Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Feels Like Home To Me

I find it rather ironic that Barack Obama is getting his fanny handed to him on a plate by his critics and by the press for suggesting that blue-collar Americans in economically depressed areas like rural Pennsylvania are bitter about their lot and turn to things like religion or gun-totin' xenophobia as a refuge from their troubles.

What he describes looks and sounds a lot like Outer Podunk and surrounds. Perhaps the people offended by what Obama said need to take a "listening tour" of the neighborhood around my church, which is also home to a virulent white supremacist organization that, I'm told, not so long ago used to throw barricades across local roads and dare various unwanted varieties of people to cross them and get killed.

Anxiety and hopelessness make people think and do crazy things, particularly when they already have the deck stacked against them in terms of education, skills and local job opportunities. This isn't exactly news, folks...and it doesn't matter who says it.

6 comments:

LutherPunk said...

Do you think guns and religion are things that people turn to out of anxiety, or are those things that are just par for the course for rural and small town working class people? Not being from the rust belt I can only speculate, but it sounds like the same type of thing Southerners are accused of. I've seen a call committee member show up with a deer carcass in the back of his truck, and he didn't strike me as "bitter"...

Just a thought from a guy who likes both religion and guns...

Rick Weiss said...

I dont know, Up here in the U.P. there is a lot of people worried, Frusterated, about uncertain times ahead

Cant imagine people putting up barakades in northern Michigan, unless it is around the Cadallac area,

LutheranChik said...

Rick -- the group in question caused quite a stir in the Bay City/Tri-Cities area several years ago with their recruitment campaign. They galvanized local churches into an anti-bigotry response. This in turn drove their Fearless Leader back into the bush, so to speak, "up north" in our rural county. (Aren't we lucky.)

LutheranChik said...

Lutherpunk: I honestly don't think that Obama was speaking about the sort of gun use/hunting culture that those of us in rural areas take for granted...I think he was referring to a kind of paranoia about self-protection from "them," whoever "them" may be, that people who feel economically threatened can sometimes fall into. Likewise, there's a difference between the sort of everyday folk religiosity that we're all a part of and the sort of desperate grasping for black-and-white moral and theological answers that happens when people feel like the world around them is falling into chaos.

Funky Grampa said...

As a long time lurker of your faith tradition,I salute you for faithfully flying the flag of honest faith.
I have often quoted your thought of 'when I go to this church conference of Christians, will there be a few followers of Christ

Jon said...

I think Obama gets a lot of flack for just about anything. When I decided to finally figure out what the fuss was about Obama's pastor's comments from his sermons, and had a chance to hear them in their entirety I couldn't find anything remotely bad about them.

Obama's going to come under fire because he's not a gun-toting white guy from Texas. Not that I'm naming any names.