CNN: Obama Pastor Under Unfair Attack

The political motives for the attacks on Rev. Wright are transparently obvious. All persons of good conscience must cry, Foul.
Church: Obama ex-pastor is under unfair attack

* Story Highlights
* Rev. Jeremiah Wright's former church criticized the news media Sunday
* They said his "character is being assassinated in the public sphere"
* Wright's former parishioner Barack Obama denounced his sermons
* Wright used racial epithet in a sentence about Hillary Clinton

Editor's Note: The following report contains objectionable language.

(CNN) -- The Rev. Jeremiah Wright's former church criticized the news media Sunday for coverage of his sermons, saying in a statement that Wright's "character is being assassinated in the public sphere."

Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, defended Wright, saying he "has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe."

The statement came two days after Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, a longtime friend of Wright and attendee of the church, denounced sermons that have become the subject of recent controversy. Obama called them "inflammatory and appalling."

"It is an indictment on Dr. Wright's ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite," the Rev. Otis Moss III, the current pastor of the church, said in the statement.

"The African-American Church was born out of the crucible of slavery, and the legacy of prophetic African-American preachers since slavery has been and continues to heal broken, marginalized victims of social and economic injustices," Moss added.

"This is an attack on the legacy of the African-American Church, which led and continues to lead the fight for human rights in America and around the world."

In the same statement, the Rev. John H. Thomas, the general minister and president of the United Church of Christ -- the denomination to which Wright's church belongs -- said the news media were creating a "caricature" of his congregation.

"It's time for us to say 'No' to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends," Thomas said.

The sermons in question became the subject of scrutiny last week after being highlighted in an ABC News report.

At one December service, Wright argued Clinton's road to the White House is easier than Obama's because of her skin color.

"Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single-parent home; Barack was," Wright says in a video of the sermon posted on YouTube. "Barack knows what it means to be a black man living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary! Hillary ain't never been called a 'nigger!' Hillary has never had her people defined as a non-person."

Wright, who retired this year from his post, also says in the video, "Who cares about what a poor black man has to face every day in a country and in a culture controlled by rich white people?"

In denouncing those sermons Friday, Obama defended his 20-year relationship with Wright, saying that the pastor has served him in a spiritual role -- not a political one.


Anonymous said...

Check out Black liberation theology and what it says about Israel's right to exist. Contrary to Obama's claims of perennial absence from those sermons preaching the odious BL theology, he was generally present. The new minister of that church has defended the positions taken by Wright.

Why would any supporter of Israel trust someone who chose this church and titled his book after a sermon by this preacher of hatred?

What we need is a proven supporter of Israel: Hillary.

Anonymous said...

> New Republic blog 15.03.2008
> Obama and Wright

by Michael Crowley
> Jeremiah Wright's 2003 "War on Iraq IQ Test" underscores that the
> now-infamous Wright clips playing on television were neither isolated
> outbursts nor mere efforts at being "provocative," as Obama described the
> post-9/11 tirade to the New York Times last April. (People didn't much note
> this at the time because a) the Times didn't directly quote from the sermon
> and b) seeing/hearing the rhetorical power--and anger--of Wright's rhetoric
> takes it to a different and jarringly visceral level.) It's also clear that
> the question of whether Obama was present for those particular sermons now
> in the news isn't really the issue. Wright's oft-iterated political
> worldview, which apparently includes the belief that the US created AIDS to
> keep the Third World in poverty, should be quite apparent to anyone who
> knows him as well as Obama does.
> Where does this leave us? There are two separate issues here. One is
> political, and that one's not too ambiguous: This is really bad news for
> Obama, both in the primary and if he makes it to the general. He's worked
> successfully to escape the image of the "angry black man," and here he is
> linked to that image in the most emotionally searing way.
> The second issue is how we should feel, normatively, about the fact that
> Obama maintained ties with Wright, even after presumably realizing that he
> held views Obama now calls deplorable. I'm not prepared to render judgment
> on that here. But I do worry that this lays bare a very grim truth: That
> even middle-class black American culture is more angry and alienated than
> most whites understand, and that our country is simply not yet at the point
> where even an ostensibly post-racial black candidate can escape that dynamic
> entirely. (Indeed not only was Wright perfectly acceptable to Obama and his
> Chicago circle, but it seems likely that it would have been difficult for
> Obama to separate himself from the preacher had he wanted to, lest he be
> accused of not being an "authentic" member of the south side black
> community.) In other words, what's happening here is far bigger than the
> particulars of Obama and Wright, it's about cultural dissonance that was
> going to bubble up one way or another. And as a colleague put it to me
> today, in terms I hope are too pessimistic: "It makes me think it's going to
> be at least another generation before we see a black man elected president."
> If Obama can prove him wrong then he really may be a world-historical
> figure.
> P.S. On the Clinton campaign conference call this morning, her team refused
> to touch the Wright story. I assume the Clintonites feel the story is
> causing Obama plenty enough trouble without their encouragement; nor do
> they want to risk being accused of further race-baiting.
> Meanwhile a pro-Hillary friend wrote me today saying this is why calls to
> force Clinton out of the race are premature. In politics, lighting can
> always strike.

Tzvee Zahavy said...

Ha Ha Ha. Since when is Hillary a friend of Israel? It was Hillary, not her minister, who kissed Suha Arafat after her tirade against Israel.

Barack is far more pro Israel than Hillary. And Barack is running for President, not Rev. Wright.

We know that BL rhetoric is nutty. Barack is black. Why would I trust Obama? C'mon - try using logic instead of polemic for a change.

Anonymous said...

You paint your desires onto a tabula rasa that has gone from being blank to being Black. Then everyone else is "illogical." And you pick on one mistake that years of DEEDS have clarified to justify your fantasy about an unaccomplished unworthy candidate.

Anonymous said...

Anderson Cooper also tried to establish whether Obama could have been familiar with this strain of Wright's rhetoric previously, noting that Obama had attested to listening to tapes of Wright while he was at law school (great catch by Cooper here, by the way). See below:

COOPER: But, I mean, uncles are blood relatives who you're kind of stuck with at family gatherings, even when they say outrageous things. You can't get rid of them. You can walk out of a church. You can walk go up to a pastor and say, this is wrong.


OBAMA: And, as I said, Anderson, if I had heard any of those statements, I probably would have walked up, and I probably would have told Reverend Wright that they were wrong. But they were not statements that I heard when I was in church.

COOPER: So, no one in the church ever said to you, man, last week, you missed this sermon; Reverend Wright said this; or...


COOPER: I mean, I think I read in your books that you listened to tapes of Reverend Wright when you were at Harvard Law School.

OBAMA: I did.

COOPER: So, you had no idea?

OBAMA: I understand. I did not. Well, I want to be clear that, when I ran for president, some of these statements started surfacing.

COOPER: Right.

OBAMA: And, at that point, I was very concerned about it. I had conversations with Reverend Wright about it. And I put out statements indicating that these were not my beliefs. But, as I said before, he was on the verge of retirement. He's preached his last sermon. He will be no longer a pastor at the end of March 31. And, so, our belief was that the most appropriate way to handle it was to be very clear about my strong condemnation of the statements, but to continue to be a part of the church

Anonymous said...

NY Times

March 17, 2008
Pastor Defends His Predecessor at Obama’s Chicago Church
The new pastor of Senator Barack Obama’s longtime church in Chicago took it upon himself to issue a statement Sunday to defend the record of his predecessor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose incendiary sermons have been played on cable television and the Internet in recent days.

Mr. Obama, of Illinois, has distanced himself from the controversial sermons of Mr. Wright, whose remarks have been characterized as anti-white and anti-American.

In television appearances and in a statement published Friday, Mr. Obama denounced the remarks made in a church that he has attended over the last two decades and criticized Mr. Wright, who officiated at his wedding, baptized his children and served as his spiritual mentor.

On Sunday, a statement from the new pastor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, was handed out at the church defending Mr. Wright’s remarks in the pulpit and laying out the former pastor’s record of achievements.

A spokeswoman for the church, Angela Faison, said the statement was not vetted by Mr. Obama or his campaign. “Why would we do that?” she said. “We are two separate entities.”

Mr. Moss invoked the 40th anniversary of the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., saying Mr. Wright’s character was being “assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe.”

Mr. Moss said Mr. Wright had spent 207,792 minutes preaching from the pulpit on Sundays over 36 years at Trinity United Church of Christ. He said that did not include weekday worship services, revivals and preaching engagements across the United States and around the globe to ecumenical and interfaith communities.

“It is an indictment on Dr. Wright’s ministerial legacy,” Mr. Moss wrote, “to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite.”

He cited Mr. Wright’s development of ministries: “places for senior citizens, day care for children, pastoral care and counseling, health care, ministries for persons living with H.I.V./AIDS, hospice training, prison ministry, scholarships for thousands of students to attend historically black colleges, youth ministries, tutorial and computer programs, a church library, domestic violence programs, and scholarships and fellowships for women and men attending seminary.”

Mr. Moss added that the questioning of Mr. Wright added up to “an attack on the legacy of the African American Church which led and continues to lead the fight for human rights in America and around the world.”

Mr. Obama has said he was not present for the sermons by Mr. Wright when the controversial statements were made, including criticisms of Mr. Obama’s opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

Others have defended Mr. Wright, saying his preaching is out of black liberation theology, which interprets the Bible as a guide to fighting oppression of African-Americans.

Anonymous said...

So now he calls the preaching "controversial" and thinks that is the end of the matter.