Friday, March 14, 2008

The truth about Barack Obama's church

Rev. Jeremiah Wright is my pastor, too. At least he was. My family and I moved away from Chicago and Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC) about three years ago, and Pastor Wright has since retired. (The current pastor is Rev. Otis Moss III) A lot is being said about TUCC right now, a lot that I think is distortion and untruth. So, I’d like to share my truth, as a former parishioner. Trinity is part of the United Church of Christ, a mainline protestant denomination. I was raised a Baptist and was unfamiliar with the UCC until I visited Trinity. But now, if I were to become active in a church again, I would want it to be a UCC congregation. Why?
Among our many firsts, we were the first mainline church to take a stand against slavery (1700), the first to ordain an African American person (1785), the first to ordain a woman (1853), the first in foreign missions (1810), and the first to ordain openly gay lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons (1972). We value education for all people. We founded Harvard and Yale, as well as many historically black colleges, six of which remain affiliated with the UCC to this day. SOURCE

I am proud of that. I am proud of the denomination's stance against the war. I am proud of this UCC commercial that was BANNED from several networks:

We all know how equality is dangerous. It is clear how that commercial should never be on television. (tongue firmly in cheek) In my understanding, Jesus was about helping and embracing the poor and sick and downtrodden. He was a radical, who spoke out about senseless societal and church rules that kept the unfortunate down and enslaved and the powerful in power. For me, the UCC embodies that thinking. More on the UCC...

According to the official UCC Web site, "UCC churches tend to tailor themselves to fit the people they feel called to serve in their local community. The result: A wide variety of musical traditions, expressions and values that have integrity and purpose. From conservative to liberal, we're not short on variety."

What is the community that Trinity United Church of Christ, on Chicago's South Side, serves? Well, mostly educated, middle- to upper-middle class black families. It is an 6,000+ member congregation, so there is variety. There are some members who are white. There are many, many members who are single. There are many members who are working class or poor. There are some members who are gay. In the UCC tradition, the church doesn't discriminate.

It is hardly a hot-bed of black radicals (not that there is anything wrong with that). The church sits in a black neighborhood on one of those typical Chicago blocks where walking a few blocks can make a world of difference. There is a housing project that abuts the main church parking lot, quiet working-class neighborhoods to the south and north, and if you drive west on 95th street and cross Halsted you'll run into Beverly, a mixed-race affluent neighborhood.

All of these things affect Trinity's mission. But for the most part, the congregation is overwhelmingly black, and so, the church is steeped in African American culture and dedicated to helping it's members draw on their faith to stand strong and live in a still-racist country, and to help others and right wrongs created by inequality. The church "motto" is "unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian." Trinity seeks to teach its members to be comfortable in the skin they're in--racially and spiritually.

Here is the church's "Ten-Point Vision:"

A congregation committed to ADORATION.
A congregation preaching SALVATION.
A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY. SOURCE

I know that many white people are uncomfortable about the blending of race and racial culture with Christianity. But people of color were not the first to do this. I submit that white churches care for their parishioners in much the same way as black churches. It is just that, as European-based culture is the majority, white church practices seem, well, just normal, while Trinity's dancing, shouting choir in African garb seems strange--an attempt to force ethnicity in where it doesn't belong. But consider all the blonde haired, blue-eyed, European-featured depictions of Jesus that are so common in Western Christianity. They don't jive with the Bible's descriptions of Jesus as bronze of skin and wooly-haired. The common depiction of Jesus is a merger of white culture and religion. Trinity's focus on Africa is no different than a Catholic church in an Irish or Italian neighborhood focusing on the heritage of its people.

Jeremiah Wright, former pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, is not a fringe, wacko cult-leader, or a separatist. He is a trained minister with a doctorate of divinity (SOURCE). He is a well-known and respected community leader in Chicago and a respected theologian nationally. People from a wide variety of faiths and of all different races have visited TUCC and spoken from the pulpit. Folks come hours early to hear Father Michael Pfleger, a white Catholic priest deliver one of Christ's seven last words each year on Good Friday.

I tried to find unedited audio of Pastor Wright's comments that are drawing so much fire, but I can only find clips of the most inflammatory pieces (of course). I've only heard bits on TV and the radio, and did not hear the sermon in person, so I cannot speak to the clip point-by-point. I can say this: What Pastor Wright is, in my view, is a radical leftist, and as a liberal, that does not bother me one bit. I don't agree with many things he says (nor do I embrace every doctrine of Christianity or the UCC), but I agree with most of them.

I admit the "God damn America" bit was a rhetorical step too far. But what I believe Pastor Wright was trying to say, as I have heard him say in many sermons over the years, is that blind patriotism is an offense. It is ahistorical. And it is dangerous. America, great though it is, has plenty of blood on its hands. It has, in many cases, wielded its power unskillfully and to the detriment of powerless people all over the world. To ignore that is abhorrent, unhelpful and it weakens us. It is better to call out your country's wrongs and work to correct them as Pastor Wright does, than to preach "my country right or wrong," which is the greater danger to the republic. Pastor Wright speaks truth to power, unfiltered, from a leftist point of view.

Some folks balk at that. I embrace it. Trinity is the first church where I saw women in the pulpit and among the leadership, not relegated to the pews and the kitchen. It is the first church where I heard a male pastor correct the idea, often attributed to the Bible, that women are secondary to men. It is the first church where I heard a pastor preach that everyone doesn't need to marry or have children. It is the first church I have attended where the pastor refused to castigate gays, even if it meant the loss of membership. It is the first church I have attended that encourages its members to use their faith for strength against racism, but also to help all marginalized people.

It is interesting that we are quite comfortable with radical rightwing preachers. Pat Robertson can blame Hurricane Katrina on homosexuals and still be called for interviews by the mainstream news and embraced by presidents. Bob Jones University, a Christian college visited by George Bush, can ban "unGodly"dalliances between black and white students. John McCain can "welcome"support from Rev. John Hagee, who wants a Biblically prophesied invasion of Iran. But a radical leftist minister is just too, too much.

If you truly want to know about the beliefs of the pastor and congregation of TUCC, finding out is easy. The church broadcasts its services live on the Web and on television. I encourage anyone who is concerned about the church to research before making broad statements about "cults" and "black separatists." Click here to hear live broadcasts and access past sermons on demand.

Sidenote: Why does America demand that marginalized people have the same level of patriotism as the mainstream, even given our unique history within the country. I mean, I don't necessarily believe that the government created the HIV virus, as it is reported that Pastor Wright says in his much-publicized sermon, but is it crazy for a group of people who were the victims of the very well-documented Tuskegee Experiment to believe the country might do such a thing? Our experience is different. Get it?



NOLA radfem said...

First, as for your sidenote, I agree that it's absurd to demand testaments of patriotism (well, really, I find testaments of patriotism annoying to begin with, but it's espeically unfair when they're demanded from marginalized groups). I can't remember where I first heard the quote, but somewhere out there you can buy a beautiful poster that says "As a woman, I have no country."

My husband joined the military when he was 17 and homeless. As Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11" showed, military recruiters target malls in poor and minority areas, ignoring the rich, white kids' malls because they know they won't get recruits there. So, as Moore said, think how disgusting it is that from the ranks of those left out of the "American dream" we draw those destined to fight for and even die defending that dream. Disgusting.

As a Unitarian Universalist, I too come from a church that ordained women early (1863, I think ten years after yours, but more than a century before most other denominations), that welcomed an "out" homosexual minister in 1968, that was preaching against slavery before 1825. We still offer by far the most comprehensive sex education program for teens anywhere in the U.S., right in our Sunday school classes. And, despite that proud history, I could imagine someone being able to take some things said at my church out of context and make it sound "unpatriotic," but like you I would insist on the legitimacy of those comments and the fairness of any criticism of the government and society contained in them.

If I didn't already like Obama, the stories of his church alone would make me love him...of course, I'm in the radical minority (what else is new...sigh).

Some days I fantasize about moving to another country, maybe in Scandanavia, although it might be a little cold for a Louisiana girl there. Guess I'm not so "patriotic" either.

Tami said...


My husband joined the military in his 20s, under the Reagan administration, when the economic bounty had yet to "trickle down." It surprises me the number of people who demand rabid patriotism who haven't served a day, yet are quick to call for war.

I have never attended a Unitarian Universalist church, but have always wanted to. I have heard great things. Funny, I took one of those Beliefnet "What faith are you?" quizzes a couple years ago and my answers pointed to United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist, Quaker and Buddhist.

Sidenote: Did I ever tell you New Orleans is one of my favorite places? I honeymooned there and have visited often. One day, when I visit again, we'll have to meet over frosty liquor and seafood. I bet we'd have a hoot!

Anonymous said...

I am sorry about the history of blacks in amercia. I am sorry for all the innocent people killed by american soldiers but what Reverend Wright says is divisive. I attend a United Church of Christ and never would the woman minister preach like this. The church I attend is a welcoming church which means all genders of people and races are welcoming but hate in no way is preached. The utter disrespect Rev Wright has is horrific. he is inciting people to feel divisive, to see white as the enemy. He ridicules and attacks. Has he no sin? If people hate the US so much let them leave and see that this country no matter how flawed is a place of great opportunity. In another country Rev Wright might be jailed. I imagine great spiritual leaders to have compassion and no hatred and ridicule in their hearts. Down trodden people may need to get angry to fight for their rights but speeches of hatred will only diminish their own spiritual growth. It doesn't matter if the video that is being shown is part of a longer video. It is really disheartening that Rev Wrigth feels it is okay to preach like this. It only makes others see black vs, white. I am sure you won't post this. I do not see that Rev Wright teaches forgiveness or unity.

Tami said...


I don't know why you think I wouldn't post your comment, but...

All I can tell you as a former member of TUCC, who had heard many of Pastor Wright's sermons in full, is that he does not preach hate or divisiveness. I would not have attended that church for a day if he did. I know you don't know me, so you have no reason to believe that. I can only speak what I know.

I can also tell you that people of all races DO feel welcomed at TUCC. There are members and frequent visitors who are not black. Why would any white person, like the minister in the video attached to my post, choose to attend a church that inspired its congregation to hate her? Think about that.

If you are a member of the UCC, then you know the denomination. Why would UCC leadership visit the church and embrace Rev. Wright if he was a hatemonger?

I don't hate white people. I don't know anyone in the membership of TUCC who hates white people. (Not saying someone doesn't, just that this isn't the reality that I found at the church.)Pastor Wright doesn't "make people see black and white," differences in races simply exist. Differences in our historical experience exist. I can be mad at ongoing injustice and not be mad at you just because you are white, Anonymous.

You may not want to take this step, and that is okay. But I encourage you to learn more about the church than the few minutes of a sermon that is being replayed on the Web and on television. If you listen to a variety of sermons with an open mind and still feel the same way, that is your right.

Tami said...

One more thing, Anonymous.

It bothers me when people accuse those with the temerity to point out this country's flaws of "hating America." Taking the country and its leaders to tasks for things done wrong equals loving America and wanting it to live up to the beliefs it was founded on. That is true patriotism.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the media has distorted who Rev. Wright is but you must admit those clips have antagonized many viewers. The USA of KKK does not sit well with people. It is too black and white, no pun intended, to accuse all white americans of being in control of the US and against black people, unable to understand their suffering. No one can know another's suffering exactly but other groups have experienced genocide and they were and are white. True humanity crosses color and race. There are many poor uneducated white people who are not living the american dream. T hey are suffering too. They go hungry.There is in equality in the world , in this country and yes, people need to hold governments accountable. I do not know what the truth is. I just don't think it is healthy for people to totally vilify this country that has given a lot to not only whites but people of every race. Does the Rev ever say anything good about america?

NOLA radfem said...

Yes, somebody said that the "America, love it or leave it" crowd wants to love America like a child loves its mommy, and I couldn't agree more. What the rest of us, those of us who criticize our country, want is a MATURE understanding of our citizenship, wherein we see flaws so we can work on them together. After all, if you understand your citizenship to mean that you are an equal owner in your government and your society, then you have an obligation to critique it and then work to improve it, right? So citizenship is not about blind allegiance, but about criticism of government and culture, and then activism. The Founders of this country were NOT blindly loyal to their country - England. Instead, the first PATRIOTS of this country were critics and activists, rebels and radicals. How did we move so far away from the REAL meaning of PATRIOTISM?

How the political descendents of Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine have come to believe that patriotism equals blind, unquestioning loyalty, I can't imagine. In fact, I imagine the Founders spinning in their graves over this!

As Dr. King said, "I criticize America because I love her. I want her to stand as a shining moral example to the world."

What is so wrong with that?

And I'm so tired of hearing that people who point out racism are the racists and women who point out sexism are the ones perpetuating sexism. Those of us who document and theorize racism and sexism are no more responsible for the existence of those things than are astronomers for the stars.

My religion, Unitarian Universalist, tends to be mostly white, but we talk about and work against racism and sexism too. After 9/11, we too talked a lot about the REAL reasons some of the rest of the world hates us (hint: no, they don't hate us for our freedoms). Our ministers preached about it and they still do. No one is going to tell me my church or my spiritual mentor is a peddler of hate for doing any of these things. And I don't believe it about Senator Obama's church either.

Tami, I hope you do visit again sometime! That would be great!

P.S. I got home late and saw Olbermann's coverage of Obama's "breaking news" and the end of an interview with Obama about all of this. Damn.

barbara said...

"As a woman I have no country. As a woman, my country is the world"
~ Virginia Woolf

. . .it's right in front of me, on my wall. . .

I couldn't agree more with your comments on "patriotism" - why on gaia should anyone who is punished by this hypocrisy of a system be expected to salute it?

NOLA radfem said...

P.S.S. Yep, my husband joined when Reagan was president too! It was 1984. He just recently retired after 22 years enlisted.

Tami said...

Yes, Anonymous, Rev. Wright does say good things about the country and about people of all races.

I caught three clips on Keith Olbermann last night that seem to be the ones in question. Remember, those are three clips out of more than 30 years of preaching nearly every Sunday.

"True humanity crosses color and race. There are many poor uneducated white people who are not living the american dream. T hey are suffering too."

I believe that, too.

"I just don't think it is healthy for people to totally vilify this country that has given a lot to not only whites but people of every race."

This country has done a lot for people of all races. I know what those clips must look like to someone on the outside. But seeing them in the context of broader connection with the church, I don't read them as vilification.

I don't know whether you read the previous post I linked to that was written when folks were upset about Michelle Obama's patriotism. I tried to explain how black people (and I imagine other marginalized groups) view our country(IMHO).

Consider this: I am in my 30s and my paternal grandparents never voted. They were not allowed to, as they lived in the Jim Crow South. They were already old when the Voting Rights Act was signed in the mid-60s.

My maternal grandmother once told me that my grandfather, a WW II veteran who did his service for our country, had a chance to be foreman at the steel mill where he worked all his life and was told though he deserved it, it wouldn't be possible, cause you know the white guys in the plant wouldn't like it. This was, I believe, in the 70s, within my lifetime.

My younger brother and a few friends went on a road trip to Atlanta a few years ago. These are all clean-cut college boys. They had a great time in Hotlanta, checked out of the hotel and started by home, when about 10 police cars with flashing lights overtook their car, stopped them, and with guns drawn, demanded they get out. After much drama, it turns out that a woman at the hotel saw them exchanging money. Of course, they were exchanging money for the hotel room, but to this woman it looked like a drug deal and she called the police. The police apologized. They were just doing their job. But that doesn't take away the humiliation of being treated like a criminal, does it? And do you know how that situation could have gone horribly wrong? One of those boys could have tripped or moved the wrong way and died in a hail of bullets because some woman thought black men exchanging money=drug deal. The news would have said that police were following up on a suspected drug deal. And a lot of folks would have looked a the black face of the victim and believed that he must have done something wrong.

I say all this not to vilify America, but to highlight why, though every African American I know loves their country and could not imagine living anywhere else, we have a more sober view of it. If we can't feel safe enough in our places of worship to talk about, and yes, get angry about those things I listed above that happened not long, long ago, but within my parents and my lifetime, then where do we get to talk about it?

Tami said...

I just wanted to build a little on my last response to Anonymous:

- What I mean is that a lot of people view church as a place to get spiritually centered and put on their armor for the week to come. So shouldn't it be okay to "get real" about some of the issues in the world and the pain we face?

- The vitriol you hear from Rev. Wright is, in part generational. I don't share that level of anger and Barack Obama has said he doesn't either, but that is largely because our generation has reaped the rewards of all the stuff Rev. Wright's generation went through. I will be the first to admit, in my nearly 40 years I have seem just a little overt racism. Most of it has been more covert. We have made HUGE strides in this country. But my parents' generation, and Rev. Wright's generation, is the generation of people who had the hoses and dogs turned on them, who worked to integrate the lunch counters in the South, who watched the bombing of black churches on TV, etc. Those things have no doubt left scars. And it is not fair to ignore them.

- Folks can be made at the racist and patriarchal "system," but not mad at individuals, except as far as those individuals abet the system. Does that make sense?

- Again, we're not talking about hatred of America. I know that Rev. Wright was a Marine. My husband, who attended TUCC and enjoyed Rev. Wright's sermons, was in the Navy. Commenter Nola Radfem has said that her husband served his country in the Army for 22 years. Here are three men who SERVED THEIR COUNTRY admirably, but are still able to recognize its wrongs.

Anonymous said...

Thank you both for clarifying the generational thing and telling about your brother and his friend's experience. I do understand where the church is coming from in more ways than I did before the posts. It is unfortunate that the media got a hold of those segments. However there is still a race problem in this country. How do the people discriminated against deal with it? Perhaps all this negative publicity will bring it to the forefront again and more solutions will be created. The thing is racism and anti- semitism and all those kinds of thoughts need to be changed by education. Will people be able to overcome years of generational racism and will recipients of that discrimination be able to forgive? I think the media should be held accountable for what they do or don't report. And people need to be more selective about what they believe.It is very difficult to be part of a group that has been discriminated against. The "wounds" can go on for generations. Every person has the right to be treated equal under the law. I still believe people need to do a lot for themselves(their inner lives) besides trying to change things on the outside. Blatant racism and sexism and agism are hard things to fight. Individual Consciousness needs to be changed. Blaming and revolting is not in my opinion the best way to create lasting change. But it is an age acceptable way of protest(this country was founded by people protesting a king) and it has created changes in laws.So more power to anyone who has the passion and energy to try to create change through government. I am in my fifties and my focus after all the struggles in my life is to find inner peace through self honesty and contemplation. I think if more people did that at any age this world would be a less violent place. We all have our own paths and hopes for the world. I hope this election will help the US change and grow in ways that are condusive to health and opportunity for everyone.

Tami said...


First, thanks for posting. I should have said that earlier.

You know, I was disappointed in the mainstream media before, but I am really coming to LOATHE it. I blame the media for exacerbating about 60 percent of the sexism and racism and ageism, etc., that has occurred during this election. (Yes, ageism. I don't care for John McCain's politics, but if I hear the "he's so old" thing one more time...)

You and I have posted back and forth for a day respectfully. We may not totally agree on everything, but we certainly don't hate each other, and we understand each other a little better. We probably have more in common than you imagine. And maybe when you are discussing those clips of Rev. Wright with people you know, you can offer a different insight, and I can do the same when I discuss the issue.

Healing comes through dialogue. But the thing is, the more the media dangles stuff like those videos and Geraldine Ferraro's comments out there, the less likely it is that people like us will talk and try to understand each other. We'll just get pissed off and retreat to our corners and the gulf between us gets wider.

By the way, those wounds do heal. My parents raised me to embrace people of all races, and I don't just give lip service to that. I know it seems like a disconnect for me to say, yep I agree with a lot of what was on those TUCC clips, and also say that I agree with you. But it's true.

There you have it.

And I would be happy if you visited the blog from time to time to comment on some of my less inflammatory stuff (Though with this election going on, I don't know when I'm going to get to write about light topics.)

Anonymous said...

John McCain never visited BJU. That was a JOKE by Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondants Dinner a couple of years ago.

When you cannot even tell the difference between fact and a joke, it makes the rest of what you have written to also be suspect.

Tami said...

Anonymous #2,

I was wrong. McCain did not visit BJU, but he DID say that he would:

And I will make the correction.

That you would throw out all that I have said, because of that error surely says more about you and your unwillingness to listen to the views of others than it does about me.

NOLA radfem said...

Yes, it is true about veterans. My husband was invited - and encourage by my grandfather - to join the VFW when he retired. Instead, he is a member of Veterans for Peace. His choice.

CK said...

Fantastic post, Tami! I have been following Obama's campaign closely and do not for one moment believe he is racist or anti-American. So, I've been searching for more info on this church. Even taped it today on cable (haven't watched yet). I appreciate your perspective and enjoyed the positive dialogue between you and Anon. Thank you!

Ginny said...

Greetings, Tami, found your blog through a couple other blogs. I posted my comments about this Obama/Wright controversy, however, I feel that my post is going to need an overhaul/correction. blog is at

The thing is, no matter what the context of Rev. Wright's speeches/sermons were, many white voters I don't think will get it (and this is speaking as a white person). I get it, I get what he was saying, but many won't! Because many are in the "love America or leave it" crowd, and I'd count many members of my family among that crowd.

The only real thing that bothered me was the profanity, but I can kinda understand that too. And in the list of full disclosure, I'm not a Christian, I've been a Muslim for 7 years, and even before that, I guess I was kind of a progressive, though I couldn't be fit into a box or anything.

The thing is, you can still love your country, yet criticize what it does, because our country has a history of doing a lot of dirt, mostly overseas, that most Americans don't know about, not to mention our past history and our continued issues with racism, sexism, etc.

Anyway, I was born here, raised here, I don't think I'd want to live anywhere else, though at the same time, I've had moments where I have felt uncomfortable, like being pulled aside at the airport for "extra screening" because of the way I'm dressed. However, many people whave been through, and continue to go through, a lot worse than me. Anyway, I don't know where I'm going with this so I'll stop. Thanks for your take on this subject, I find it very interesting.

Anonymous said...

i think that Tami has not had exposure to much of American Protestant churches. Nearly all mainline Protestant churches have had women in leadership for many many years and I have never (I am 70) heard any minister or leader in where I have had membership say that woman's only role was marriage and children.

Greenconsciousness said...

Fwd: An amazing speech (by Obama)
I received this letter in an e-mail:
I hope you had the chance to hear Barack Obama's entire speech - but if not - please access it now. I believe that he can do more to heal this country and bring us that step closer to healing our relationships with the "other" whether it be human or animal - we need to move beyond race and gender to the plight of other species. He can take us part way there.

I wrote back this answer:
I do not feel the speech was amazing in that Obama has no civil rights record except as accepting racism from his pastor and his wife without comment to date - he said what most of us know about race relations and ignored the sexism and anti-semitism of his friend and mentor, Rev Wright.
I think both those threads and how they intersect have profoundly affected Obama's foreign policies.
I think that means he will ignore the status of women in Muslim theocracies.
Obama has not spoke on the status of Muslim women in the middle east which is an important foreign policy issue in light of his minister's misogyny.
Most of the Afracentrict Liberation Theologies are anti-Semitic . Wright is anti-Semitic. How has that affected Obama's Foreign Policy decisions? Because women are oppressed in the Muslim cultures which are part of Obama's past and present. He has female relatives who are Muslim and presumably living in a Muslim culture. Yet we hear nothing from him on this issue.
Since he thinks the Iraq war was wrong,, how does he intend to deal with Darfur? I do not think the use of military force to end oppression is wrong. Since the left does and Obama does, I want to know how he is going to stop the rape of women in Darfur? It is so easy to say what you would have done when you were not there.
Obama did not speak about whether he supports female slave holding middle east theocracies if they are Palestinians.
What is he going to do about the position of women in the middle east as he is "talking" to all these patriarchs?
I did not hear anything about the sexism in Wright's speech - how Hillary doesn't know lynching when women are raped and murdered everyday by the fathers of their children, when girls as young as six are sold by their own parents - when we have honor killings in this country and girls from Somalia are sent home to have their clitorises' cut off. How Hillary does not know what it is like to be defined as a non person in the constitution. ?! Did the ERA pass while I was sleeping?
When the Muslim religion holds women in slavery, and Obama has so many ties to the Muslim Community, I want to know if he has ever attempted to speak for women rights in Muslim theocracies.
What Obama said is easy to say and has been said by all civil rights workers since the 60's although most of us do not go to church or follow ministers. Perhaps it did need to be said again but Obama did not answer the questions that concern me.
God is in the details, where Hillary likes to play.
The anti-Israel rants of this minister have been well chronicled. Among the gems:
The Israelis have illegally occupied Palestinian territories for almost 40 years now. It took a divestment campaign to wake the business community up concerning the South Africa issue. Divestment has now hit the table again as a strategy to wake the business community up and to wake Americans up concerning the injustice and the racism under which the Palestinians have lived because of Zionism
Pastor Wright is a supporter of Louis Farrakhan (who called Judaism a “gutter religion” and depicted Jews as “bloodsuckers”) and traveled with Farrakhan to visit Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi, archenemy of Israel’s and a terror supporter.
... reported in the New York Sun,: , Mr. Obama has chosen Zbigniew Brzezenski to advise him on Mideast policyand it was reported Obama is sending him to Syria!? I have been unable to find the reporter;
Zbigniew Brzezenski, in the words of one of my listmembers, is "this dinosaur resuscitated from the Jimmy Carter administration, a man who spent over 30 years attacking Israel, an Arabist who recently signed a letter demanding that Israel negotiate with the terrorist group Hamas, and a defender of the notorious Walt-Mearsheimer ideology that Israel and Jews have too much influence on American foreign policy against the interests of the U.S. "
Obama denied this report and said they just met for coffees and emails. I cannot find the response of the reporter who wrote the original article.
I would like to ask; Where is Rev Wright? Is Barack sending him to Africa to drum up global support for Obama's Campaign? The way Power was doing in the Scotsman's newspaper? Are people such as Wright and Zbigniew Brzezenski and Power going to be BO's messengers to foreign media and leaders?

womensspace said...

Tami, I missed this post of yours! You are so prolific! I commented today about Wright's comments and church in the HRC thread that never ends on my blog and we are right in sync. I feel so grieved and alienated by all of this stuff I am uncharacteristically left speechless. The UCC churches are AMAZING churches and from what I've seen, Wright is a GREAT preacher. The whole thing, how it's played out-- it is so absurd. Just wish I'd have seen your post here when you wrote it!

Dawn said...

Thank you for this. I've linked it on my blog.

Libby said...

Tami - I enjoyed this post very much, thank you. I thought you may be interested in this:

Kippa said...

Well said, Tami.
Thank you.

rikyrah said...

Thank you for this testimonial. I believe every little bit helps, and that the TRUTH will come out.

MyEyeIsOnYou said...

I like your blog. Ihope you will continue to post

Anonymous said...

As a Christian and amateur theologian, I have multiple problems with Wright (I refuse to call him reverend because it's a BS title that pastors give themselves), from both a theological and social perspective.

First of all, Black Liberation Theology is completely humanistic in nature, focusing on the individual and not the gospel of grace. Secondly, universalism completely nullifys the cross and the act of election, and is probably more dangerous than preaching atheism. If we're all going to heaven, what's the point?

I also don't buy into the "government made us do it" mindset that everyone loves to throw around nowadays. Since Wright and the "Black Church (whatever that is)" are obviously not Calvinists, they do believe in unlimited free will. To say that the government implemented gangster rap, cocaine, syphilis, AIDS, HIV or any other sort of unfortunate plight is to completely downgrade the will of black americans. Are blacks so weak that the government can force music, drugs and sex upon them? I think not, but some would have you belive so. It's a cop-out.

In terms of military enrollment, last time I checked the draft hasn't been around for over 30 years, so if someone joined the military voluntarily, that's their issue. Just because someone has been targeted by the government recruiters doesn't mean they have to do it. Get a mind of your own.

What a sad state of affairs we are in today. it's always someone else's fault, no one wants to bear the weight of their own choices. No one can suffer their own consequences.

Tami said...


I'm a little confused by your comment, which seems to be a free-form personal responsiblity rant rather than a reaction to what I have written.

Evan Carden said...

Blind patriotism is certainly wrong, but so is blind anti-patriotism. To list the wrongs of a nation without even mentioning the attempts to rectify those wrongs is absolutely as blind as those who say 'my country right or wrong.'

A second, related point, something that's missing from the 'vision' you reference. Redemption.

People are redeemed by their actions, as are nations. Ignoring that is willful blindness.

I've attempted to address some bits of this (and I include several long quotes from Reverend Wright) here:


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