The ranks of Sen. Barack Obama’s supporters in his bid to become president of the United States have been found to include a white priest of a mostly black church who has links to Nation of Islam chief Louis Farrakhan and an apparently low level of tolerance for the 2nd Amendment.
The supporter is Father Michael Pfleger, a white Roman Catholic priest of the predominantly African-American St. Sabrina Church on Chicago’s South Side.
Pfleger currently is listed on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign website as being one of the “people of faith” who endorse Obama’s campaign.
The endorsement includes a photo of Pfleger and a testimonial in which Pfleger compares Obama to Robert F. Kennedy, “I haven’t heard anyone since Robert F. Kennedy who is causing such an emotional awakening to the political possibilities.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, Pfleger gave Obama political contributions of $1,500 between 1995 and 2001, including $200 in April 2001, about three months after Obama announced $225,000 in grants to St. Sabina programs.
The newspaper quoted Pfleger as saying he made those donations personally, not on behalf of the church or to win grants.
Another newspaper article, this one published on July 2007 in the Christian Science Monitor, quoted Pfleger as saying he has known Obama for more than 20 years since 1985 when Obama moved to Chicago “for a job organizing impoverished South Side residents in campaigns for jobs, schools, and housing.”
Pfleger’s open support of Farrakhan also is documented easily.
According to a CBS local Chicago television report dated on May 25, 2007, Farrakhan returned to St. Sabina following serious surgery for cancer, to give an hour-long fiery speech to a packed congregation.
“The 73-year-old Farrakhan’s return to the church he visited many times before, seemingly as animated and energetic as ever, fulfilled a promise he’d made to its pastor, Father Michael Pfleger,” according to the story written by CBS reporter Jay Levine.
The CBS story included a video clip of Farrakhan’s speech to the church in which Pfleger can be seen accompanying Farrakhan into the church and seated behind Farrakhan as he gave his speech from the pulpit.
Several examples of Pfleger’s radical street protest politics also are documented fully and available for easy reference on the Internet.
It was on May 29, 2007, when Pfleger joined Jesse Jackson and his Organization Operation Push in a protest in front of Chuck’s Gun Shop in the Chicago suburb of Riverdale, in opposition to U.S. citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.
According to TheCapitalFaxBlog.com, a Chicago blog, Pfleger repeatedly used the word “snuff” in describing treatment for gun industry members or lawmakers who would oppose gun control legislation.
On the blog, Pfleger is quoted as suggesting those factions could be subject to that treatment.
The blog said the comments went “way over the top,” describing Pfleger’s comments as a “threat.”
WND calls to Pfleger’s church for a comment were not returned immediately.
But an MP3 file of Pfleger’s speech to the protest rally in front of the suburban Chicago gun shop, also archived by a blogger on the Internet, contains Pfleger’s comments in opposition to the Second Amendment, and his dismissal of people who support those rights.
In another protest speech, a video of Pfleger on YouTube.com shows him giving a candlelight speech at Jackson Square in New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2007, on which he called on President Bush to resign for having immorally invaded Iraq. He also accused the government of abandoning the African American community of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
His resulting reputation is one of being an activist priest who involves himself in protest situations and sometimes calls for direct action. Now he’s representing Obama as a kindred spirit, an activist of the profile of RFK.
It was Jan. 16, 2007, when WBBM, a news talk radio station in Chicago, reported Pfleger expressed on air a concern that Obama’s high profile could make him a target for people not able to accept an African American in power.
“I think Barack Obama is in a class of his own,” Pfleger said in the WBBM interview. “I think he is the best thing that has come across the political scene since Bobby Kennedy.”
“When anybody comes along with that much hope, whether it’s a Bobby Kennedy or whether it’s a Martin Luther King Jr., they do become vulnerable,” Pfleger said. “They become vulnerable because they tell the country and the world that we can be better and we don’t have to accept what is. And unfortunately, we live in a world where not everybody wants it to be different.”
That is why, he said, people should be concerned about Obama and his safety.
“Do not touch this man,” he told the radio audience, “for if you do, you will answer to all of us.”