Monday, February 11, 2008

Jeremiah Wright preaches last serman

For the better part of the past year he's been given a lot of grief because of the basic tenants of his church. Because of this, Trinity United Church of Christ has been called a black supremacist church or racist and perhaps any other title you can create out of this. I don't necessarily agree with the naysayers, but these charges have been out there although we don't hear about it as much.

Anyway he's retiring apparently. The Tribune has the story...
n a stirring sermon that weaved the hopefulness of past African generations with dreams for the future, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. preached his final sermon Sunday at Trinity United Church of Christ, leaving a 36-year legacy as pastor and activist in the black community.

Despite the howl of a bitter wind, hundreds packed into Trinity, 400 West 95th Street, to hear Wright, 66, a fiery speaker, preach at the church one last time. Wright had served as spiritual mentor to Sen.Barack Obama. In the late 1980s, Obama joined Trinity and would later base his historic speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention on a Wright sermon called "Audacity to Hope."

Obama was one of the thousands who joined Trinity under Wright's leadership. When Wright became Trinity's pastor in 1972, the church had 85 members. Today, Trinity has a congregation of 8,500, with more than 80 ministries, making it one of the largest and most influential black churches in the nation.

At Sunday's 11 a.m. service, Wright preached on the New Testament account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead in the sermon "Looks Can Be Deceiving." He spoke about the tradition of African storytelling to illustrate how past generations preserved and passed on stories to teach their children how to hold onto hope amid the pain and suffering of slavery.

Though Wright did not mention Obama by name, he spoke about how a biracial child could use that same hope to overcome racism, go to an Ivy League law school and become a politician. Obama received his law degree from Harvard University and was the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review.

"How many children of biracial parents can make it in a world controlled by racist ideology?" Wright said.

"Children born to parents who are of two different races do not have a snowball's chance in hell of making it in America, especially if the momma was white and the daddy was black. A child born to that union is an unfortunate statistic in a racially polarized society," he said.

"But, if you use your mind, instead of a lost statistic in a hate-filled universe, you just may end up a law student at Harvard University. In fact, if you use your mind, you might end up as the editor of the Harvard Law Review. If you use your mind, instead of [being] a statistic destined for the poor house, you just may end up a statesman destined for the ... Yes, we can!" Wright said, using the popular Obama slogan to bringt the crowd to its feet in cheers.
You know I saw when that church was first constructed back in the 1990s. The lot it was on I recall that it was an abandoned strip mall. Just to the west by a couple of block was where the church used to be. Apparently the congregation was too big for its britches. That church is now an annex of sorts.

I barely remember the "Free South Africa" signs. They were up at a time when South Africa was under the rule of Apartheid where different races there were separated and the only ones who the most say in their nation were the whites there. And I suppose the activism of Jeremiah Wright and others were successful ultimately.

I wonder if this was planned all along for him to step down as pastor and give the Senator some breathing room. Of course in politics people will continue to beat on a dead horse.

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