Actions Speak Louder Than Words: In Defense of Rev. Pfleger’s Character

First of all, I do not agree with Rev. Pfleger’s recent statements, and like Barack Obama, I reject them. However, I resent the way Rev. Pfleger, fondly referred to as “father Mike” in Chicago, is being portrayed by the media. Rev. Pfleger’s comments were clearly out of line, but he is by no means the crazy, rogue reverend the media is making him out to be by playing his one sound bite over and over again. He sometimes turns to extreme measures in his social activism, but is overall a good person. I want to list a few of his achievements so that the people who read this blog have a more complete picture of who he is.

“Pfleger and his parish demanded the shutdown of a number of Auburn Gresham businesses specializing in drug paraphernalia. Pfleger also campaigned for the removal of tobacco and alcohol billboards from their neighborhood.

Pfleger has become one of the best known critics of The Jerry Springer Show, a controversial television program which is videotaped in Chicago. Believing the program to be immoral, Pfleger and his parishioners began picketing outside the show’s studios in 1991. By 1998, he had organized a boycott of the show’s advertisers. “[Springer is] glorifying violence every day…. Calling a woman a ho and a bitch is sick. This is not normal behavior,” Pfleger declared.

In 2007, Father Pfleger and the faith community of Saint Sabina erected twenty billboards across Chicago with the words “Stop Listening To Trash”, followed by a list of ten “disrespectful rappers”. Pfleger said in a press release, “If we are going to end the violence and disrespect of women, we must fight every form of negativity, including the music industry.” He explained to WMAQ-TV’s Alex Perez, “When you disrespect women and you continue to demean a community or race by names and by language, that’s unacceptable. . . We can kill with our words.”‘

Pfleger also led several protests against Chuck’s Gun Shop, which sold over 2,000 weapons that were traced to crimes committed between 1996 and 2004.

While his recent rhetoric is divisive and backward-looking, Rev. Pfleger is hardly Rev. Wright. He is not an attention-seeking egomaniac hell-bent on hurting Obama’s campaign. He has done countless good works in Chicago’s inner city and is a bold voice against drugs and crime. He himself said:

“I regret the words I chose Sunday. These words are inconsistent with Sen. Obama’s life and message, and I am deeply sorry if they offended Sen. Clinton or anyone else who saw them.”

Enough with the madness, already!

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Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 11:27 pm  Comments (4)  
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