Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet: Obama blog on Huffington Post explains his relationship with Rev. Wright. Rejects "outright" Wrights divisive statements.


CHICAGO--White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) writes for the Huffington Post LINK about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright he knows: a former U.S. Marine and bible scholar who has lectured at seminaries across the country, not the divisive figure whose inflammatory comments about the U.S. and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) are coming under increasing scrutiny.

"The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He's drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents," Obama writes.

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.

Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It's a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church."


America has been very good to both Obamas,Ivy league college beautiful home and children.They have been blessed,why associate with a pastor who is so vitriolic .I believe Obama is the most devious of politician's,how sad for all who put their trust in him. Hillary was villified for doing what was expected of the media.
For Rev.Wright to denigrate a former President in church a
person who championed their cause astound's me .
But then again eaten bread is soon forgotten.

REV. JEREMIAH A. WRIGHT, JR.: Pastor inspires Obama's 'audacity'

I better post this before it's scrubbed. (only kidding)

BTW, which was it...the Navy or Marines?

Rev. Wright and Sen. Obama's relationship seems very close. I want to commend you Ms. Sweet and the Sun Times for your journalistic expertise for getting answers some organizations and leaders do not want answered.

Sadly, this is being buried on a Friday night. By Monday...and the next primary day long forgotten. Thank you for your jounalistic efforts. I would like the question asked: Did you not know this was a central theme at your church? Were there no other churches to belong to in Chicago? Why is this church so important to you?

I would like for the Sun-Times Journalists and Reporters to interview the Rev. J. Wright and asked him does he still stand
behind his sermons and believes they are the truth? The members
of the congregation do they believe his sermons that ridicule,
demean,and admonish the United States and it citizens? Does the
Reverend Wright and his members believe and stands behind the decision to award Louis Farakhan "Man of the year" award?

I think most people in Chicago knew the theme of his church. His sermons were on the radio. Oprah belongs to this church.

My question is when Obama was running for U.S. Senate did this information come up? Is this acceptable to the citizens of Illinois?

I live in a one party state. Obama couldn't have won here if his relationships to Wright and Reszko had been known.

Luckily, we have other newspapers besides the Boston Globe.

Will O'Bama (They sell green St.Patrick's Day pins and t-shirts with the O'Bama name on it on Obama's website) show up for the St. Patrick's Day parade in PA?

If he shows up what will be his reception?

Getting yourself pastored by a radical hater shows bad judgment. Lying about it when asked by the media shows dishonesty. Request for presidency denied.
The reason why a whore is more ethical than a politician is: a whore never knowingly promises what she cannot deliver.


the triumph of dope over expedience?

whoops, I meant hope over experience.

oh what a tangled web we weave

if first we rationalize, then believe

this interview w/ REV WRIGHT from MAR 07 clears up a GREAT DEAL of this controversy and it's subsequent perplexity for some voters. it's amazing it's not being widely quoted by various active entities of Obama's support!

EXACT quote of Michelle Obama: “This is the first time in my adult life that I am proud of my country” - so what is not to misconstrue???

Exact quote from Obama in one of his books: "I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother's race.” - it appears that he is not too pleased with his 50% whiteness.

Here is a link to PROVE that Obama attended one of Jeremiah Wrights racial sermons:

From Michelle Obama's thesis: "In defining the concept of identification or the ability to identify with the black community," the Princeton student wrote, "I based my definition on the premise that there is a distinctive black culture very different from white culture." Other thesis statements specifically pointed to what was seen by the future Mrs. Obama as racially insensitive practices in a university system populated with mostly Caucasian educators and students: "Predominately white universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the white students comprising the bulk of their enrollments."

Finally this quote: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” In Obama’s book, DREAMS OF MY FATHER. – I have no proof of this quote, however it is all over the net. I am trying to research how factual this is and get back to you with a page number.

Folks, the facts are here - do with them as you may. Frankly, I am terrified that a man and woman of this caliber got this far.

I really respect Obama i think he is honest and real and creditable.

This recent remarks in Pennsylvania might have been said wrong but they were said right.

I cant understand though Hillarys adabout how quick she would react to a 3am phone call? shows how bad she would be about answering a 3am call. She never stops talking about Obamas Penn statement. She cant handle his statement without letting to. Give it up Hillary you are all burnt out. I am tired of listening to you and your bright campaign people who hand you these speeches. Obama is a gentleman and I not surprised how he is handling all this.

i hope obama wil win. i think obama have more sound policies and also his foreign policy is better than others. i also believe he can unify usa

I don't think anyone in their right mind should vote for Palin or should I say MCCAin for that matter. They are the living epidemy of what Bush has put us through. Many people are basing their votes on everything except on what is really important--OUR ECONOMY. Listen to what these candidates are saying or proposing!! I honestly don't believe MCCain/Palin would be a good fit for our ecionomy as well as our country. Their plan is totally unclear and out of touch

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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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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on March 14, 2008 3:47 PM.

Sweet column: Obama's politically expedient ethics conversions. Earmarks latest example. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet: Obama sitting down with Chicago papers Friday to get Rezko questions behind him. is the next entry in this blog.

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