Do we need a “Hispanic Karl Rove”?

August 18th, 2009 · 23 Comments

Yesterday, while skimming through the Huffington Post, I caught this piece about Reverend Samuel Rodriguez. Yes, he’s the crazy pastor I blogged about nearly two years ago who referred to us like this, “We Hispanics are emotional people. We are telenovela, Ricky Martin, J Lo, salsa and habañero chiles.” Uh, stereotype much?

Well, now Rev. Rodriguez is back in the news, this time he’s working with right wing Christian groups to infiltrate the Democratic Party, and he’s also being called the “Hispanic Karl Rove.” I find Rev. Rodriguez’s fire and brimestone rhetoric to be offensive at best, but I also see his workings into the Democratic Party being symptomatic of the GOP’s continued shunning of the Latino community. He sounds like a television evangelist ready to fall on the floor and start speaking tongues. Listen to how he manage to offend gays, Muslims, Oprah Winfrey watching Christians in this clip:

Now I am not completely against coalition building with progressives and Christians, but this screaming and stomping about gays and Muslims is not a good way to go about achieving that end. This kind of rhetoric is yet another reason why I firmly believe in the separation of church and state. I don’t think our community needs a “Hispanic Karl Rove” in the likeness of Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. I still think that education and more civic engagement, while learning multiple sides of issues, will serve our community better in the long run. What do you think?

Tags: Democratic Party · Education · Evangelicals · GOP

23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gustavo Arellano // Aug 18, 2009 at 6:34 am

    No padrinos in Latino politics, PLEASE!!!

  • 2 evita // Aug 18, 2009 at 9:03 am

    He sounded like he was going to have a heart attack. That said, I cannot see him connecting with where our demographics are the greatest in numbers- younger people.

    What the heck is wrong with Oprah?

  • 3 jammer // Aug 18, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Sounds like one of those televangelist who pretty soon will be caught in a pecadillo with his secretary or someones wife or a hooker…, all in the name of Jesus. This guy is so out of it! Who is he???

  • 4 BettyM // Aug 18, 2009 at 9:28 am

    He does sound crazy — I certainly won’t be listening to his garbage.

  • 5 Alisa // Aug 18, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Oprah doesn’t get it with Hispanics, and neither does this douchebag.

  • 6 Bearguez // Aug 18, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Religious rhetoric only lowers the level of political discourse and rationalizes racism and social hatreds. Look at all those ignorant people on YouTube expressing their stupidity in the HealthCare debate. They are so dumb, they have no idea what the Patriot Act did to the Bill of Rights, and yet they reference the Founding Fathers in regards to HealthCare.

  • 7 theKaiser // Aug 18, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Oprah is a threat to religious America. She’s too intelligent, too wealthy, and too Black according to them. It’s these religious televangelists who want you to believe that 9/11 was caused by the Gays, the Abortionists, and the Liberal Media. Something Jerry Falwell had the nerve to say on “Politically Incorrect,” and one of the hundreds of thousands of idiotic statements made by him, Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, and now Samuel Rodriguez. To give your mind to these people is to betray the very essence of being human.

  • 8 El Cholo // Aug 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Hispanic Karl Rove? Samuel Rodriguez is just an opportunist, using the Holy Bible as a ticket to obtain celebrity status. He’s only interested in money, fame and groupies. Karl Rove was the power behind the Bush throne, and remained there because his strategic policies and dirty tricks allowed a man with no brains to be elected twice fraudulently lead America through numerous foreign policy disasters for eight years, and turn the USA into a genuine debtor nation. Samuel Rodriguez isn’t in Karl Rove’s league. He just really wants Loretta Sanchez’s attention. And he isn’t bright enough to realize that he has to change his name first to Sam Rodgers to even have a chance of accomplishing that.

  • 9 Michaelr // Aug 18, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Isn’t it funny how Jesus is always associated with so many of these lowlifes, confidence men, grifters, film-flam men, hustlers, menial hucksters, and conniving sociopaths. And they always find a huge audience here in the United States ready to give their last dollar to them. I am sure Samuel Rodriguez has been motivated just listening to all these mentally challenged citizens making all these idiotic statements during this town hall Health Care debate. And he feels this stupidity can’t be limited to registered only voters of the GOP.

  • 10 DoctorH // Aug 18, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    To quote Michaelr…here’s another member of the “Walking Feces Club.” Which Karl Rove is also a member of.

  • 11 Cockroach People // Aug 18, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    As someone who works with a coalition of institutions that include churches, synagogues and mosques, I find that there are more than enough people willing to collaborate with others of different religions. I also know many people who believe that their faith informs them to seek justice regardless of their personal feelings about homosexuality or other tough theological issues–note also that many churches accept homosexuality these days (not sure about Oprah ;) ). Most of the churches I work with do not go around trying to deny other people rights.

    Just as Loretta Sanchez does not represent all Latino leaders, Rev. Rodriguez does not represent all Latino churchgoers or pastors.

    What is meant by separation of Church and State anyway? Would that separation have denied Dr. King and his congregation a place at the Civil Rights table? If not, why not? I think I am operating under a different definition (a constitutional one) than the one being used in this forum.

    Many churches and pastors would find Rodriguez’s “fire and brimestone rhetoric” problematic as well. I certainly find it hateful, mean, and quite unchristian.

    BTW, religious people out here in the midwest LOVE them some Oprah!

  • 12 webmaster // Aug 18, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Cockroach people, you must work with some enlightened church going people. What I find disturbing about Rev. Rodriguez is that he doesn’t seem to have any trouble spewing this heated obviously anti-gay, anti-Muslim tirade. If the Democratic party, in an effort to attract more evangelicals or “centrists” goes along with this kind of rhetoric, how does it distinguish itself from the GOP, which has been hijacked by the more religious element of its party?

    No, Dr. King would not have been denied a place at the civil rights table, but Dr. King preached more of an inclusion message, instead of one of exclusion, which Rodriguez is doing in this clip. Could you imagine Dr. King calling people “sissy Christians”?

  • 13 Samuel Rodriguez: Making Latinos Proud World Wide | VivirLatino // Aug 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    […] never heard of Rev. Samuel Rodriguez until I read about him over at Latino Politics Blog. Now that I know him, I wish that I could scrub my ears or drink alcohol or make out with Oprah or […]

  • 14 Reyfeo // Aug 18, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    …listen to what he said! Aside from sounding like he’s in the spirit of preaching, which many pastors do, he’s simply saying its time for Christians to stop whining and be heard. Sure he sounds like he’s on fire, but it shouldn’t be mis-interpreted as hate speech.

    …he says, with legitimacy, that there ARE Radical Muslims…hey, they took down two towers in NY, remember that?!?
    …and he says that there ARE radical Gays…remember the clowns that walked into a Catholic Church in drag and had the audacity to receive the eucharis last year in the San Francisco area.
    I don’t want to assume you are all Catholic and have never heard this type of preaching, but if you haven’t heard this kind of sermon, then you have to consider you are misjudging what he sounds like, with what he is actually saying. NO WHERE in this video does he say and or imply any hatred toward Gays or Muslims. I didn’t here kill/hate/hurt Muslims and or Gays, did you?

    As for him being a “Hispanic Karl Rove”, probably not, but if he moves the conservative American Latino Christian to move this country back to center than more power to him…I myself don’t hate Gays and or Muslims and I suspect many like me don’t either, but we have a right to disagree Gay Marriage (California which is a very liberal state, voted in a majority to not allow Gay Marriage).

    That said, my question to you all is why does it bother you so much…is it because he possibly can or could/does move our abuelito/as, tio/as and primo/as etc to actually start to look into this issue of Gay Marriage (and Radical Muslims) and finally say enough!?! Okay, I’m done, throw your spears but be constructive.

  • 15 FormerStaffer // Aug 18, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Is this YouTube clip attached to some feature film? Only Hollywood could create a character as ludicrous as this man. Or is this Samuel Rodriguez a part of the town hall guttural Health Care debate?

  • 16 Cockroach People // Aug 19, 2009 at 8:55 am

    I think we agree about Rodriguez. But my point was about the separation of church and state per se (responding to your point: “This kind of rhetoric is yet another reason why I firmly believe in the separation of church and state”).
    There are a lot of enlightened church people everywhere (as was Dr. King). There are a lot of unenlightened ones too (the ones like Rodriguez that get the press most often).

    The unenlightened ones are the ones that insist on forcing others to fall in the line with their beliefs (e.g. disallowing certain people to marry as in California before Perez v. Sharp or now under Proposition 8).

    IMHO, Christians should try reading the New Testament before responding to Rodriguez’s unspecific call to do something. I can’t imagine Jesus ever giving a sermon like this. I could, however, imagine Farrakhan giving one, were he a Christian.

    P.S. In my experience most evangelicals are not “centrist,” preferring the right side of the political spectrum. But even among them, congregations can vary drastically. In my coalition there are a few evangelical congregations. The ones that are there are closer to to being true centrists with the exception of being left-leaning on the issue of immigration.

  • 17 Cockroach People // Aug 19, 2009 at 9:11 am

    A better sermon:
    How long [will it take for Justice]? Not long, (Yes, sir) because “no lie can live forever.” (Yes, sir). How long? Not long, (All right. How long) because “you shall reap what you sow.” (Yes, sir)
    How long? (How long?) Not long: (Not long)
    Truth forever on the scaffold, (Speak)
    Wrong forever on the throne, (Yes, sir)
    Yet that scaffold sways the future, (Yes, sir)
    And, behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow,
    Keeping watch above his own.
    How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. (Yes, sir)
    How long? Not long, (Not long) because:
    Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; (Yes, sir)
    He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; (Yes)
    He has loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword; (Yes, sir)
    His truth is marching on. (Yes, sir)
    He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; (Speak, sir)
    He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment seat. (That’s right)
    O, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! Be jubilant my feet!
    Our God is marching on. (Yeah)
    Glory, hallelujah! (Yes, sir) Glory, hallelujah! (All right)
    Glory, hallelujah! Glory, hallelujah!
    His truth is marching on. [Applause]

  • 18 DoctorH // Aug 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    We should stop talking about this imbecile. He promotes the sheep mentality to its fullest extent.

  • 19 Eric Rivers // Sep 2, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    I think that what Rev. Samuel Rodriguez said in this clip has been taken so out of context. The man was simply sending a wake up call to Christians. To be honest, I agree with him. Everyone else is proud to be something – why is it so bad for Christians to be proud of what they believe in. I don’t think it is appropriate to criticize the Reverend for delivering a much needed admonishing word. Oh by the way – did you know this clip is from a sermon he preached two years ago? I think it is kind of silly to be dwelling on this three years later.

  • 20 Kenneth T. Tellis // Sep 6, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    The IRREVERENT SAMUEL RODRIGUEZ seems to be drawn into pushing his spin on religion, and like the rest of those TV Comidiens, I mean Preachers he has proven to be no different to all those that fill their pockets using the name of Y’shua (Christ).

    The problem with the U.S. is that it has a lot of religions, but no beliefs. What these idiots rant about your SINS, then they are found to be wanting in how they lead their own sordid lives.

    They turn off everyone by their duplicity and falsehood. But they get RICH on the backs of the poor souls that believe their drivel. As W. C. Fields said: “There’s a sucker born every minute!” So the misguided fools listen to these morons who preach the HELL out of YOU and become bigger IDIOTS.a

  • 21 God is Not Dead - Cockroach People // Sep 8, 2009 at 8:43 am

    […] and state” when it comes to politics because their are too many so-called leaders such as Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, that inject their personal beliefs into policies that end up curtailing other people’s […]

  • 22 Nilsa Perez // Sep 24, 2010 at 7:18 am

    Make no mistakes about this “religious leader”, originally from New York City. He has an insiatable need for recognition and power, his strategy is to position himself among ALL religious and political influential circles and institutions as the “representative of millions of religious Latinos (his organizations does not go beyond 3,000 in membership) to pre-empt other able and genuine progressive religious leaders. I pray for the day that he engages in some instrospection and talks about his shortcomings with young woman at a church when he was a youth pastor. Would he ever admit that he had to flee New York City and that the Assemblies of God in NYC discipled him?

    Let’s encourage progressive, Latinos and religious organizations to seek other voices,not this religious pimp.

  • 23 Linda // Apr 25, 2011 at 9:23 am

    “I pray for the day that he engages in some introspection and talks about his shortcomings with young woman at a church when he was a youth pastor.”

    How low can you go to slander someone?
    Without proof this is hearsay.
    I don’t believe anything I hear or read.
    I am a little smarter than that.

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