Obama quits Chicago church after long controversy

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  • #1
Evo
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Can I call 'em or what?

ABERDEEN, S.D. - Barack Obama said Saturday he has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and more recent fiery remarks at the church by a visiting priest.


"This is not a decision I come to lightly ... and it is one I make with some sadness," Obama said at a news conference after campaign officials released a letter of resignation he sent to the church on Friday.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080601/ap_on_el_pr/obama [Broken]

Seriously, the only sensible thing he could do was leave and put as much distance between him and that church as possible.

I guess he must have seen my post and decided to take my advice. :wink:
 
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  • #2
Yes just as I predicted he resigned sooner rather than later :tongue2:
 
  • #3
mathwonk
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i am somewhat sad that he took your cut and run advice, evo. of course he may also have just had enough. what if his barber or bus driver listens to rush limbaugh? does he have to change his routine?
 
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  • #4
Evo
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i am somewhat sad that he took your cut and run advice, evo. of course he may also have just had enough. what if his barber or bus driver listens to rush limbaugh? does he have to change his routine?
Did you see the video of Pfleger? I've never seen such venemous hate mongering. It was shocking. Obama had to cut his ties.

If you have not watched the Pfleger video, the entire one, the one I posted was just a small portion, and I think that has been taken down, you need to watch it, but be warned, it's pretty nasty, and Pfleger comes off as a raving psycho.
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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what if his barber or bus driver listens to rush limbaugh? does he have to change his routine?
That depends - does he look to his barber or bus driver for spiritual/moral guidance?
 
  • #6
TheStatutoryApe
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I'm not sure it will make a big difference now. He should have made the decision sooner.
 
  • #7
Gokul43201
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Did you see the video of Pfleger? I've never seen such venemous hate mongering. It was shocking.
I've only watched one video, and in my opinion, it was a brilliant comedic routine. I don't see why everyone's upset about it - especially Hillary - since it seems to be essentially a spot on depiction.

Can you post the link to the hate-mongering video?
 
  • #8
Cyrus
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Does that make Obama an atheist now?
 
  • #9
Gokul43201
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Does that make Obama an atheist now?
I have been secretly grinning about this idea (not exactly, but close) ever since I read the news about it. Shhhh!
 
  • #10
vanesch
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Uh, I thought he was a moslem ?
 
  • #11
Uh, I thought he was a moslem ?

He's not...

Does that make Obama an atheist now?

I don't think so but I think he'll be staying away from churches these days -hence taking a passive stance, hoping this would go by...or quite the opposite he might go to another one and announce it - as a way of saying "I'm against these kind of speeches" -
 
  • #12
Astronuc
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Trinity United Church of Christ is an example of what some call 'charismatic' with respect to the types of sermon issued from the pulpit. It's a different culture than that to which most are apparently accustomed. The idea it seems is to get people fired up. It's not something that would appeal to me.

I do find it unfortunate that Pfleger chose to denigrate Clinton. That was unnecessary, even if some of it had some possible truth to it, i.e. the sense of entitlement. But Pfleger went over the top.


I'm sure Obama will look for a new church, perhaps one in Washington DC. These days, one earns political capital by attending church.
 
  • #13
arildno
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He should have quit this church 20 years ago, or rather, not getting involved with it to begin with.

Rather than his insincere denunciations of Mr. Wright, Obama should have come out clean and said the truth, namely that for a number of years, he himself shared the sentiments of Mr. Wright, and HENCE, chose to be a member of that congregation.

Then he could have apologized, in a far more believable way, that he himself was wrong in sharing the reprehensible opinions of Mr. Wright.
 
  • #14
Gokul43201
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Rather than his insincere denunciations of Mr. Wright, Obama should have come out clean and said the truth, namely that for a number of years, he himself shared the sentiments of Mr. Wright, and HENCE, chose to be a member of that congregation.
And you know this truth how?
 
  • #15
BobG
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Mike Huckabee's opinion of the Obama/Wright controversy:

 
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  • #16
phyzmatix
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I'm sure Obama will look for a new church, perhaps one in Washington DC. These days, one earns political capital by attending church.

'strue.
 
  • #17
Evo
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I've only watched one video, and in my opinion, it was a brilliant comedic routine. I don't see why everyone's upset about it - especially Hillary - since it seems to be essentially a spot on depiction.

Can you post the link to the hate-mongering video?
Here's a snippet, I'll see if I can find the whole sermon. The part about Clinton was just a tiny piece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfWnY5PC0CQ&feature=related
 
  • #18
Ivan Seeking
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Can I call 'em or what?

I thought of you as soon as I heard the news. :approve:
 
  • #19
Gokul43201
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Here's a snippet, I'll see if I can find the whole sermon.
I honestly don't find anything particularly controversial in what he said there. Retribution, is, after all, still a big piece of modern American jurisprudence (and it's probably only the Anglicans and some small fraction of Lutherans that have any objection to it).
 
  • #20
Evo
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I honestly don't find anything particularly controversial in what he said there. Retribution, is, after all, still a big piece of modern American jurisprudence (and it's probably only the Anglicans and some small fraction of Lutherans that have any objection to it).
Screaming to a group of black people that they have been repeatedly raped by American Whites? That's not hate mongering? Of I'm sure that did a lot of good to help smooth over racial tensions. And there were small children listening to him, what are they supposed to think? He's telling the congregation, throughout his sermon that white people are against blacks. Did you see the snippet of him praising Rev Wright, again evil White people are against them.

This is why Obama had to leave, not the parody of Clinton.
 
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  • #21
Ivan Seeking
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It certainly betrays Obama's message of reconciliation and hope. I am personally not shocked by his sermon, really, because I understand the reference to rape, and to some degree I understand why some black people feel this way. And the reverend was only saying what many in the audience feel. But even in the case of a rape victim, either life moves on, or you spend the rest of your life being an angry victim.

I think one problem here is that some older people have been too angry for too long, and change is not possible.
 
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  • #22
russ_watters
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There is another piece to that no one mentioned - the part about "America has to pay the price..." Part of what makes such rhetoric so popular is the idea that there may be some free money associated with it.

It's a tough balance for a democrat, though. So much of their political capital comes from playing-up the victim mentality and the free money to make up for it. This guy was very obviously over the line, but the big picture is that Obama needs those people to believe they are victims and that he can help them. It is also not too dissimilar to Hillary's message to lower-class whites. And Obama's "bitter" comment was intended to be the same message, he just tripped over the delivery.
 
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  • #23
Ivan Seeking
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but the big picture is that Obama needs those people to believe they are victims and that he can help them.

Why does he need that? I think the reverends need them to feel like victims, but not Obama. In fact Obama stands out as anything but a victim. He stands as an example of how far we have come.

As for paying the price, this notion that the US owes the decendents of slaves reparations, is absurd. I see this as nothing more than a loser's pipedream.
 
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  • #24
Gokul43201
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Screaming to a group of black people that they have been repeatedly raped by American Whites? That's not hate mongering? Of I'm sure that did a lot of good to help smooth over racial tensions. And there were small children listening to him, what are they supposed to think? He's telling the congregation, throughout his sermon that white people are against blacks. Did you see the snippet of him praising Rev Wright, again evil White people are against them.
It is my own personal opinion that this is hate mongering, but I don't see why most Americans should see it as so. After all, it strikes me as no different from testimonials in the penalty phase of a court hearing where family members of the victim describe the suffering of their loved one at the hands of the perpetrator and demand retribution.

I find both practices despicable, but I'm in the minority.

I don't think he was telling the congregation that white people are against blacks - he can hardly pull that off, being himself a ... white person. It only sounds like he is saying that there has been a long history of white subjugation and some whites now think that blacks should get over it and move on. He is also justifying a hatred of white supremacy beyond one which exists today, and he is fostering a sense of entitlement beyond one which is productive.
 
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  • #25
Cyrus
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And you know this truth how?

No, I agree with arildno here. For 20 years the man was a part of this chruch. This is def not something new to him. To be 'outraged' so late at the game is just BS. I am sure he knew exactly what was said in that chruch when the spotlight wasnt on him, and he ate it up. If he's going to claim its suddenly not in line with his views, what did he do there for 20 years, sleep through the sermons?
 
  • #26
Cyrus
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As for paying the price, this notion that the US owes the decendents of slaves reparations, is absurd. I see this as nothing more than a loser's pipedream.

If you know anything about how the US economy was basically built on the backs of black slaves, and the things that happened to them throughout history, its really not all that absurd. In THEORY, yes they should get something. Maybe not money, but edcuation, opportunity, I don't know. But I wouldn't start handing them out cash.

Its pretty convient for us, as white people, to say 'oh you don't get anything', meanwhile we got plenty from their slavery.
 
  • #27
Gokul43201
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No, I agree with arildno here. For 20 years the man was a part of this chruch. This is def not something new to him. To be 'outraged' so late at the game is just BS. I am sure he knew exactly what was said in that chruch when the spotlight wasnt on him, and he ate it up. If he's going to claim its suddenly not in line with his views, what did he do there for 20 years, sleep through the sermons?
1. It's one thing to say "it sounds like BS" and another thing to assert it as truth without providing the evidence.

2. In those 20 years, let's say Obama attended 200 sermons and slept through none of them, and Wright gave 1000 sermons. Now what's the probability that Obama heard the 2 or 3 sermons that have appeared on Youtube and Fox news?

3. Let's say there were a lot more than just these few sermons that were just as bad. You still have no evidence that Obama shared all the views expressed in them. What minimum fraction of your pastor's views do you need to share in order to stick with a church? He could have continued to stay in that church for several reasons other than that he agreed with every single opinion of his pastor.

Here are a few possibilities:
(i) He agreed with most other things preached by Wright and others at the church,
(ii) He went to church primarily for religious guidance, and so didn't give much value to the socio-political commentary of its pastors,
(iii) He stayed with the church despite the damaging language, because they were actually more successful in carrying out social programs that helped the poor communities in the area, than other nearby churches,
(iv) He stayed in despite the conspiracy nutjobs because it was the politically expedient thing to do.

To assert that he shared all the views of Wright is unsupportable. Do you actually think Obama believes the Government infected the black community with AIDS? Please! This guy was the President of the Harvard Law Review - he's smarter than that.

Incidentally, it's only the people that haven't heard much of Obama's speeches (or the folks at Fox) who will say Obama is suddenly claiming that these opinions are not in line with his views. Long before the Wright incident blew up, Obama had rejected the structuralist argument of Wright and his type, and has been attacked by folks in the Black community for doing so. I posted some links and excerpts somewhere in the other Wright thread.
 
  • #28
Cyrus
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1. It's one thing to say "it sounds like BS" and another thing to assert it as truth without providing the evidence.

2. In those 20 years, let's say Obama attended 200 sermons and slept through none of them, and Wright gave 1000 sermons. Now what's the probability that Obama heard the 2 or 3 sermons that have appeared on Youtube and Fox news?

3. Let's say there were a lot more than just these few sermons that were just as bad. You still have no evidence that Obama shared all the views expressed in them. What minimum fraction of your pastor's views do you need to share in order to stick with a church? He could have continued to stay in that church for several reasons other than that he agreed with every single opinion of his pastor.

Here are a few possibilities:
(i) He agreed with most other things preached by Wright and others at the church,
(ii) He went to church primarily for religious guidance, and so didn't give much value to the socio-political commentary of its pastors,
(iii) He stayed with the church despite the damaging language, because they were actually more successful in carrying out social programs that helped the poor communities in the area, than other nearby churches,
(iv) He stayed in despite the conspiracy nutjobs because it was the politically expedient thing to do.

To assert that he shared all the views of Wright is unsupportable. Do you actually think Obama believes the Government infected the black community with AIDS? Please! This guy was the President of the Harvard Law Review - he's smarter than that.

Incidentally, it's only the people that haven't heard much of Obama's speeches (or the folks at Fox) who will say Obama is suddenly claiming that these opinions are not in line with his views. Long before the Wright incident blew up, Obama had rejected the structuralist argument of Wright and his type, and has been attacked by folks in the Black community for doing so. I posted some links and excerpts somewhere in the other Wright thread.

You are neglecting one key point. If it is bad enough that he is 'outraged' and left the church, then certainly he MUST have heard at least ONE sermon that was equally bad in those 20 years that SHOULD have outraged him long time ago. Or HEARD about a such a sermon from a person sitting next to him telling him about last weeks sermon and what was said.
 
  • #29
Evo
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Have you seen what this latest Pfleger debacle has caused? There is now a "Democrats who will not vote for Obama" petition on iPetitions.

Yikes. Read this thing.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/Dems_Who_Will_Not_Vote_For_Obama/index.html [Broken]
 
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  • #30
lisab
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I find it hard to believe that Obama could hold beliefs similar to what Wright said on the Youtube video, and never tell anyone about them. In fact, I know of nothing in his background that indicates he's racist.

Besides, just because a person in your life is a guide or a mentor doesn't mean you have to adopt every belief of that person into yourself. For example, when I was young I worked with a scientist who became a mentor to me. He wanted me to study EE; I didn't want to and studied physics instead. He hated sports; I love baseball. He loved Bob Dylan; I really, really don't.

Even if Obama knew Wright held views different from his own, it means absolutely nothing to who Obama is as a man.
 
  • #31
klusener
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he is 'outraged' and left the church

It should be noted that he didn't leave the church because he was 'outraged'. He specifically stated in his press conference yesterday that he wasn't "denouncing" the church. He's leaving for a number of reasons, one of which is that he doesn't need to be affixed with the views of whoever speaks or preaches at the church, something that has been happening often of late, and another is that the church itself has undergone excessive scrutiny from the media, which, obviously, is a legitimate element of the political process, but you don't want ordinary people who visit the church to worship in peace, to socialize, etc. having to be forced or bothered into contact with the media.
 
  • #32
Evo
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another is that the church itself has undergone excessive scrutiny from the media
He really should have left this out of his statement. What it means is that what goes on in this church can no longer hide from public viewing.

It should be noted that he didn't leave the church because he was 'outraged'.
Where are you getting this from, I don't see anyone claiming that he was outraged in this thread.
 
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  • #33
Cyrus
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It should be noted that he didn't leave the church because he was 'outraged'. He specifically stated in his press conference yesterday that he wasn't "denouncing" the church. He's leaving for a number of reasons, one of which is that he doesn't need to be affixed with the views of whoever speaks or preaches at the church, something that has been happening often of late, and another is that the church itself has undergone excessive scrutiny from the media, which, obviously, is a legitimate element of the political process, but you don't want ordinary people who visit the church to worship in peace, to socialize, etc. having to be forced or bothered into contact with the media.

Isnt that just as bad? When you go to a church and then have to leave because you don't want to be peged by those very viewpoint of your own church.

Hmmm...
 
  • #34
Gokul43201
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You are neglecting one key point. If it is bad enough that he is 'outraged' and left the church, then certainly he MUST have heard at least ONE sermon that was equally bad in those 20 years that SHOULD have outraged him long time ago. Or HEARD about a such a sermon from a person sitting next to him telling him about last weeks sermon and what was said.
Cyrus, I can't make much sense of this post - but you have at least one point that is factually misleading (that he left the church due to outrage). And you still have not proved that Obama shares Wright's opinions on race.

He really should have left this out of his statement. What it means is that what goes on in this church can no longer hide from public viewing.
I agree (though only in part, because he was also talking about the media hounding the other members of the church, which is unfortunate). But this is what nearly every church wants - the freedom to say whatever they please without bothersome media scrutiny.

Evo said:
Where are you getting this from, I don't see anyone claiming that he was outraged in this thread.
Maybe from here?
If it is bad enough that he is 'outraged' and left the church, then certainly he MUST have heard at least ONE sermon that was equally bad in those 20 years that SHOULD have outraged him long time ago.
 
  • #35
Cyrus
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Cyrus, I can't make much sense of this post - but you have at least one point that is factually misleading (that he left the church due to outrage). And you still have not proved that Obama shares Wright's opinions on race.

I don't think he shares wrights opinion on race. But come on, it took him 20 years to finally distance himself. I got to roll my eyes on that one. He only distanced himself after those clips made the light of day, or he would STILL be in that church.

I say outrage in the sense that he really was PISSED OFF that day he gave the press conference separating himself. You could see it in his face.
 

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