witness she is bearing in her quest for publicity and self-promotion).
For more debunking of conservatives' baloney about Obama,visit:
- Snopes.com (neutral fact checking resource)
- Media Matters for America (media fact checking resource, debunking conservative partisans' fallacies)
- Halfrican Revolution (an individual citizen's blog)
* - By way of explanation, Ms. Eaton is on the staff of the linked United Republican Fund (linked above as reference to conservative "values"). URF annually publishes their "values scorecards" to track legislators. Apparently even conservative white people like Ms. Eaton have what they consider to be "values"....
Disclosure: I'm supporting Barack Obama and have done some minor volunteer work for his campaigns in Illinois (both for Senate in 2004 and President in 2007/8).
c/p at Illinois Reason, Daily Kos, and Prairie State Blue
UPDATE: Ms. Eaton replies, more on that later over at Illinois Reason. Take her reply for what it's worth (not much considering she finds the fact others consider her "vapid" to somehow be insulting).