The Andrew Sullivan Double Standard

The reaction of Obama supporters to Jeremiah Wright has certainly been instructive, especially those who had plenty to say about Mitt Romney and Mormonism last year. Today’s example is Andrew Sullivan, who wondered whether Romney wore Mormon underwear and posted repeatedly about the polygamy that Romney’s faith repudiated over a century earlier. Today, he’s singing a different tune about Barack Obama, whose minister didn’t make his racially inflammatory statements 100 years ago or even thirty years ago:

All I can say is that very, very few public figures have been so candid about why and how they found the message of Jesus so compelling, or have explained their faith journey so pellucidly (certainly not our spiritually inarticulate current president). The appeal of that church to Obama was not anger or racism or the ugliness in some of Jeremiah Wright’s tub-thumping. What Obama discovered – as a previous atheist – was the spiritual power of Christian hope. …

I don’t know how you can read Obama’s writing or listen to any of his speeches and believe that Wright’s ugliest messages are what Obama believes or has ever believed.

Bear in mind that all of these speeches took place while Obama attended Wright’s church and contributed to his ministry. Here’s Andrew on Mitt Romney’s responsibility for racism that his church publicly repudiated 30 years ago, and against which Romney repeatedly argued. He agrees with Christopher Hitchens’ statement:

Mitt Romney was an adult in 1978. We need to know how he justified this to himself, and we need to hear his self-criticism, if he should chance to have one.

[Andrew] The awful history of the LDS church’s treatment of African-Americans requires an accounting by any leading Mormon …

Let’s make this clear. Romney had a responsibility to explain the racism of the Mormons, which they themselves repudiated in 1978, including “self-criticism” for being a Mormon during that period. However, with Obama belonging to and supporting a church in which his self-described “moral compass” preaches that the US created the HIV virus to commit genocide and calling the nation the “the US of KKK-A”, Obama gets a pass because … he writes so beautifully of the faith he found through Jeremiah Wright?

Uh, sure.