The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright

Blogging on Barack Obama’s pastor problems is probably already passé, but a few thoughts anyway:

The United Church of Christ certainly is a Big Tent denomination. Wright and Obama’s Trinity Church, with its great size and aggressive Afrocentrism, sounds nothing like the quaint and sedate Congregational churches that dot the town greens of New England, whose congregations are as white as their clapboards (I say that as a member of one of those churches). I imagine they have a better choir than most of our NE churches, too…

As for Obama’s relationship with Wright, and Obama’s statement that he was unaware of Wright’s more inflammatory rhetoric, I certainly can’t judge–and neither can the pundits and bloggers who have been judging, as far as I can see. And really, I’m not sure what Wright said is as bad as all that:

The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

Not something a politician wants to be associated with, certainly, but in context not entirely undeserved. Racism is America’s Original Sin, and it behooves us to stay aware of that.

Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people. Hillary would never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person.

Hard to deny that one. The big problem there, IMO, is campaigning from the pulpit.

[just after 9/11]: We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost.

The least defensible of Wright’s quotes that I’ve seen. The “reason” 9/11 happened, insofar as the concept applies, is that Al Qaeda is evil. For all I know Wright said so; I haven’t seen the rest of his sermon that day, and obviously it might matter. But even if the quotation isn’t missing relevant context, there is an argument to be made that our policies abroad have consequences at home–if our policies the Middle East were different, would 9/11 have happened? (The answer is, “I don’t know.”) Certainly what Wright said is less odious than what Pat Robinson and Jerry Falwell and their ilk said. Not that that’s a defense.

UPDATE:

OK, so maybe he’s a little crazy:

The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.

We started the AIDS virus . . .

and I’m not going to try to say anything nice about his association with the odious Louis Farrakhan.

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One Response to “The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright”

  1. Obama throws his whole church Under the Bus « Michael Lauer’s Weblog Says:

    […] to take the heat, Barack Obama is getting out of the kitchen, and leaving Trinity Church. As an avowed fan of Jeremiah Wright (even though he’s not the pastor there any more, I know), I’m […]

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