The following are excerpts of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s telephone interview Thursday with Tribune-Review reporter David. M. Brown.
……Q: I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s all over the wire today (from an ABC News story), a statement that your pastor (the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s South Side) made in a sermon in 2003 that instead of singing “God Bless America,” black people should sing a song essentially saying “God Damn America.”A: I haven’t seen the line. This is a pastor who is on the brink of retirement who in the past has made some controversial statements. I profoundly disagree with some of these statements.
Q: What about this particular statement?
A: Obviously, I disagree with that. Here is what happens when you just cherry-pick statements from a guy who had a 40-year career as a pastor. There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it’s important to judge me on what I’ve said in the past and what I believe.
Cherry pick? Are you joking? Reverend Wright’s sermons are chock full of that crap. Every Sunday he shakes the church rafters with some of the most visceral hatespeech against his own fellow American citizens, ever recorded.
In a sermon delivered at Howard University, Barack Obama’s longtime minister, friend and adviser blamed America for starting the AIDS virus, training professional killers, importing drugs and creating a racist society that would never elect a black candidate president.
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor of Mr. Obama’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, gave the sermon at the school’s Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel in Washington on Jan. 15, 2006.
……“America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. . .
After a public uproar, the “person of color” Reverend was chided (just a bit) by Obama:
Barack Obama describes longtime pastor Jeremiah Wright Jr. as “like an uncle” and a spiritual mentor, but the presidential candidate rejected Wright’s fiery anti-U.S. and politically divisive sermons after days of mounting pressure to do so.
Obama told FOX News Friday that he could no longer lay low as Wright’s past sermons, where he condemned the United States as institutionally racist and blamed the government for HIV and the Sept. 11 attacks, were played in heavy rotation on national television.
He could no longer lay low? What’s he been doing since he joined that congregation back in the early 90’s? I don’t buy the claim that he’s ‘never heard the sermons’. That’s bullshit.
“Once I saw them I had to be very clear about the fact that these are not statements that I am comfortable with,” Obama said. “I reject them completely — they are not ones that reflect my values or my ideals or Michelle’s.”
You mean Michelle “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,” Obama? That wife? The one who sat beside you during all of those lectures on ‘black liberation theology’?
Obama called his remarks “inflammatory and appalling” in a written statement Friday.
Though Obama has known Wright for 20 years, he said the pastor has never been active in his campaign and that he is no longer on his African American Religious Leadership Committee.
“Inflamatory and appalling”….an understatement.
Now, this is the part of Obama’s comments that are thoroughly incredulous:
Obama, in the interview Friday with FOX News’ Major Garrett, said he has been a member of the church since the early 1990s after working with the congregation as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago.
Obama married his wife Michelle at Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ, had his children baptized by Wright and donated money to the church, but he said he first learned of many of the pastor’s controversial statements, which FOX News first reported on five months ago, only when they were aired in the media in recent days.
“None of these statements were ones I had heard myself personally in the pews,” Obama told FOX News.
He said the sermons now sparking controversy didn’t resemble the sermons he remembers from Wright, which, Obama said, stuck to messages of faith, values and helping people in the community.
Bull. Shit. I don’t believe for one nanosecond, that Wright would have scanned the congregation to modify his language in accordance with those in attendance. If anything, the more influential present, the better.
Wake Forest University professor Terry Matthews, says in a lecture reprinted on the university’s Web site that black liberation theology “seeks to find a way to make the gospel relevant to black people who must struggle daily under the burden of white oppression.”
As it turns out, Obama lied his ass off about not hearing the types of sermons Wright is so noted for:
The following is a passage from Barak Hussein Obama’s first book, “Dreams From My Father”:
The title of Reverend Wright’s sermon that morning was “The Audacity of Hope.” He began with a passage from the Book of Samuel—the story of Hannah, who, barren and taunted by her rivals, had wept and shaken in prayer before her God. The story reminded him, he said, of a sermon a fellow pastor had preached at a conference some years before, in which the pastor described going to a museum and being confronted by a painting title Hope.
“The painting depicts a harpist,” Reverend Wright explained, “a woman who at first glance appears to be sitting atop a great mountain. Until you take a closer look and see that the woman is bruised and bloodied, dressed in tattered rags, the harp reduced to a single frayed string. Your eye is then drawn down to the scene below, down to the valley below, where everywhere are the ravages of famine, the drumbeat of war, a world groaning under strife and deprivation.
“It is this world, a world where cruise ships throw away more food in a day than most residents of Port-au-Prince see in a year, where white folks’ greed runs a world in need, apartheid in one hemisphere, apathy in another hemisphere…That’s the world! On which hope sits!”
And so it went, a meditation on a fallen world. While the boys next to me doodled on their church bulletin, Reverend Wright spoke of Sharpsville and Hiroshima, the callousness of policy makers in the White House and in the State House. As the sermon unfolded, though, the stories of strife became more prosaic, the pain more immediate. The reverend spoke of the hardship that the congregation would face tomorrow, the pain of those far from the mountaintop, worrying about paying the light bill…
Courtesy of Richard Lowery at the National Review Online, who read Obama’s book:
More from a 5 March, 2007 New York Times article:
The Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., senior pastor of the popular Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and spiritual mentor to Senator Barack Obama, thought he knew what he would be doing on Feb. 10, the day of Senator Obama’s presidential announcement.
After all, back in January, Mr. Obama had asked Mr. Wright if he would begin the event by delivering a public invocation.
But Mr. Wright said Mr. Obama called him the night before the Feb. 10 announcement and rescinded the invitation to give the invocation.
……Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, “The Radical Roots of Barack Obama.”
According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, “You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we’ve decided is that it’s best for you not to be out there in public.”
Sweetness and Light, Link: http://sweetness-light.com/archive/flashback-nyt-on-obamas-wright-disinvite
You gots some ‘splainin’ to do, Obama.
If Jeremiah Wright were ‘cau-ca-sian’ he would have been pilloried a long time ago. It’s amazing in this day and age, that someone of Wright’s stature can get a free pass with regard to anti-semitic, anti-American, predjudiced, black radical malfeasance. These are not just his personal opinions, these are doctrinal edicts preached to a like-minded congregation.
Put him in a Mosque and he’d be right at home.