http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barack-obama/on-my-faith-and-my-church_b_91623.html<br><br><br>On My Faith and My Church<br>Barack Obama<br>Posted March 14, 2008 | 04:28 PM (EST)<br><br><br>The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He's drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.<br><br>Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.<br><br>Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.<br><br>As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It's a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.<br><br>Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.<br><br>The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.<br><br>Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.<br><br>With Rev. Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright's statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.<br><br><br><br>
the people around Barack and Hillary sure are creating firestorms. the unfortunate part of this current stuff is that Wright's material is actually from taped sermons given months and/or years ago and not what he's saying this week. but Barack also had the advisor who called Hillary a monster. Hillary has had more surrogates who have gotten her into trouble than i can even count off of memory. but most of them get into trouble for bringing race into the mix . . . so suggesting that it's not intentional is getting hard for me to believe.<br><br>
uh-huh. <br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation.<p><hr></blockquote><p>Does Mr. Obama want you to believe the honorable Rev. Wright "suddenly" became a racist, America hating, fire-breathing preacher only *after* Barack decided to run for the Presidency? That in the 20 years of attending this church, he neeeeverrrrr "personally heard" RevWright spew *any* of the bile we've heard over these past few days? Really? Not once?<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign.<p><hr></blockquote><p>Now come on Barack. Come on! You know who this man is. You attended services under his leadership for 20 years. You know exactly who he is and what he's about. Please don't pretend his statements were "brought to your attention." Do not insult the people this way. <br><br><br>***********************<br>I got nothin'
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<br>... I found Obama's response a little disingenuous. <br>As you pointed out, a guy at Rev Wright's age doesn't suddenly become a radical. And while one might argue about the wording of those sermons, there is no question that the issues were highly relevant to many members of his congregation. As one of them stated, Rev Wright's sermons weren't radical but merely expressing what it meant to be black in America.<br><br>Anyone still believe that race doesn't play a role in this candidacy? <br><br> <br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>
"Humor ist, wenn man trotzdem lacht" (Humour means laughing despite of it)
Loc: Syracuse, NY
In turn, I agree with your take of the Obama/Rev Wright relationship. And I do not discount the feelings of relevancy of his preaching that many in his congregation would agree with. It is a point of reference that would be unique to them and foreign to me. That is not a bad or good thing, it just is. Obama could not have been immune to the general flavor of Rev Wright's commentary over a span of twenty years. Again, that really is neither right or wrong, it just is. It is okay for Rev Wright to express his pov to his congregation, or anyone willing to listen. And it certainly is Obama's prerogative to share these same beliefs. But the rub for the Obama campaign is that the vast majority of the US electorate does not share those beliefs.<br><br>
i read that article back when it came out. it seems to be more about the author than Obama and the author does a poor job os providing the truth (e.g., only seeking voices that were disappointed in Obama -- Obama was winning elections there so there had to be more people happy with him). it's poorly written and is more about a reporter trying to get some attention than to report a story. but, that's why it didn't gain any traction. it's a free weekly paper and it's missing so much (e.g., why are there no quotes from folks who have spoken very highly of Obama's work in the State Senate? there are many and they include republicans who worked with Obama, fwiw). but at the end of the day, it's really not that bad of a hit piece even though the author tried.<br><br>
weirdest thing, but my minister believes in some sort of God and i don't. my minster believes in affirmative action and i don't. my minister says a lot of things that are controversial (e.g., he said there is no way Hillary should win as this country needs to get away from the monarchy we've had -- though he did it more eloquently without mentioning names). i still think it's good to go from time to time to be around other liberals and to have my kids have a church experience since church is so important in this neck of the woods. sometimes the experience of being involved in the community is more important than the individual messages and church is the one place where you find the community of your peers each week . . . even though you can have big disagreements on multiple issues. church is a social event; not a religious experience. <br><br>
<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>America hating, fire-breathing preacher<p><hr></blockquote><p>Could someone point out when this fire and brimstone actually occurred? And if someone gives me an example could I have the entire sermon please. Otherwise this is caterwauling bullshi[/i]t. The videos posted don't come close to "America hating". It sounds more like America loving. An American who is very disappointed at what America is doing and is stepping up and calling America on it. This is what you are supposed to do if you see bullsh[i]it happening. You aren't supposed to say nothing while your country is wrong. You point it out. A "God damn America" is appropriate if America is screwing up. <br><br>If no one does this everything turns to sh[i][/i]it. (Oh wait, it has.)<br><br>This is a black preacher in a black church on the south side of Chicago. Is it supposed to be refined for Sunday tea at the Whitebread family? He would be laughed at. He is an American preacher in the ghetto doing what preachers should do. Point out injustice.<br><br>
So, Obama presents a concise public statement on this issue. He couldn't be any more clear than "vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements...", "not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation," and "Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country" --- yet Matt knows better and basically calls Obama a liar and you know better and suggest that Obama shares Wright's views. Yeah, no bias there to wave your freak flag about. <br><br>
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