If you were not enraged and insulted at the benediction delivered by the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a United Methodist minister, at the inauguration of President Barack Obama, you are either 1) ignorant, 2) were smoking something you shouldn’t, or 3) simply were not paying attention.

This is the bombshell that Lowery dropped in the last lines of his closing prayer, which ended the ceremony:

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day

when black will not be asked to get back,

when brown can stick around,

when yellow will be mellow,

when the red man can get ahead, man,

and when white will embrace what is right.

That last line all but destroyed any hope I have that Obama will be a healer and not a divider, a man not simply given to lofty rhetoric, but one who has turned a page from his racist past.

While Lowery’s little ditty was a cleaver play on words, when he prayed that “white will embrace what is right,” he implied that the white citizens of this country have and are embracing that which is wrong.

It was a deliberate insult. Furthermore, it denigrated the sacrifices made by our ancestors to rid this country of slavery. Many gave their blood and their very lives in this effort.

Slavery has been around since the beginning of recorded history. It was imported here from the mother country, but it was our “white” Founding Fathers who began the fight to end this evil practice.

The United States of America not only ended slavery, but we encouraged other countries to do the same. Throughout out history, this country has been a force for good. We have fought oppression around the world, not for our own gain, but to give others the opportunity to share the freedom we have enjoyed for more than 200 years.

Have we made mistakes? Of course. No country is perfect, but when we recognized our mistakes, we bent over backward to correct them.

Where has this man Lowery been? “Black” are not “asked to get back.” Affirmative action has been in place for 40 years. Since Barack Obama is the first biracial president, even a dunce like Lowery must recognize that it was a lily-white president and a lily-white Congress that, in 1963, passed the Civil Rights Act, which allowed black citizens and other racial minorities to step in front, not in back, of the line.

Lowery spit in the faces and on the graves of all the white Americans who paved the way for Barack Obama to achieve the highest office in the land. Unfortunately, his diatribe was predictable.

Lowery is the man who linked arms with PLO terrorist Yasser Arafat and sang “We Shall Overcome.” Lowery is the man who said that Iraqi mothers consider U.S. troops to be “terrorists.” Lowery believes that the U.S. government was behind the assassination of Martin Luther King and the CIA imported drugs from Central America.

To be charitable, I could say that Lowery is ignorant. However, I believe he is an opportunist who has made a living preaching that the U.S. is evil and that our government, in general, and white men, in particular, exploits racial minorities and the poor.

This is the same man who hosted a reception for Nicaragua’s Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega. I slipped into that country during the Sandinistas’ reign of terror and talked with pastors who lived in the shadows, in constant fear that one of Ortega’s men would catch them and slice their skin below the nose in order to peal their lips right off their faces for preaching that Jesus Christ is Lord. Under Ortega, many Nicaraguan pastors died in that manner. That is evil!

Ironically, the press presented the Rev. Rick Warren, who was invited to give the opening prayer at the inauguration, as the “controversial” pastor.

Warren’s theology is as traditional as Lowery’s is extreme. Both of these men claim to be Christian, but only one, Warren, prayed in the name of Jesus. Which one of these men is the phony?

I have no way of knowing if Barack Obama asked to review the prayers that would be offered on his behalf at his inauguration. If not, given Lowery’s past, he should have. This says a lot about our new president’s judgment. God help us through these next four years!

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