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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

"Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor"

The no-rancor McCain campaign has seized on Barack Obama's past as a community organizer to offer another one of their sneering critiques of the Democrat, his alleged lack of experience and his commitment to what they feel is a "leftist" occupation.

Leading the charge is Sarah Palin, who says he stint as mayor of a 9,000-person town trumps him because she had "actual responsibilities." Like hiring lobbyists to bring home the pork.

But what is community organizing? The Globe speaks with one of the best, Lew Finfer, describes it as reaching out to members of disenfranchised communities, learning about them and their issues, then mobilizing and empowering them to address those issues.

Sort of like payments to the Sons of Iraq to keep the peace in the neighborhoods for a mere $2.7 million a month.

Or the $48 billion spent to renovate 3,000 schools, train 30,000 teachers, distribute 8 million textbooks and rebuild irrigation infrastructure for 400,000 people, as well as fund projects to improve drinking water, bridges, roads, sewage treatment, airports and, of course, oil pipelines and refineries.

All the while the Iraqi government is sitting on a $79 billion oil-fueled surplus.

Imagine if that money was spent in American cities and small towns. To build schools, hospitals and bridges to somewhere. Yes even local hockey rinks.

By sneering at community organizing and community building, Palin, Rudy Giuliani and the cast of non-rancorous Republicans have actually been sneering at the American men and women during community organizing in Iraq. You know, the ones who wear camo and body armor.

But I must admit, this T-shirt design says it best.

"Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This design is so true. I really want to get that shirt! I just need to know where to get it from...
I mean...who the hell is Guilani to say such a thing? He was JUST a mayor -- in that case -- and Obama has been serving as a senator. Talk about issues. Maybe old Rudy can consult a therapist for his ego problems?

September 07, 2008 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon me -- Rudy Guiliani. Not that I care about his name of course...

September 07, 2008 10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For years I have heard how the Democrats want the separation of Church and State. Why is it ok all of a sudden for them to make t-shirts like this.

I am tired of this hypocritical attitude.

September 07, 2008 10:21 PM  
Anonymous gadflygirl said...

Absolutely we need separation of church and state. Even Jesus was in favor of it.

September 07, 2008 10:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you people have any idea how offesive this t-shirt is to Christians. Jesus was not a community organizer, just skim any one of the four Gospels, and you know that. Do you think there won't be a Christian backlash to so blatantly calling Obama the messiah. And what has any of the 50 governors done to be compared to one of the most evil characters in human history. On second thought, buy that t-shirt, wear it everywhere. Keep moking the Christian faith in Obama's name. It will be great for McCain.

September 08, 2008 12:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I find this shirt extremely blasphemous! How can Obama call himself a true Christ follower, yet allow his campaign or those associated with it to use this slogan. He has lost my vote, and I am sure there are many others who will feel the same as I feel. I am also going to suggest to our National Superintendent that he comes out in opposition to this as well.

September 08, 2008 2:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think some of you are confused. The purpose of the tshirt and the statement is to say a community organizer is an important position. A position that goes into a community evaluates it and assists the people in the community to better themselves and their environment. Wouldn't this be comparable to the leader of a nation? It's not the religious connotations.

September 08, 2008 2:22 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

Secondly, I am not in voting for Obama because he is a bad person. I am not voting for him because of some of the democratic principles. But as a minister you retract your vote because someone mentioned Christianity? This is not a derogatory thing. It forces those who don't know who Pontius Pilate to find out. Curiosity is what keeps Christians going. If we knew everything we wouldn't go to church. Let them mention Jesus as a community organizer. This is a beautiful thing.

September 08, 2008 2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its a funny shirt -- no doubt.

Truthfully neither Palin or Obama are qualified to hold the highest office in the world. Sad state when personality rules over substance -- and that's exactly where both sides are.

September 08, 2008 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with "anonymous" Please don't misunderstand. They are only comparing what Jesus DID to Obama...not who He is. Obama worked hard to help the poor on the south side of Chicago...as a community organizer. Much like Jesus did. Palin MADE FUN of Obama helping the poor. This should never be done...I am a follower of Christ and I am not offended by the shirt. I get it...please don't misunderstand and please don't speak for all Christians. I get it and I hope you will too.

September 08, 2008 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this shirt and I am a devout Christian! I get it! All Christians should as it points out the same torment and ridicule that our Lord Jesus Christ endured while trying to be a community organizer telling the truth to all. Pontius Pilate laughed, demeaned all the while smiling and ordering His execution! This is good vs evil. Satan vs God. Cool shirt. Anything in this evil world that supports the Good of Him is okay in my book. We need more outspoken ajendas, comments, lifestyles, community organizers against evil. Obama is a peacemaker, one that will irritate the evil one. Let things play out as God reveals. Peace to all.

September 08, 2008 7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Jesus was a community organizer; Pontius Pilate was a governor" WHAT!?

I find it very offensive that Obama is making a direct comparison between himself and Jesus our Saviour. Equally offensive is equating all governors with Pontius Pilate.

September 08, 2008 8:22 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Along the same lines it would also work to remember: “Moses was a Community Organizer; Pharaoh was a Governor.” - Chris Lieberman

September 08, 2008 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If those who are angry about the metaphor didn't get upset about the Republicans riduling community organizers then don't get mad about metaphors being used as a defense. That was a slap that went beyond Obama and went to every community organizer in this country. There's too much religious right being used for peoples' personal feelings. Lots of rights came about because of community organizers - womens' rights to vote, workers right to have an 8 hour day, the rights of children to not be put to work while under age, civil rights which have benefited a lot of group of people, unions work for the rights of their members - the union members constitute a community. Community work is important and if is was extinguished we'd all be subject to one form of slavery or another. Community workers are important to all people to work issues out for win/win situations and for the benefit of all. Get rid of the anger and look at the issues and don't wear your christianity on as a chip on your shoulder. When Jesus tried to educate the masses he was rejected by many and embraced by many. Jesus was killed because there were those who didn't want to hear his truth. Not every one is going to like you. Just remember that bread that is cast upon the water. The universal law is no respector of person and it works for all. Those who say they're not going to vote for Obama because of the metaphor used weren't going to vote for him any way and this is just an excuse that is being used to justify their behavior. Grow up and be adults and look at the issues that all of the people of this country need to focus on. The is the first time in years that this country has been in so much debt, yet daily this current president is giving money away to other countries from one hand and borrowing money from China with the other hand. Our children will be in debt for a long, long, time. The Republican party has made this very nasty. We've had a male pit bull in office now there' a female pit bull who wants to be in office. The world hates the U.S. This hatred needs to be changed and this country needs to become prosperous again. Stay focusedon the issues we're facing people!!!! So what if metaphors are used!

September 08, 2008 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will you people just get over it! Do you get the fact that this was a REACTION by an individual Democrat - not related to the Obama Camp - to the very disgusting, rude and belittling comments made by two grown adults acting like children, Gulliani first and then by Palin parroting his comments? Fortunately Obama, as usual,took the high road and decided not to react to such behavior. How many of you can tell me how much of a "self starter" you were at the age of 22? And by the way, what ever happened to "Love thy neighbor?" The hypocrisy has to end! None of us are perfect. There was only one person on this earth who was perfect and they hung him on the cross!

September 09, 2008 1:35 AM  
Anonymous Sara said...

Obama did not make this statement. This statement was made by an individual unrelated to Obama and his campgain. The Republicans must remember their "presidential ticket" started this clutural warfare with the belittling of "community organizers". Remember what goes around comes around!

September 09, 2008 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes indeed, some are quite confused, ill-informed, and ignorant. please don't miss the sarcasm and irony that this tshirt holds against republicans who are "usually" pride themselves in being "Christians". yet this time, it is Barack Obama, a democrat, who is being commended for his work in the community..something reflective of what Jesus would have done. and it might actually do the world some good if Christians would actually act like Jesus sometimes.

September 09, 2008 10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry..small typo above..it should be,
"republicans who 'usually' pride themselves..." instead of "republicans who are 'usually' pride themselves..."

September 09, 2008 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama has been quite the gentleman throughout this race. There have been lots of mean sprited things said about him that were not true and there have been lots of things said that were attributed to him which he didn't say. This is reminiscent of being crucified but not with metal nails but with words. We all know that in a challenge like this things get heated. Let us stay focused on the real issues this country is facing, how it got to this point and what it's going to take to turn it around and let's be sure to get our facts right about who said what. Stop the bickering. This argument is very deceptive ploy that to keep the masses from focusing on the real issues.
The Republicans should not forget whois being slammed with their words and should not be surprised that people take offense. The Republicans started this nastiness and the public has a right to express its feelings but let's keep the important issues straight and focus on how to get the U.S's position in the world changed, get children educated and families fed and medicial care for the masses, get people employed and get out of the horrible debt this country is in. How do we, the people, help to turn this situation around? What leader will help get this situation turned around and who will keep us getting further and further in the hole of poverty, lack and limitation? Those are the real issues.

September 09, 2008 1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hitler was a community organizer. Jesus was a maverick.

September 09, 2008 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Let he whose slate be clean cast the first stone." The first stone in this fight was to belittle Sarah Palin's experience as a mayor of a small town.

Those who can't take it should not dish it!!!

September 09, 2008 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates.
2. One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.
3. someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action

According to Congressional Quarterly's Voting Studies, in 2007 McCain voted in line with the president's position 95 percent of the time


Obama's votes were in line with the president's position 40 percent of the time in 2007.

... ... ...

Tell me which is the "Maverick".

September 09, 2008 2:58 PM  
Blogger kate0 said...

The point about Senate votes is which senator voted in line with his own party more often. Senator McCain's record on voting with Republicans was 88%; Obama's with Democrats, 96%.


On the original topic, that being the catchy slogan, Pilate was not an elected official, and the only community Jesus organized was a church.

September 10, 2008 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus was not a Community Organizer...He was the SON OF GOD, get it right! Barak Obama is not the "Savior", nor can he part the waters...he is a man. Wake up people!

September 10, 2008 5:09 PM  
Anonymous Theophilus said...


and Julius Caesar was an executive, and Brutus... a senator. Go figure.

September 10, 2008 6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


September 10, 2008 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Todd C said...

You ignorant, ignorant people… Please note I write ignorant, not stupid. Also, since most comments are marked “Anonymous” I cannot direct this towards an individual post (except maybe Sara) and there are a few that do not fall into this category. I agree that this comment was not made directly by the Obama campaign, so he should not be punished for someone else’s stupid (yes stupid) comment. A correction to many of your beliefs that Palin and the Replublicans went on the attack in regards to Obama’s Community Organizer title first, please read the following: http://www.adamsweb.us/blog/barack-obama-compares-oranges-to-apples/
In Anderson Cooper’s interview with Obama, Obama made a comparison of Palin’s former position as Mayor of Wassilla to his current managerial experience of running his campaign. Basically belittling Palin’s mayoral experience and not even recognizing her current experience and position as governor of Alaska. Unlike you all, Obama knows the difference and made a stupid comparison and he is taking all of you for being too stupid to do your research. Palin and the republican’s references to Community Organizer at the RNC were in response to Obama’s comments in the Anderson Cooper interview. Make sure you know what’s really going on before you regurgitate the Obama rhetoric. But he sure does give a nice speech!

September 11, 2008 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Bellinda Myrick-Barnett said...

Completely opposite to what one comment said about it being offensive to Christians, I, as a Christian, think this is a wonderful phrase and I applaud it greatly. I heard it for the first time tonight when being said by Susan Sarandon.

How about a few Christians getting outraged when someone says that they know what GOD thinks!

I'm completely fed up with that happening repeatedly especially in the far right extreme fundamentalist Pentecostal/Assembly of God churches from which Sarah Palin comes.

As far as JESUS....I don't think that he would be associating himself with a whole lot being done in his name these days.

September 12, 2008 1:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am really confused as why Republicans continue to get the rap for how bad things are when we have been controlled by the Democrats in the Senate and House for the past two years??? That is half of a four year term, so we think it will be different led by a democratic president? Does anyone remember that the reason the Republicans won commandingly in the House and Sentate in 2000 was because we hated the Clinton politics and things were not better then either?? Totally confusing to me how we have such a short memory. I think we would be best off to not vote for either a Republican or Democrat and send a loud voice to Washington what a real change would mean. Anyone checked out the Constitutional Party??

September 12, 2008 11:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus was not a community organizer.
Pontius Pilate was NOT a governor. He was a procurator. A babysitter, of sorts. He, like Obama, never had to make a tough decision. In fact, the only historical record of a tough decision he faced is the night of Jesus' crucifixion. He could have stopped it, but instead, he simply voted "PRESENT."
Check out Obama's voting record. He's not the messiah. He's not even a governor. He's less than nothing when it comes to viewing his track record.

September 13, 2008 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Jesus was a carpenter and a teacher... and wasn't Bill Clinton a governor too at one time?
You left wingers don't think things through very well.

September 13, 2008 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Nice Guy said...

I guess it's obvious who will get crucified in the polls, then.

September 13, 2008 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Nice Guy said...

I guess it's obvious who will get crucified in the election, then.

(That's what i MEANT to type)

September 13, 2008 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truer words were never spoken.
I am a Christian who is praying that McCain and Palin do not win this election. I fear for our country.

September 14, 2008 4:41 PM  
Anonymous JR said...

According to the bible of radical wackoos Sal Alinsky, states that Lucifer was the first community organizer. I guess Barrack Hussein is in good company. Jesus never led a protest. He willing submitted to the authority of the abusive Roman government. If you believe He was a community organizer, you're just being blasphemous. By the way Clinton, Reagan, Roosevelt, Wilson, etc., WERE Governors. Palin is in good company.

September 14, 2008 9:45 PM  
Blogger LarryG said...

Jesus himself said "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

I think the Repubs and Dems should leave Christ out of this - aren't some or both sides all for "separation" of church ???

September 15, 2008 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll admit up front that I'm a Republican and will be voting for McCain/Palin. I found this website because I heard that this comment was being repeated by Democrats, and that buttons/t-shirts/bumper stickers were being produced and I just couldn't believe it. My mind is officially blown.

If I were running the Obama campaign, my response to this comment would be "this comment is certainly not endorsed by Senator Obama. Senator Obama considers it blasphemous and disrespectful." I'm actually considering buying something, because this is going to offend 9 out of 10 independents, and if you keep it up it's going to sink the Obama campaign.

Mudslinging is one thing, but you won't get away with comparing your opponent to the man who executed the Lord and Savior of most of America. If I didn't know better, I'd swear there was a powerful interest in the Democrat party with something to gain from an Obama loss. Otherwise this comment would have been immediately swept under the rug.

September 15, 2008 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Nola said...

To those who call themselves Christians:
If you are not offended at the fact that anyone or group representing a political candidate would have the gall to compare himself or the candidate to the Holy Perfect Powerful Living Son of God, then you are a pew warmer and a hypocrite. Try on that statement for a "community organizer" thought. It would be better for you to stay home than enter into the church defending such evil activity.

September 15, 2008 10:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin Swan said...

Beyond the absurd arrogance of the Dems calling their boy Jesus, let's think about it.

Jesus was a carpenter, not a community organizer.
He fractured communities.
He fractured families.
He fractured groups and religions.
He organized nothing.

September 16, 2008 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus was hated and killed by his community, Pilate stopped countless riots with the death of one man that he did not even approve of. Judas on the other hand, thought that the rich had too much money and that it should be shared with the poor. True design?...

September 19, 2008 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey. woah. hang on people. no need to get all up in arms here. Do you really think that the people who coined this slogan are insinuating that Obama is the messiah? No. thats not it at all. I see it as a backlash against the McCain/Palin comments mocking Obama's position as a community organizer. Its a sort of tongue in cheek response, that is all. It's just a clever little jibe at the ridiculousness of the statements made by the Republicans. give it the laugh it deserves and just move on with your life.

September 29, 2008 3:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God I never lived in a community that needed to be organized.

August 03, 2009 11:36 PM  

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