Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How could he sit there for over 20 years?

I’d like to begin answering the nagging questions regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Senator Barack Obama.

First question: How could Barack Obama sit through over twenty years of that stuff?

I’ve heard the question from Pat Buchanan, Bay Buchanan, Elisabeth Haselbeck, Tucker Carlson, Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews, and of course Sean Hannity.

Answer: Barack Obama could sit through 20 years of that stuff because it was worth sitting through! It was not hate, was not anti-American, was not anti-white. It was confrontational; it was prophetic; it was loving, biblical, Christ-centered, God-focused, and ministry-minded.

I have watched or read longer segments of several sermons, including those that have been publicized. I listened to two full versions of the sermons that contain the most “offensive” comments that have come to light. These messages convey exactly the OPPOSITE of what the short snippets are trying to convey. In a nutshell:

1. Rev. Wright DOES NOT preach hate. EVERY sermon I listened to, watched, or read was LOVING, biblical, Christ-centered, God-focused, and ministry-minded.

2. Rev. Wright IS NOT anti-American. I don’t agree with all of his political views, but his full sermons demonstrate that Rev. Wright clearly loves America. And like the Old Testament prophets spoke out against their beloved (and God’s beloved) Judah and Israel, Rev. Wright is committed to calling The USA to be what God wants us to be. Sometimes he speaks with humor, sometimes with anger, often with humility and always with love.

3. Trinity United Church of Christ is not a racist, Black separatist, Black nationalist or Black supremacist church. They have white members! They are part of a 95% white denomination. I will talk about their Black Value System in a later post.

4. Finally, please consider how these issues came to light. Someone bought the videos from years and years of Rev. Wright’s sermons. They culled through them and looked for the most “incriminating” statements. They sliced and spliced them and put them up as reflections of his “hatred.” This was deliberate misrepresentation. Rev. Wright does sometimes throw out a line that makes me cringe, but I have never sat under a preacher who doesn’t. I hope that our own beloved pastor isn’t judged by every comment he makes that I don’t agree with.

Explore for yourself below.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper has posted complete audio versions of the two controversial sermons. Commentator Roland Martin also provides slightly edited transcripts at that site.

Audio: The 9/11 message from September 16, 2001:

Audio: The “Confusing God and Government” message from April 13, 2003. This one does get harsh, but it is also a biblical, redemptive, God-centered message:

Video excerpts (longer than the ones originally circulated) of these messages can be found here and here.

Other video of sermons and the church can be found a these two sites, here and here:

1 comment:

Doc Op said...

Thought you might appreciate this commentary by Jon Trott:


As is, I am somewhat less political but for a strange reason. I work for a political party which is not my own. (well I don't really work for the party, but for a person identified with a party) So, I keep my political tone down. But I can sure tell you that I, on the "conservative/libertarian" side of things would cringe if every thing I've ever heard as a pew warmer was recorded.