Jeremiah Wright: Why does Mr. Obama support him?

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arildno
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Main Question or Discussion Point

Reverend Wright is a blatant racist, has made numerous inflammatory comments, and praises a fascist like Louis Farrakhan.

Is this really the type of spiritual advisor a future president of the US should have?
 

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You should vote for Nader. You know you agree with him on every issue. It's better to vote for someone you want and have them lose, than to vote for someone you don't want and have them win.
 
russ_watters
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This should be worrisome for Obama supporters. If it doesn't kill him in the remaining primaries (the far left wing won't be too bothered by this), it has a good chance of killing him in the general election.
 
Ivan Seeking
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Ivan Seeking
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This is one of Obama's statements:
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D-IL): I did not hear such incendiary language myself, personally, either in conversations with him or when I was in the pew. He always preached a social gospel and was sometimes controversial in the same way that many people who speak out on social issues are controversial. But I, I--these particular statements that have been gathered are ones that I strongly objected to, strongly condemned. Had I heard them in church, I would have expressed that concern directly to Reverend Wright. So I didn't become familiar with these until recently.
But I thought that Michele Norris had some interesting comments.
...MS. NORRIS: Well, I think, I think they have no escape from this because it keeps coming up. And Barack Obama dealt with this directly yesterday, saying that this is sort of a generational shift, that certain people who are, come out of the 1960s and talking about Jeremiah Wright, carry with them--I think he said that men of ferocious intelligence who came out of the 1960s, whose, whose ambitions were stymied, carry with them the anger and the baggage of that in trying to explain some of the rhetoric there.

You know, I should say, though, where Jeremiah Wright is concerned, it's interesting. If you--or introduced to him for the first time just based on the clips that you showed on this program and that have been in heavy rotation, particularly on cable news and on talk radio, you don't get the full measure of, of, of this man and who he is and a sort of full understanding of why Barack Obama may have been attracted to him. Barack Obama is in a difficult position because he has said repeatedly "Words count." And so he can't diminish these words or, or easily step away from them.

But if you just focus on the words, it seems that you ignore something very important. When Jeremiah Wright makes these statements, the amen chorus in that church was very loud. His words resonate with a large number of African-Americans, and the blunt language that he used makes people uncomfortable, you know, when he talks about America's inglorious record on race. And yet many people find, find something that they relate to in those words, and that's what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may want to start focusing on, is this chasm that both Ferraro dustup and the Jeremiah Wright dustup seems to point to in this country.

MR. RUSSERT: And yet many African-Americans have said to me in the last 48 hours that their concern was that Obama be seen not as a new kind of African-American leader and that we get caught up in those kinds of climates, comments and hyperbole, which will frighten white Americans and create difficulty for Obama in uniting the country.

MS. NORRIS: That's part of why he was so fresh and new is that he was a voice that was without anger.

MR. BRODER: Well, and I said, I said to Michele a moment ago that what's striking to me is that I don't know Reverend Wright except for these clips, and that's not a basis for judging his whole approach or personality, but his tone seems so far removed from the tone that Obama has tried to strike, not just in this campaign but throughout his political career, that it raises a question in my mind: What was it about Reverend Wright that attracted Obama when he had, as a newcomer to Chicago, choice of any of the number of churches or pastors to go to?

MS. NORRIS: You know, when you talk about tone, though, it's interesting. You're talking about his tone and not his words. The, the sort of fire from the pulpit...

MR. BRODER: Yes.

MS. NORRIS: ...is, is not something that is unusual in an African-American church. That is, that is some--and in fact, in many churches in America. And so what you're dealing with in these, in these statements is in part the words, but also in, in the way that they were delivered. And you're right in noting that is very different from, from what Barack Obama hears. But it's not altogether different from, from what many people are hearing at this moment in churches all across America. [continued]
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23658548/page/4/
 
Art
I find it hard to fathom how a candidate is responsible for the reported preachings of a minister of the church he is a member of.

Where does guilt by association end? Should all catholics be excluded from running for public office because of the child abuse scandal in that church?

Should jews be banned from seeking office because a jewish Israeli minister recently threatened the Palestinians with a holocaust?

Should protestants be banned because some preachers of their church support racist policies?

I think if you judge people based on things said by people who happen to share some of their views then you would quickly reach the point where the entire poplulation would fail the selection criteria.
 
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Evo
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I find it hard to fathom how a candidate is responsible for the reported preachings of a minister of the church he is a member of.
If the viewpoints that are in question are known to the church member, then it would stand to reason that the member agrees with those views. If he was not aware, as Obama claims, then it's a non-issue, up to the point that he has become aware. I would expect Obama to change churches now that he has denounced the reverand.
 
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Where does guilt by association end?
I see what you are saying, but there's a difference between "I am Religion X and Mr. Fred is Religion X, and he killed a man, therefore I am a bad person for being of Religion X."

and "Mr. Fred is my spokesperson for religious people." If you let a preacher endorse you, you get (generally) the support of that preacher's umm... parishoners? Whatever they are called. In turn, that lets the preacher speak for you a bit. You are essentially weakly coupled and you can't take X and Y separately. The preacher being bat**** insane and you welcoming his support means you welcome his ideas.

I mean honestly, you don't tend to associate with people you have nothing in common with. If you hung out with Stalin or Hitler because they liked to play chess, you'd still be seen as a bad person for hanging out with them, even if you didn't want them to kill anybody. It's just how it is.
 
slugcountry
This is just pathetic grasping for straws by the corporate media, and bears no real significance.

The only thing wrong with this is that this is yet another story of someone preaching politics from the pulpit - stupid.

As for what this preacher actually said: I've got to say its hard to disagree with any of it on a factual basis.

For that matter is there any proof that this was actually a speech delivered in a church??? This has been the suggestion but how do people know that he wasn't just making a political speech somewhere?
 
Gokul43201
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Some of it was from a Christmas eve sermon. That is definitely abusing the role of the church. That Obama still makes weak excuses for him is quite sad to see. If only Obama were more like his mom when it came to religion...
 
D H
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This is just pathetic grasping for straws by the corporate media, and bears no real significance.
To the contrary. This thread is chock full of pathetic grasping at straws by Obama supporters. The association between Obama and Wright lasted for twenty years. He was Obama's spiritual mentor. This reverend on let loose his wrong side when Obama did not attend services? Please!

As for what this preacher actually said: I've got to say its hard to disagree with any of it on a factual basis.
OK. Kool-aid time.
 
chemisttree
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The real problems for Obama are manifold. If he rejects his spiritual mentor, member of his campaign advisory committee, inspiration for the title and subject of his book "The Audacity of Hope", close friend, etc... it will look just like what it is. And he is throwing a close confidante under the bus in the process. That is certain to raise a few eyebrows. Now he is saying that he wasn't present at the sermons in question. If that can be refuted by an eyewitness, his campaign is through. He really (uncharacteristically) painted himself into a corner with that denial and it remains to be seen if it is believed by many.
The real problem is how he and his wife have been portrayed as behaving. Much has been made of his refusal to wear the American flag on his lapel and his wife's comment that for the first time in her adult life she is proud of America. It will be easy for his political opponents to leave those breadcrumbs lying about to encourage anyone who might have the slightest reservation in supporting him to support another candidate.
 
Ivan Seeking
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If this was an isolated event then I think Obama can ride it out. If not, then he's dead. It may depend in large part on what he says tomorrow [today].

Funny thing is the Jimmy Carter says much the same thing as the Reverend did, just not with all the damning. I think the message could survive, but the tone and language is devestating.
 
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arildno
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Obama doesn't support him. In fact he denounced Wright and his statements.

No worse than McCain’s buddies [dispensationalists] who want to start WWIII in order to fulfill biblical prophesy.
https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=189445
The United States is pre-eminently the country where your religious affiliation is basically a commodity you choose, rather than a tradition you feel responsibility to uphold.

What that means is that a proper denouncement of Mr. Wright would be to quit his Church as a member, and find some better spiritual mentor.
 
Gokul43201
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Funny thing is the Jimmy Carter says much the same thing as the Reverend did, just not with all the damning.
Most every conservative preacher in the country has denounced America for being the land of the gay and the home of the greedy. Falwell said that 9/11 was deserved, thanks to the ACLU, gay rights activists, women's rights activists, pro-choicers and evolutionists. And when Falwell died, there wasn't a single news network that could dare to call him the scoundrel that he was. By comparison, what Wright has said here is mild and much of it is true (just not PC to say out loud)!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20080317/cm_huffpost/091774;_ylt=Aq_lH72YCCxOlaE1vskCJXms0NUE [Broken]
When Senator Obama's preacher thundered about racism and injustice Obama suffered smear-by-association. But when my late father -- Religious Right leader Francis Schaeffer -- denounced America and even called for the violent overthrow of the US government, he was invited to lunch with presidents Ford, Reagan and Bush, Sr.

We've got a preacher who says that America brought 9/11 upon itself through its interventionist foreign policy, and this person is evil. And then we have a preacher who said that America brought 9/11 upon itself for protecting the rights of gays and teaching evolution in schools, but this person is revered by the masses and the powers that be.

Wow!
 
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Gokul43201
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I would expect Obama to change churches now that he has denounced the reverand.
What that means is that a proper denouncement of Mr. Wright would be to quit his Church as a member, and find some better spiritual mentor.
Wright is no longer with the Trinity Church. He (was) retired recently.
 
chemisttree
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Every conservative preacher in the country has denounced America for being the land of greed and the home of the gay. Falwell said that 9/11 was deserved, thanks to the ACLU, gay rights activists, women's rights activists, pro-choicers and evolutionists. And when Falwell died, there wasn't a single news network that could dare to call him the scoundrel that he was. By comparison, what Wright has said here is mild and much of it is true (just not PC to say out loud)!

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20080317/cm_huffpost/091774;_ylt=Aq_lH72YCCxOlaE1vskCJXms0NUE [Broken]



We've got a preacher who says that America brought 9/11 upon itself through its interventionist foreign policy, and this person is evil. And then we have a preacher who said that America brought 9/11 upon itself for protecting the rights of gays and teaching evolution in schools, but this person is revered by the masses and the powers that be.

Wow!
True but what we have with Obama runs much deeper than just having lunch together or accepting the support of a dispensationalist. Obama's relationship with this pastor spans over two decades not just a grip and grin or a lunch date. The good pastor has said much more than America brought 9/11 upon itself. The church itself has a web site that preaches some very disturbing doctrine. They have even changed their web page to hide the evidence...

Barack Obama's church is scrambling to undo the impression it is a ministry for blacks only with a radical message. The Web site of the Trinity United Church of Christ has been purged of a section which spoke of the church's endorsement of — "black ethics" that — "must be taught and exemplified....wherever blacks are gathered."

Among those black ethics are "commitment to the black community, commitment to the black family, disavowal of the pursuit of middleclassness and allegiance to all black leadership who espouse and embrace the black value system."
http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/03/17/trinity-united-church-of-christ-makes-changes-to-web-site/

For these Christians, Jesus is not about salvation but is about Black Power. Jesus is more about favoring the poor over the rich, the oppressed over the opressor. That is not a sentiment that I believe will have resonance with most of America, Christian or otherwise.
 
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Gokul43201
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They have even changed their web page to hide the evidence...
c-tree, I hope that quote is not from NewsMax! Can you add the link as well? Cached versions of websites should be easy to dig up, I'd think.

For these Christians, Jesus is not about salvation but is about Black Power.
For an athiest like me, neither of those ideas is particularly appealing, but if these claims are true, then I can see this causing a huge problem for Obama. And I'd be surprised to hear that he'd not planned for this before.

Jesus is more about favoring the poor over the rich, the oppressed over the opressor. That is not a sentiment that I believe will have resonance with most of America, Christian or otherwise.
I thought these were things that are true, according to the Bible (what with all the stuff about the meek inheriting the world and the rich man...eye of a needle). I didn't know that the mainstream Christians rejected these views.
 
chemisttree
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From the only TV interview with Pastor Wright:

WRIGHT: The black value system, which was developed by the congregation, by laypersons of the congregation, 26 years ago, very similar to the gospel (INAUDIBLE) developed by laypersons in Nicaragua during the whole liberation theology movement, 26, 28, 30 years ago, yes.

HANNITY: All right, but we're not dealing with — this is on the Web site today. Let me just inform our audience, and I want you to respond, if you can.

It says, "Commitment to God." By the way, I'm with you, and I hope you'll pray for me, Reverend. Commitment to the black community, commitment to the black family, adherence to the black work ethic. It goes on, pledge, you know, acquired skills available to the black community, strengthening and supporting black institutions, pledging allegiance to all black leadership who have embraced the black value system, personal commitment to the embracement of the black value system.

Now, Reverend, if every time we said black, if there was a church and those words were white, wouldn't we call that church racist?

WRIGHT: No, we would call it Christianity. We've been saying that since there was a white Christianity; we've been saying that ever since white Christians took part in the slave trade; we've been saying that ever since they had churches in slave castles.

We don't have to say the word "white." We just have to live in white America, the United States of white America. That's not the issue; you're missing the issue.

As I was trying to say to you, liberation theology — and I thought Eric Rush has studied at a theological seminary that was conservative — I've come to find out he doesn't know anything more about theology than I know about brain surgery.

HANNITY: So here's my point to you, though.

WRIGHT: No, let me finish. No, here's my point to you.

HANNITY: I'm waiting.

WRIGHT: If you're not going to talk about theology in context, if you're not going to talk about liberation theology that came out of the ‘60s, (INAUDIBLE) black liberation theology, that started with Jim Cone in 1968, and the writings of Cone, and the writings of Dwight Hopkins, and the writings of womanist theologians, and Asian theologians, and Hispanic theologians...

HANNITY: Reverend, I've got to get this in.

WRIGHT: Then you can talk about the black value system.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: I'm going to tell you this. Listen...

WRIGHT: Do you know liberation theology, sir? Do you know liberation theology?

HANNITY: I studied theology; I went to a seminary. And I studied Latin.

WRIGHT: Do you know black liberation theology?

HANNITY: I'm very aware of what you're calling black liberation, but let me get my question out.

(CROSSTALK)

WRIGHT: I said, do you know black theology?

HANNITY: Reverend, I'm going to give you a chance to answer my question.

WRIGHT: How many of Cone's books have you read? How many of Cone's book have you read?
You can google black liberation theology and investigate it for yourself. Here is an excerpt from http://www.hwhouse.com/aninvestigation.htm" [Broken]
The message of Christ, it is said, is black power.26 Cone elucidates this theme, "It is my thesis...that Black Power, even in its most radical expression, is not the antithesis of Christianity, nor is it a heretical idea to be tolerated with painful forbearance. It is, rather, Christ's central message to twentieth-century America."27 Similarly and more forcefully, Henry says, "Black Power is not the antithesis of Christianity. It IS Christianity."...

....Of what people is the kingdom of God composed? For God to be true to His nature, black theologian Cone says that His righteousness must be directed to the helpless and the poor. The rich, the secure, and the suburbanite cannot share in God's righteousness because they trust in things of this world .32 Only the one who becomes black can have this righteousness, for reconciliation makes one black. "To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people!"
This supposes that 'black' is not merely a skin color but a status of inferiority in society. The term 'white' must therefore mean 'oppressor' and 'sinner'.
To be oppressed is to be black, and to be an oppressor is to be white. ("Black" and "white" relate not to skin pigmentation but to one's attitude and action toward the liberation of the oppressed black people from white racism.
No, this is not normal Christianity and it might greatly harm Obama. There is no amount of distancing from Wright that will change the fact that Obama attends a church based on black liberation theology. Very bad ju ju, I think.
 
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slugcountry
Wright is a product of radical oppression, and though I don't defend him making political statements in a religious context, the fact that people actually have the audacity to call him crazy for making statements like

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God d--- America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God d--- America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d--- America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."


I mean, what part of that could you actually disagree with?? Is any part of that factually WRONG?? No.

The CIA smuggles cocain INTO the country. Historical fact. Just recently we found out that the USA has more people in prison than any other country on earth. Fact. The VAST majority of the prison population is comprised of blacks and other MINORITIES. FACT. The bible DOES say that you are damned for killing innocent people.

Does the government treat its citizens as less than human?? How about Japanese internment camps. How about fire hoses, police dogs, and black demonstrators. How about secret CIA prisons.

No, I'm sorry, but where does the reverend have his facts SO WRONG that this is headline news??

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," Wright said in a sermon Sept. 16, 2001. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America's chickens are coming home to roost," he told his congregation.


Again... which part of this is inaccurate??
 
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Ivan Seeking
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This supposes that 'black' is not merely a skin color but a status of inferiority in society. The term 'white' must therefore mean 'oppressor' and 'sinner'.
Historically, black is a status of inferiority. Certainly you're not denying the long history of oppression in this country. And he is using "black" as a metaphor for being disadvanted, and more to the point, meek; that is, unless one can actually "become black".

This is part of the basic philosophy of all Christianity that the meek will inherit the earth [which is how I know that I won't be inheriting much :biggrin:].
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Well, I think he did a pretty good job today. He may get past this.
 
Ivan Seeking
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The problem in making this stick is that the issue seeks to portray Obama as a racist - a guy who is biracial - which makes it a pretty tough sell. The only other thing that I see sticking is a credibility issue. If more of this comes out and Obama is being deceitful, then I think he's in big trouble. If this is it, then I think it will soon be ancient history to all but the ardent Obama/liberal/democrat haters.
 
Gokul43201
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lisab
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No, this is not normal Christianity and it might greatly harm Obama. There is no amount of distancing from Wright that will change the fact that Obama attends a church based on black liberation theology. Very bad ju ju, I think.
Before making that your final call, watch the speech.
 

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