This has got to be the stupidest attack on Obama yet, and that’s saying something.
According to Newsmax, Reverend Otis Moss, Jeremiah Wright’s successor at Trinity United is “Just As Controversial” because he states in a sermon that:
Noah was a “thug” who “was drinking much gin and juice and got drunk on the eve of reconstruction.”
Abraham “pimped his own wife.”
Jacob was a “hustler” who “stole his own brother’s birthright.”
Moses was a “thug” and “if he got mad would give you a royal beatdown.”
Sampson was a “thug” and a “player.”
David was a “thug,” a “shot caller,” and a “player,” and a man after God’s own heart.
A 12-year-old exegete would quickly figure out that “thug” is, in this context, a synonym for “sinner” — and that the entire sermon, like so many in Christian tradition (let alone in mussar), is about the redemption of sinners.
But never mind — let’s review the biblical record:
- Noah did get dead drunk right after the flood, and his daughters took the opportunity to sleep with him.
- When confronted by Abimelekh’s (and later Pharoah’s) men, Abraham saved his own skin by asking his wife to pretend to be his sister, whereupon she was dragged off to Abimelekh’s harem. It is mainstream Jewish commentary to treat this incident as a moral failing on Abraham’s part.
- Jacob undoubtedly hustled his brother out of his birthright — his very name means “supplanter.” As Rabbi Joseph Telushkin writes, quoting a child’s reaction to the Jacob/Esau story, “How could Jacob have lied to his daddy?”
- “A cursory reading of [Moses' killing of the Egyptian] might lead one to see Moses as a violent vigilante. He sees an Egyptian hitting a fellow Jew, looks to make sure there are no witnesses, and then proceeds to kill the Egyptian….How can such violence, and the fact that Moses is never censured for it anywhere in biblical or classic rabbinic literature, be justified?” (From “The leadership qualities of Moses,” by Zivotofsky, Ari Z., in Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life andThought)
- The rabbinic tradition tends to be harsh on Samson, because of “his aggressiveness, his roguish behavior and skirt-chasing.” (Israeli novelist David Grossman, in Lion’s Honey: The Myth of Samson)
- King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and compounded the sin by arranging the killing of her husband Uriah, leading Nathan to offer one of the most famous rebukes in the Bible.