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Sweet: Obama Tuesday speech will be on Rev. Wright about how the "black church community" may see race issues "very differently."

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HIGHLAND PARK, ILL.--Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) said his Philadelphia speech on Tuesday will touch on Rev. Jeremiah Wright--whose controversial comments could cripple Obama's presidential bid--as part of a broader explanation about the African-American church community.

At a press conference in Monaca, Pa. Obama said, " You know, I’m going to be talking about not just Reverend Wright, but the larger issue of race in this campaign which has ramped up over the last couple of weeks. So I don’t want to give a full preview or you might not come to the speech.

" But as I’ve said in my statement, I think the statements that were the source of controversy from Reverend Wright were wrong and I’ve strongly condemned them. I think the caricature that’s being painted of him is not accurate. And so part of what I’ll do tomorrow is talk a little about how some of these issues are perceived from within the black church community for example, which I think views this very differently.

Asked about the impact of Rev. Wright statements, Obama said "l I think that’s going to be … You guys are in a better position to assess that than I am."

Asked about the way Rev.Wright characterizes White America, Obama said, "I know you guys are curious about this. This is why I’m giving a speech tomorrow that will be a lot more fulsome than a press conference. Does that make sense? I will absolutely address it."

14 Comments

Rather, than a prepared speech written by Ted Sorensen (JFK's speechwriter) it would be helpful for the Seanator to explain how he missed all those sermons the Rev. Wright gave dragging down the USA and the White folk. That's what he should be doing.

Gary

Obama needs to distance himself from his church, his pastor, and return to the patriotic and unifying rhetoric that he used in Iowa and the lead up to super tuesday, before the Clintons knocked him off his high horse and dragged him into the identity politics pit.

Brian
http://www.politicalinaction.com

I thought his campaign wasn't about race.

Where did Senator and Mrs. Obama attend Church on Sunday September 16, 2001?

At the time Senator Obama was a State Legislator and lecturer in law at the University. Mrs. Obama was employed by a Chicago firm. University classes would have already been in session by the beginning of September. Therefore it would be logical that the State Senator and Mrs. Obama would have been in Chicago in the middle of September. Americans do not get very long holidays and, unless retired, are usually not ‘holidaying’ in mid-September.

If they were in Chicago, would they not have attended at least one of the three Sunday services at which Reverend Wright preached the much discussed sermon? Senator Obama has made much of the fact that he is a very regular church attendee and also of the fact that he participated in other activities—discussion groups, outward reach programs etc sponsored by the TUCC.

Sunday September 16th 2001 had record Church attendances across the United States. People packed their churches seeing comfort and guidance to try and come to terms with the terrible events of September 11th, 2001. So where were the Obamas?

PS. In case your readers missed it, a bit of background on Black Liberationist theologian James Cone,the man credited by Reverend Jeremiah Wright for 'systematizing' the Black Liberayion theology followed by the pastors at Trinity United Church of Christ. In this quote James Cone explains the heart of Black Liberation theology:

" Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . . Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."

Senator and Mrs. Obama have made much of the fact that they were both active members of the TUCC congregation participating in discussion groups, Bible and theological study groups as well as attending services. Did James Cone never come up when he is described by Reverend Wright on the TUCC website as key to codifying Trinity United Church of Christ's beliefs?


Rev. Jeremiah Wright's controversial comments are Rev. Jeremiah Wright's comments not Mr.Obama's

This is his big chance to put this issue to rest. Obama needs to realize that he is not speaking just to Democrats. People other than Democrats do not drink the same Kool-Aid as Democrats and will take far more persuading. I plan on reviewing his speech and making my own assessments on his openness and honesty. I do believe that he is more genuine than Hillary, but I disagree with both on policy. The problem with staged press conferences is the lack of time for deeply probing questions from reporters. What am I talking about? The liberal media is incapable of pinning either one of these two candidates down on their inconsistencies. I hope it is not a diatribe on the nature of inner city worship services and why the larger metropolitan black churches embrace this type of service. Anyone that is barely informed of reality should already know that. For his sake, I hope he is genuine in his speech and is willing and open to answer the sugar coated questions he will receive.

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. Every Sunday thousands of right wing white preachers (following in my father's footsteps) rail against America's sins from tens of thousands of pulpits. They tell us that America is complicit in the "murder of the unborn," has become "Sodom" by coddling gays, and that our public schools are sinful places full of evolutionists and sex educators hell-bent on corrupting children. They say, as my dad often did, that we are, "under the judgment of God." They call America evil and warn of immanent destruction. By comparison Obama's minister's shouted "controversial" comments were mild. All he said was that God should damn America for our racism and violence and that no one had ever used the N-word about Hillary Clinton. Dad and I were amongst the founders of the Religious right. In the 1970s and 1980s, while Dad and I crisscrossed America denouncing our nation's sins instead of getting in trouble we became darlings of the Republican Party. (This was while I was my father's sidekick before I dropped out of the evangelical movement altogether.) We were rewarded for our "stand" by people such as Congressman Jack Kemp, the Fords, Reagan and the Bush family. The top Republican leadership depended on preachers and agitators like us to energize their rank and file. No one called us un-American. Email Print Comments Consider a few passages from my father's immensely influential America-bashing book A Christian Manifesto. It sailed under the radar of the major media who, back when it was published in 1980, were not paying particular attention to best-selling religious books. Nevertheless it sold more than a million copies. Here's Dad writing in his chapter on civil disobedience: If there is a legitimate reason for the use of force [against the US government]... then at a certain point force is justifiable. And this: In the United States the materialistic, humanistic world view is being taught exclusively in most state schools... There is an obvious parallel between this and the situation in Russia [the USSR]. And we really must not be blind to the fact that indeed in the public schools in the United States all religious influence is as forcibly forbidden as in the Soviet Union.... Then this: There does come a time when force, even physical force, is appropriate... A true Christian in Hitler's Germany and in the occupied countries should have defied the false and counterfeit state. This brings us to a current issue that is crucial for the future of the church in the United States, the issue of abortion... It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God's law it abrogates it's authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation... Was any conservative political leader associated with Dad running for cover? Far from it. Dad was a frequent guest of the Kemps, had lunch with the Fords, stayed in the White House as their guest, he met with Reagan, helped Dr. C. Everett Koop become Surgeon General. (I went on the 700 Club several times to generate support for Koop). Dad became a hero to the evangelical community and a leading political instigator. When Dad died in 1984 everyone from Reagan to Kemp to Billy Graham lamented his passing publicly as the loss of a great American. Not one Republican leader was ever asked to denounce my dad or distanced himself from Dad's statements. Take Dad's words and put them in the mouth of Obama's preacher (or in the mouth of any black American preacher) and people would be accusing that preacher of treason. Yet when we of the white Religious Right denounced America white conservative Americans and top political leaders, called our words "godly" and "prophetic" and a "call to repentance." We Republican agitators of the mid 1970s to the late 1980s were genuinely anti-American in the same spirit that later Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (both followers of my father) were anti-American when they said God had removed his blessing from America on 9/11, because America accepted gays. Falwell and Robertson recanted but we never did. My dad's books denouncing America and comparing the USA to Hitler are still best sellers in the "respectable" evangelical community and he's still hailed as a prophet by many Republican leaders. When Mike Huckabee was recently asked by Katie Couric to name one book he'd take with him to a desert island, besides the Bible, he named Dad's Whatever Happened to the Human Race? a book where Dad also compared America to Hitler's Germany. The hypocrisy of the right denouncing Obama, because of his minister's words, is staggering. They are the same people who argue for the right to "bear arms" as "insurance" to limit government power. They are the same people that (in the early 1980s roared and cheered when I called down damnation on America as "fallen away from God" at their national meetings where I was keynote speaker, including the annual meeting of the ultraconservative Southern Baptist convention, and the religious broadcasters that I addressed. Today we have a marriage of convenience between the right wing fundamentalists who hate Obama, and the "progressive" Clintons who are playing the race card through their own smear machine. As Jane Smiley writes in the Huffington Post "[The Clinton's] are, indeed, now part of the 'vast right wing conspiracy.' (http://www.huffingtonpost.com... ) Both the far right Republicans and the stop-at-nothing Clintons are using the "scandal" of Obama's preacher to undermine the first black American candidate with a serious shot at the presidency. Funny thing is, the racist Clinton/Far Right smear machine proves that Obama's minister had a valid point. There is plenty to yell about these days.vega

Unbelievable! I can't believe people have the nerve to say "the preacher" is right, or dismiss his rants and not think his tirade is racist?

This preacher is a hateful, ignorant racist. This "black trash", (oh, sorry, only "white trash" is acceptable today) bigot performed the marriage of Barak, and Michelle, "I'm finally proud of our country" Obama.

Obama is trying to distance himself from this guy because, to prove he's not a Muslim, he said he goes to this Christian church. Obama has been in his church for 20 years, this man is Obama's "spiritual advisor" Do you think this is the FIRST time this idiot, black racist has spewed his filthy racism? Obama stayed in his church because he likes this message or he would have left for a message more in line with his own.

Obama is his lackey, or is he Oprah's lackey, or is he Farrakhan’s lackey. Where did he get the money to outspend Hillary 5 to 1?

It's time to end this double standard of black racism and political correctness. This preacher is a hate-monger, and Obama is part of his ilk.

We brought 9/11 upon ourselves? What crimes did the people I saw jumping from the WTC commit? They simply showed up for work to support their loved ones.


God Damn America!!!???? Is anyone stupid enough to want his "spiritual student" as President?

My grandmother said, "The Devil often comes dressed as a gentleman".
Yes, and he's running for the White House, with racism and anti-Semitism, under his silk suit. Obama's veneer is starting to wear off.

In Iowa he was quoted "When America gets a cold, Black America gets pneumonia". He didn't say "poor" and include other races.

Any "white man oppressor" "European oppressors" or Anglo-American, or anyone with an ounce of goodness, won't support this black KKK, of which Obama is a long-standing member.

Anyone who votes for Obama is inviting disaster for themselves, their children and our country.

Once there was a very charismatic man, who seemed to come out of nowhere. He stirred the people for "change" and his promise of a new, united country, and of "what could be"; his name was Hitler.

Saturday, March 15, 2008
[reply] [delete] [moderate]The media can make or break a person. Before you make any decisions based on what the media says and put out there, I too encourage you to check for yourself what Rev. Wright is saying. He only speaks the truth and people don't want the truth to come out. people would be surprise to find that if you walked the streets of Chicago and pose the question to African American people if they were proud to be an american I wonder what their reaction would be? Reverend Wright is not a hater of America, he is frustrated with the government tactics. His method of preaching is that he reads a passage from the bible that is relevant to his sermon and how it relates to us today. In the end of his speeches, he always bring it back to love and have faith in God and for man-kind, not just america, as we all are Gods children.

It is true that political personalities put their lives in public for scrutiny by choosing to serve the public. But do they have to answer to every personal opinion that each one of their supporters say and do! They can distance themselves from the words their supporters say but they should not be blamed for what the supporters say. I am certain that in almost all the cases the politicians have no personal contact with all their supporters and tell them what to say or do!

I don't even think that it matters if Obama attended the service where Rev Wright gave his anti white comments. How would have Obama known the contents of the service or topic to be preached about before hand? Don't we all show up at the church with any preconceived ideas on what the sermon is going to be?

If the man Obama says he doesn't agree with what Rev. Wright says I think that it should stand! Our words should mean something; it is the only thing we can be judged with and about because it bears our take on things and has our seal of approval!
We have been doing pretty well lately, let us continue to judge the man and the politician Obama on his credentials, on his word and his explanations and take on things. It is all we can do if we were fair human beings. Obama though exudes much confidence he also and abundantly exudes humility and has on several occasions admitted his mistakes when he has realized them. Let's give him the chance, the benefit of doubt and put him to the test, see if indeed he will deliver. My take is that he will. So far he has exercised good judgments. It is as if he was positioning himself to work with and for the people after he came to terms with his troubled teen years.
People will say anything and everything but ultimately it is the individual who chooses what is right and good for him/her.

Enough is enough! Do all your friends agree with you? Do they all love and regard you on the same scale! Let's not all be so self righteous, the pastor said the words not Obama.

Obama is just going to try to lie his way out of this mess today with this speech. The damage is done, and we all now know what a racist he and his wife is. Any white person who continues to fall for his BS needs serious psychological help.

I am not certain that the catchy tune 'g.d. America' sung to the tune of god bless America tells the whole story of Reverend Wright. It seems to me it's kind of like taking the punch line of a joke without the lead up material. And I feel the same thing also happened to Geraldine Ferrarro's comments.
I don't think this helps us end the war, solve the global warming problem, or get a sane, sustainable energy and transportation program, let alone real health CARE as opposed to health INSURANCE for everyone.
The attacks need to stop.
Politics 12 has, in my opinion taken James Cone's views about theology entirely out of context.
I do not know if the soundbite/quote is accurate, but I believe if you watch the Bill Moyers interview on James Cone, you get a more wholistic view of his opinions regarding theology. Here's that url. Peace.
http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/11232007/watch.html

Even the re-printing of Wright’s statement should be prohibited by law. It is treason to even remotely suggest that the United States has ever made a mistake in foreign policy. To suggest that the US was in some way responsible for 9/11 is tantamount to saying that people are responsible for the consequences of their actions. That is a disgusting and monstrous assertion.

The events of 9/11 occurred purely because those people hate our freedoms. It enrages them that we have Wal-Mart and Coca Cola and Paris Hilton, and they do not. They hate baby Jesus and feel that they must make war on us. These are the only reasons. There are no more.

No one should be permitted to discuss or make reference to 9/11 if it is not in this context and this context only. This is America, the land of the free, and we must protect that at all costs.

We don’t need Wright and Obama. We need a strong person who isn’t afraid to defend all of the great things that America stands for, like defending freedom against Grenada, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Iraq, North Korea, France, and all those other evil countries that hate freedom.
God Bless America and down with hate.

I am so afraid the young people voting for the first time is going to be take in by the charm and apparent intelligence of Barak Obama and not see beyond the front; that it is a front of smoke and mirror, and not of any real substance.

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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 17, 2008 5:52 PM.

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