Sen. Barack Obama's church staged a strong defense of its senior pastor Sunday, comparing criticism of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright to the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.I'm still conflicted about what Obama should do. People have an issue with the rather racial orientation of Trinity United Church of Christ, something I don't think is a problem and I definitely don't see Trinity as a racist church. Of course at the same time some of Wright's statements have given me pause
Obama's Democratic presidential bid has drawn scrutiny to Wright's outspoken comments on race and U.S. policy, as well as the Afro-centric flavor of Trinity United Church of Christ, 400 W. 95th St. Critics have said Wright is wrongheaded, militant and divisive. The church says Wright's commitment to social justice is a flashpoint for some conservatives.
"Nearly three weeks before the 40th commemorative anniversary of the murder of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.'s character is 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," the church said in a statement released Sunday.
During a Sunday evening service, Pastor Otis Moss III spoke of "external forces" that want to "box us in and vilify us."
In a Palm Sunday sermon laden with symbolism, Moss seemed to liken a biblical donkey or colt to the oppressed. To undermine it, "You have to assassinate the colt's character," Moss said to shouts of "Preach."
"The domesticated donkey says, 'You need to stop talking that social justice stuff,' and speak only of Jesus," Moss said.
In the church's statement, Moss criticized basing Wright's legacy on a few comments. After 36 years of preaching, "It is an indictment on Dr. Wright's ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite," Moss said.
People are already uncomfortable talking about race. As for talking about America in the way that he has, I wish I knew what to say. Objectively questioning American policy isn't wrong, but America hating is another thing of course those two issue can often be linked. Where does questioning American policy end and America hating start.
BTW, I didn't realize until watching the TV version of Beyond the Beltway on TV's Channel 20 last night that these are some old videos going back between four to six years back. One video I saw was recorded a few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That sermon had to come across as a blow torch thru butter to those who were in some way affected by that tragedy.