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Sweet: ABC News throws spotlight on Obama's Rev. Wright. Wright sermon sampler. "God damn America."

| 32 Comments

WASHINGTON--ABC News threw a spotlight on Sen. Barack Obama's controversial minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright--reviewing a selection of Wright's sermons, highlighted his anti-U.S. rhetoric. In an increasingly tense race--Wright's words may create problems for Obama. This follows uproars over statements from Obama foreign policy adviser Samantha Power and Clinton fund-raiser Geraldine Ferraro; in this heated atmosphere, both were cut recently from their respective campaigns. Obama's "Audacity of Hope" title of his second book comes from a Wright sermon.

In the excerpt of a sermon below, Wright rallies against "rich white people" and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Wright quote from 2003 used in the ABC News report.

"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 damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," Wright said
in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than
human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is
supreme."

Obama recently called Wright--retiring from Trinity United on Chicago's South Side--an "old uncle" with whom he does not always agree.

32 Comments

Rev. Wright is Obama's former pastor. His new pastor is Rev. Otis Moss III. Are we now to expect an analysis of every minister messages in which the candidates appear?

I find it very intetresting that ABC is bringing into play snippets of a sermon from 5 years ago from the FORMER pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ. Is America so afraid of a Black man being president that they have to find every little so called controversial thing that his former pastor NOT he himself, has said? Come on people, wake up! This is just another form of fear-mongering. This should get even more people to vote for Obama because hopefully they will be able to see through this obvious smear campaign against the man who should be our next president. Shame on ABC.

I notice that this information is being ignored by the majority of news outlets and I find that puzzling. I hope ABC isn't going to be attacked for doing this piece because it is relevant. It sheds light on where Michelle Obama was coming from with the "for the first time in my adult life, I'm proud of my country". The Obama's have chosen this kind of a radical church environment which seems to emphasize an us against them mentality. I became aware of this information several months ago, along with things I read that made it appear that Obama talked up helping needy people in Chicago to promote his state and US Senate runs. Once elected he allowed public housing tenants to suffer the abuse of his friend Tony Rezco and when asked about it he said no one brought the problems to his attention. He also continued to be friendly with Rezco and asked for his assistance to secure his mansion which he apparently couldn't really afford. Now Obama says don't worry that he doesn't have experience because he has superior judgement. Really?

Have the citizens of Illinois been bamboozled and hoodwinked?

Is this a similar situation (not sex) to the Elliot Spitzer scandal...a compliant press playing a long as willing participants?

I blame the media in Illinois for putting us in this terrible situation.

My oh my... cats out of the bag...

People, Obama has been a member of this church for 20 YEARS!!!

20 years as a member of this group...

his wedding ceremony... the title of his book... WOW.

My jaw hurts it's hit the ground so hard.

Thank you for posting this. None of the major newschannels have covered this. If they do not treat this the same way they treated Ferraro's comments, then they really are biased. I am offended by Wright's comments and if Obama wants to be our next president then he needs to stick to his word by asking Wright to resign from his campaign. It's only fair. The more he stays silent on this issue, the more he shows poor judgment. And no, comparing him to an uncle that you don't always agree with is different because he is not related to Wright and is in no way obligated to be associated with him if he doesn't want to be but still chooses to be. Lynn, please keep talking about this story because it is very important.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is right. Just read former New York Times' reporter Stephen Kinzer's book "Overthrow," and the extent of US meddling in the affairs of other nations will become clear. What's more, as the reverend noted, the US is the only nation to have used nuclear wapons on other human beings. Have we forgotten our own history? Do why think our actions have no conseqence? That's what the Rev. Wright was talking about and I applaud him for doing it. There once were more people courageous enough to point out the echoing consequences of the US's imperialistic history, but this is a timid age. Wright is not running for president,however. Sen. Barack Obama is running and he did not say those words. This is a timid age.

I believe The Rev. Wright retires effective in June. Somebody told me that Shaun Hannity did a half-hour on Rev. Wright and his church last week of so. Guess the GOP is getting the hatchets sharpened for Obama for a change. Since I don't watch Fox Noise, I didn't see it. I agree that when the national news gets around to explaining this Rezko business to the rest of the nation, the "superior judgement" that Obama is trying to use as a substitute for experience is going to finally be called into question. I guess its one of the mysteries of life as to what they have been waiting for. ;o)

THIS CHURCH ISN'T RADICAL, AND THE ONLY REASON ALL THIS IS BEING
SHOWN IS BECAUSE THE MAN RECEIVED 91% OF THE BLACK VOTE IN
MISSISSIPPI, NOW THE ONLY THING THE CLINTON'S CAN DO IS START A
FEAR CAMPAIGN, BUT WHAT YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IS THERE ARE MORE
POOR WHITES IN THIS COUNTRY THAN BLACKS. WE ARE IN A RECESSION,
DID YOU HEAR THE PRESIDENT THE OTHER DAY SAY, HE DIDN'T KNOW GAS
WAS FOUR DOLLARS A GALLON, WHAT PLANET IS HE ON!
THAT REZCO CRAP WON'T HOLD UP, DID YOU KNOW OPRAH USE TO ATTEND
REVEREND WRIGHT'S CHURCH, IS SHE A RACIST ALSO!
THAT'S WHY REV. WRIGHT WAS GOING OFF BECAUSE WE HAVE A RACIAL
DIVIDE, YOU SEE WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE, BUT THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU
FREE!
IF YOU DON'T LIKE OBAMA DON'T VOTE FOR HIM, BUT DON'T CHEAT AND
LIE TO WIN AN ELECTION. GERALDINE FERRARO IS JEALOUS OF OBAMA
BECAUSE HE KNOWS HOW TO RAISE MONEY AND HE IS WINNING, SOMETHING
SHE COULDN'T ACCOMPLISH WITH MONDALE, DID YOU KNOW THEY ONLY WON
ONE STATE, THEY WERE BEATEN WORSE THAN A RENTED MULE!
AND HILLARY IT'S TIME TO SHOW THOSE TAX RETURNS-GIRLFRIEND!

Sorry. But Obama has written and said that this racist, America-hating, anti-semite was his "mentor" and his inspiration. Wright presided at Obama's marriage. Together with Michelle's lack of pride in being an Ameican and Obama's stated view that Americans can only be proud of their country if he is elected, this raises real questions. Wright says America got what it deserved on 911. Obama calls for immediate unconditional surrender to AL Quaeda in Iraq. He promises not to monitor terrorist communications. He wants to close Guantanamo. He has criticized heightened scrutiny of visa applicants from terrrost exporting countries. He opposes rendition. EVERY Policy Obama favors is designed to make life easier for the terrorists and more dangerous for America. Hmmm........Of course Wright remains an influence. For him, for the Obamas, for the Hyde Park Left, and for the South Side Grievance Industry, America is the enemy. How could such a man be considered a serious candidate for president by one of our major political parties?

Leave it to paternalistic liberals to say that Obama is receiving criticism because he is black. As a conservative, I have listened to the slurs against Colin Powell and especially Condi Rice for years. Where were you to support and defend them? As a conservative, I am not in favor of voting for Socialists (no matter what color). I think it is a shame that the left pinned their white guilty hearts on this candidate. There were much better balck candidates out there with far more experience. They just weren't liberal enough.

An election is about POLICY not Faith or Race, I may not agree with everything my Pastor may say, but you know I don't go to Church for my Pastor it is a time if fellowship and worship only One Person is Important my "Loving Heavenly Father" and not a Pastor of 5 years ago, it is so sad that ABC and Clinton supports drag this up.

But like all nasty personal attacks it can come back on Hilary, people do not like it! Faith is personal

I am a black man who voted for Obama. How low will we lower our standards to elect a black man. Sen. Obama, pastor speaks vile lanuage from his pulpit. Do I have to smoke crack to know that its harmful? Why does Sen. Clinton,need to be called a N----- to feel the pain that we feel? I think blacks have thrown the Clintons under the bus. We forget that Bill and Hillary were the only people in the White House to open so many doors for us and I am not talking about the SERVICE ENTRANCE. What was Rev. Wright, comments around the 1992 election? Let me guess, President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton our the next best thing to peach cobbler for blacks.

This is the sort of inflammatory rhetoric Senator Obama and Michelle have been listening to for the past 20 years, so they must approve of it. And Obama calls himself a unifier? Perhaps he wants to completely unify Blacks against Whites, the rest of the bigoted and hate-filled world against the United States, but he will not unify Americans or bring hope to any but the most un-American among us.

There is no rational excuse to vote for this man and give an even stronger platform for Wright and Farrakhan. I fear for the fate of America and for Israel if we EVER elect someone like Senator Obama to the highest office in the land. If he gets the nomination, Senator McCain will be our next president. The voters in this country will not stand for such radicalism in the WH. I blame the MSM for Obama's having gotten THIS far, but don't think he will get much further.

HOW LONG TIL THE MEDIA QUIT SPOON FEEDING THIS GUY!!! This Rev. has been his spiritual leader for over 20 years. Obama says he has been his inspiration and mentor for 20 years. Obama says this man has had tremendous influence on his lefe. HELLO!!! The influence comes through on the things he wants to do to this country. MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR TERRORISTS!!! He was married in this church. Raised his daughters in this church. And attended this church for over 20 years. He listened to this CRAP every Sunday and you are going to tell me he wasn't influenced!! I am Catholic and it all seeps in over the years. THE MEDIA NEEDS TO ASK HIM A LOT OF HARD QUESTIONS!! I, for one, would be very interesed in his answers. Although I am not sure he knows how to give straight ones. He is good at giving points, as in, point #1!!

There has been so much discussion about race, painting Senator Clinton and her supporters as racists.

Please investigate the: Huffington Post's website, March 13 2008.. Obama's church leader, Reverend Wright's video begins“ Hillary Aint Never been Called.....” There are several other videos that need investigating.

This should be brought to the attention of all Americans. Obama continues to go to this church. It is truly upsetting. How could Obama act like this shouldn’t be a concern for the American people.

The church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, also reveals a black value system and supports radical Islamic leader, Farrakhan. This is far from a peaceful Christian church. In many of Obama’s rallies he reminds his followers that he is a Christian. That is more than deceiving…it’s unfair and outright misinforming to ALL Americans.

This is serious.

Phil---You and other Obama supporters (and I will vote for him and have supported him in the past) need to realize something---
You cannot keep blaming Hilary everytime the media digs up something about Barack.
I think a better question to ask is:
Why is this only NOW being investigated--after the person who could have most soundly beaten McCain (JOHN EDWARDS) was IGNORED by the media when it was still a three way race?
My answer to this question is:
Big Media will NEVER support anyone but Bush III in the fall. And Keith Olbermann will be told by his corporate masters that if he wants to keep his multi million dollar career--to get back in line.
As for bashing HIlary and Geraldine as racist for stating simple facts---
when the media does their JOBS finally, you scream about Hilary? This smacks of EXTREME sexism. And that's the only 'ism' that apparently is still tolerated by white men and Obama supporters. Go figger.

"WASHINGTON--ABC News threw a spotlight on Sen. Barack Obama's controversial minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright--reviewing a selection of Wright's sermons, highlighted his anti-U.S. rhetoric."

So!

The Clintons are murderous drug dealers. Google Clinton Chronicles and Clinton Body Count. It's not all conspiracy theory. More importantly, it was primarily why Poppy41 and cohorts were not prosecuted for Iran - Contra. It's why Carol Marin's Mena Arkansas report barely saw the light of day during the Clinton Reign of Terror.

Ask Billary what really happened to her lover Vincent W. Foster, Jr. A person who blows his head off in a park leaves a bigger mess and does not lay out as neatly as Vince was found in Fort Marcy Park.

We don't want Dumya and cronies pardoned the way Slick pardoned Poppy. If Obama is as racist as everyone implies, he won't be the first first rabid bigot to be President. He'll just be the first Black bigot to hold the Office, and hopefully not the last.

First of all, to the uninformed person who condemned the U.S.A. for dropping two atomic bombs on Japan, if you were one of the U.S. soldiers fighting the Japanese in 1945 you would have been thankful that these bombs were dropped because it might have saved your life and the lives of hundreds of thousands of other U.S. troops. So since your life wasn't on the line it's now easy for you to sit back 60 years later and call the U.S.A. an "imperialistic" country. As for Obama and his VERY CLOSE ADVISOR Jeremiah Wright. Obama has CHOSEN to be involved with this hater and his church for 20 years. I guarantee in those 20 years Obama has sat in the church and listened to and agreed with the racist, anti-American rants from Wright. Just think about it, if Obama was in so much disagreement with these views, why would he be a member of that church for 20 years? And don't think these two tapes, one from this past xmas and one from 2003, are the only two instances of this rhetoric. I would assume this is pretty much his regular Sunday sermon, and since Obama has been a member for 20 years, he would have had to be present for several of them.

At some point, we will recognize what Rev. Wright preaches about racism, militarism and the exploitation of Africa, Latin America and Africans in the Diaspora is no different than what Franz Fanon, Nelson Mandela, Bishop Oscar Romeo, Malcolm X, and of course Dr. King spoke of prophetically. For whatever reasons, Americans are infatuated with ministers that speak of prosperity rather than poverty, and kiss the ring of the king rather than tell the king to kiss their ___. If more preachers of the gospel spoke truth to power rather than trying to get the power, we would be in a much better position to change public policy, and who sits in the White House. Apparently, some feel that loving America means sitting back and keeping quiet as we pillage and kill. A real American understands that sometimes the government is wrong and is willing to stand up and fight for justice for ALL people, regardless of where they live. Rather than "God Bless America", how about "God Bless the World"?

Rev. Wright from the pulpit preaches anti-American, anti-semitic and racial slurs. Obama states he has attended this church for many years, so he and his family have been exposed to such utter trash. Wait until the Jewish population get a hold of his ranting. As a Christian American I am thoroughly discussed. ABC news also stated that Rev. Wright had a place on Obama's campaign. This preaching by an anti-American , racist bigot, will do more harm to Obama than any raving from Farraro.

I have been living in Chicago all of my life and Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ is a very influential church in Chicago, located in a poor neighborhood, uniting people against violence, racism, and other issues that plague our community. They come from a black liberation viewpoint on theology and it is an inspiration to black people; though I must say that this does not exclude any other race from the church. Dr. Wright is doing it like it needs to be done and Obama is not the only influential figure of that church as others have been inspired. As black people, surely you all understand that we need that constant encouragement because of the America in which we live. And religion has always been the pathway. You all talk about our music, clothes, and everything we do as if racism, segragation, and discrimination do not exist. Now our positive inspirations are targetted. Well, please get over it and stop minimizing Dr. Wright and Obama.

This is not someone who Obama just happened to go to his church once or twice. This is his spiritual mentor, he has belonged to this church for 20yrs, he chose this church. This is not some old uncle who says thing you don't agree with, you don't choose your uncles, Obama chose his pastor. Him and Michele were married there, there children were baptized by him, Obama knows this man. REV Wright is passionate about his beliefs, if Obama doesn't agree with him, why would he stay with this church. I cannot believe the Sun-Times is ignoring this story. I knew there was a biased, but this is so overtly biased it is scarey. This is a major story, if McCain belonged to a church with views like this, he would be finished. Rev. Wright is free to have these views about America, and so is Obama, but we are free to question these views and maybe believe that someone who holds these views is not good for America.

Obama says this Preacher is his Spiritual advisor. That is a simple sentence and easy to understand. I take Obama for his word.

Obama has stated, repeatedly, that he doesn't agree with a lot of Wright's statements.

I think this is shoddy journalism, frankly. Nowhere has Obama said or done anything to indicate he agrees with Wrightin these circumstances. And, quite frankly, Wright has 40 years of preaching to his credit, but ABC chose to cherry pick the most controversial statements.

Statements of a man who is obviously angry over the Coutry's racist history, and does not believe that the country has improved a lot since then.

Electing Obama President, ironically, would go far more toward healing those wounds than anything. And I think that is what Obama intends and wants to do with his campaign and Presidency.

He can say things that white politicians can't about the state of African Americans in today's society. And he has.

Ms. Sweet,

The gentleman who presided over my wedding is a beloved member of my extended family with whom I share almost no common political beliefs. Unless I denounce him, am I personally responsible for everything he said or says in the pulpit?

What an absolutely absurd standard.

-- SCAM
so-called "Austin Mayor"
http://austinmayor.blogspot.com

It is entirely appropriate for a minister to talk on the ineguities and injustices of our society from the pulpit. However, the cursing, bias, and aspersions toward whites does not indicate a spirit-filled heart. The "great commission" is to love thy Lord thy God with all your heart and soul. The "Greatest Commandment" is to love thy neighbor as much as thyself. Whether the Rev. is justified in what he says is not the point. He needed to say it with a spirit-filled heart and not a heart of anger. A nice lady said in one of the blogs above that she goes to this Church for fellowship. I agree with that, but the practice of your Christianity comes first, and it starts with the Sunday sermon. It is not about learning to like white people, it is about forgiveness and understanding in the Christian sense. With that accomplished, anything is possible.
As to Obama, I find it hard to believe he would subject his daughters to that type of divisive doctrine, much less sit and listen to it for 20 years without searching for a more doctrinal based church. I have nothing but respect for Mr. Obama and his accomplishments, but I am starting to lose some of it now. His comments on this matter are not from his heart, they are from his political side. He needs to explain more fully his rationale for attending the church for years. He may be able to assuage his critics if he has offers an honest explanation. It could be as simple as location, Sunday schools, and close friends in the church, and why he continued to attend even though he had problems with the doctrine. THAT would truly show that he is a unifier.
Myself, I go to a biracial church and would not stay there if masked hatred is being espoused from the altar.

Yes we deserve a Barack Obama. We need a Barack Obama. The question I have is "Is main stream America ready for a Barack Obama?" I have followed this campaign carefully and I am not surprised by the release of Rev. Wright's sermons. When Sen. Clinton said she was going to throw the kitchen sink at Sen. Obama, I did not expect the garbage disposal. The pains of the wounds that have been unleashed are unthinkable. This is worse than Katrina. To play with the emotions of African-Americans who live the experience that Rev. Wright speaks of his to tell Sen. Obama and the rest of us to stay in our place. To release this after Sen. Obama won 91% of the African American vote in Mississippi, WHEW! This information has been known by all the campaigns for months!! To ask him to cut his ties with his minister and his church, the ministry that help him find Jesus Christ. I ask all of those who condemn Sen. Obama to answer one question... All those Christians on the talk radio and the right winged media... "What would Jesus do?" Maybe we are not ready for a Barack Obama. WE need and deserve a Barack Obama. WE must continue to say, "YES WE CAN" - Mandela would not have become President of South Africa if the 1% did not continue to sing, whisper and chant AMADELA - Just keep singing YES WE CAN...YES WE CAN... YES WE CAN..

Yes we deserve a Barack Obama. We need a Barack Obama. The question I have is "Is main stream America ready for a Barack Obama?" I have followed this campaign carefully and I am not surprised by the release of Rev. Wright's sermons. When Sen. Clinton said she was going to throw the kitchen sink at Sen. Obama, I did not expect the garbage disposal. The pains of the wounds that have been unleashed are unthinkable. This is worse than Katrina. To play with the emotions of African-Americans who live the experience that Rev. Wright speaks of his to tell Sen. Obama and the rest of us to stay in our place. To release this after Sen. Obama won 91% of the African American vote in Mississippi, WHEW! This information has been known by all the campaigns for months!! To ask him to cut his ties with his minister and his church, the ministry that help him find Jesus Christ. I ask all of those who condemn Sen. Obama to answer one question... All those Christians on the talk radio and the right winged media... "What would Jesus do?" Maybe we are not ready for a Barack Obama. WE need and deserve a Barack Obama. WE must continue to say, "YES WE CAN" - Mandela would not have become President of South Africa if the 1% did not continue to sing, whisper and chant AMADELA - Just keep singing YES WE CAN...YES WE CAN... YES WE CAN..

Let me see: Gerry Ferraro is Clinton's fault. Rev. Wright is Clinton's fault. Global warming is Clinton's fault...

It is not reasonable for anybody to believe that Obama didn't know his long-time friend, pastor and mentor was prone to make incendiary statements regaurding race and are country. I personally can understand why he could see past that to the the good in the man, and understand the pain and history that would cause him so say some of that. But I'm not running for President. It would be funny to watch Obmama supporters contort themselves to defend Obama, when just days ago they were kicking Clinton for not throwing Ferraro under the bus fast enough - if it weren't so sad.

To my knowledge this is the first time I've ever heard that some tangential figures speech (in a church) whom, incidentally, has never made, at least to my knowledge (and if wrong please correct me) a public appearance with and in support of a candidate has ever been the subject of scrutiny and has called to account that candidate. Now, I don't agree with the hyperbolic rhetoric of the Rev. Wright. But, have we now arrived at the point where we connect the speeches of someone who has no substantive connection to a candidate, and now impart those words to the candidate. Especially when that candidate has intimated that he was not aware of the sentiment of his (now dismissed) spritual advisor. Are we now establishing a religious test contrary to the Constitution? Not only must a candidate belong to a church, but he must belong to the "right kind" of church? Will we believe that a candidate of mixed heritage would condemn the only parent that raised him, perpetuated his values and his grandparents who are of the majority, who also assisted in his upbringing are equally disregarded? I think this is, without more, is speculative at best and poor reporting at worst designed to create conflict, where no evidence of linkage exists. I for one base all my decisions on evidence, not speculation.

I find it disturbing that the media was ok picking apart Geraldine Ferraro for days on end after she made comments that were taken completely out of context by all of the media and Obama supporters. I did not hear Obama supporters saying, "what does Ferraro have to do with the campaign" Suddenly the shoes on the other foot and it's, "this has nothing to do with Obamas campaign or Obama rejects those statements. Oh, Obama rejects them and we are all suppose to go on business as usual, take him at his word? Clinton has to get down on her knees and beg for forgiveness for every little thing someone else says. Sorry, when a candidate is running on a platform of change and uniting people, its perfectly appropriate to ask why he has chosen to remain friends with a radical extremist who appears to want to create more divisions between blacks and whites.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 13, 2008 1:20 PM.

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