As readers here know, there has been some recent controversy about Barack Obama’s religious background.
Mr. Obama has recently issued statements through his spokesmen in the media (i.e., reporters) which express his shock at being questioned about such things.
Most of his media spokesmen (i.e., reporters) have then gone on to cite his membership in Chicago’s Trinity United Church Of Christ parish as proof that he is just a regular run of the mill American Christian.
But a visit to the Trinity Church’s website proves that it is not your everyday Christian parish:
Trinity United Church of Christ
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.
Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee chaired by Vallmer Jordan in 1981. We believe in the following 12 precepts and covenantal statements. These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect on the following concepts:
1. Commitment to God
2. Commitment to the Black Community
3. Commitment to the Black Family
4. Dedication to the Pursuit of Education
5. Dedication to the Pursuit of Excellence
6. Adherence to the Black Work Ethic
7. Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
8. Disavowal of the Pursuit of "Middleclassness"
9. Pledge to make the fruits of all developing and acquired skills available to the Black Community
10. Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions
11. Pledge allegiance to all Black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System
12. Personal commitment to embracement of the Black Value System.
The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:
1. A congregation committed to ADORATION.
2. A congregation preaching SALVATION.
3. A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
4. A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
5. A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
6. A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
7. A congregation committed to the HISTORICAL EDUCATION OF AFRICAN PEOPLE IN DIASPORA.
8. A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
9. A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
10. A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.
Some excerpts from the "Black Value System" via the Trinity Church’s website (pdf):
BLACK VALUE SYSTEM
Statement of Purpose
We honor Dr. Manford Byrd, our brother in Christ, because of the exemplary manner in which he has thrice withstood the ravage of being denied his earned ascension to the number one position in the Chicago School System…
The Black Value System
These Black Ethics must be taught and exampled in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered. They must reflect the following concepts:
Commitment of God
“The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activist, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind…
Commitment to Self-Discipline and Self-Respect
To accomplish anything worthwhile requires self-discipline. We must be a community of self-disciplined persons, if we are to actualize and utilize our own human resources instead of perpetually submitting to exploitation by others. Self discipline coupled with a respect for self, will enable each of us to be an instrument of Black Progress, and a model for Black Youth.
Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness”
Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must keep the captive ignorant educationally, but trained sufficiently well to serve the system. Also, the captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.
Those so identified as separated from the rest of the people by:
Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.
Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.
Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us”…
A visit to the church’s bookstore shows they have been true to their word. It is full of "Afrocentric" books, many of which make the usual preposterous Afrocentric claims, such as that Cleopatra was black.
The book store also shamelessly hawks Mr. Osama’s books:
But Trinity Church’s proselytizing doesn’t stop with re-writing history and promoting its parishioners.
Here is the latest sermon from its pastor, Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. (pdf file):
WHAT’S GOIN’ ON?
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Marvin Gaye’s powerful “message song” is a song that made him famous because it went against the “Motown entertainment rule.” It raised serious questions about the culture, the country and governmental policy.
His song raised questions about Black-on-Black violence, about drugs, about war and about the way in which we were living (or not living) in a very difficult period of history.
I use his words today on the third Sunday of a New Year to keep before you the painful truth of who we are and where it is we are in this racist United States of America! What’s goin’ on?
We have lost over 3,000 boys and girls in an illegal and unjust war, and the media is on a feeding frenzy about Barack Obama’s church. Where is the outrage about the 3,000 dead American military personnel and the 600,000 dead Iraqi civilians who are dead for no reason other than greed and ego? What’s goin’ on?
This past Wednesday, January 17th, the House of Representatives deliberated on a bill to cut interest rates on federally subsidized student loans. On Thursday, January 18th, the House of Representatives considered legislation that would repeal some royalties and tax incentives from the oil and gas industries and redistribute that money to alternative and renewable energy such as bio-fuels.
The media, however, is not covering that news. The media wants to know about Barack Obama’s pastor. What’s goin’ on?
On the weekend leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, the House of Representatives passed a bill requiring the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services to negotiate drug prices for the Medicare program. The President who is “staying the course” and sending 1,500 more troops to their death has issued a veto threat against the measure and there is no public outcry and no media outrage. What’s goin’ on?
The President, who is “staying the course” and sending 21,500 more troops to their death has issued a veto threat against the measure and there is no public outcry and no media outrage.
The President’s “New Plan” (more troops, more death and more war) promises an insane escalation — in Iraq, Iran and beyond! With the torture of Abu Ghraib, the complete destructions of cities like Fallujah and over 600,000 deaths due to collateral damage, the President complained in his speech that there had been “too many restrictions” on the actions of the United States Forces in the Iraq war.
The President’s “New Plan” (more troops, more death and more war) promises an insane escalation — in Iraq, Iran and beyond!
Am I the only one who heard that? What’s goin’ on?
I celebrate forty years of ordained ministry this weekend. I bask in the 40-year glow of God’s Grace, God’s forgiveness and God’s lessons about humility.
The e-mails that I have been getting this week, the news clippings that I am being sent and the racist blogs that are flooding the Internet make me know, however, that even as I bask, the work ahead for the church of Jesus Christ is just as serious and difficult today (if not more so) as it was forty years ago when I was ordained during the Vietnamese War!
The President tries to frame the justification for his insanity by using language describing the debate in this country over the war as “a great struggle between those who believe in freedom in moderation and extremists who kill the innocent.”
The reality, however, is that the entire war in Iraq and the larger “war on terror” have been based on lies, half-truths and distortions to serve the agenda of the United States imperialism. Where is the public outcry? Where is the outrage? What’s goin’ on?
There is more focus on what the Bears may or may not do as they play a football game against New Orleans than there is on the 3,000 homeless who are still living or displaced in the real life game called “New Orleans.”
Those poor Black and white displaced citizens of New Orleans (not imported team members playing for New Orleans), who have no place to go and no place to live because of this administration’s illegal war and its billions of dollars wasted on prosecuting that war, join with me in asking, “What’s goin’ on?”
Excuse me! The victims of Hurricane Katrina are no longer on the radar screen of the media. Only Barack, his church, his pastor and white arrogance!
I invite your sincere prayers this weekend. The generation of ministers behind me has its work cut out for them in some incredible and overwhelming ways!
Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.
So much for the separation of church and state.
Here is an interesting ad that appears in the sameTrinity bulletin:
(Click to enlarge)
Did Mr. Obama and his wife take this class when they signed up at Trinity?
Speaking of which, here is what is being promoted at the top of the church’s home page as we speak:
MEET SENATOR BARACK OBAMA!!!
On Sunday, January 28th, immediately following the 11:00 a.m. worship service, meet Senator Barack Obama, author of the best-selling book, Audacity of Hope. Purchase your copy of Audacity of Hope in the Akiba Bookstore and have it personally signed by Senator Obama. You do not want to miss this monumental experience!
Where is the ACLU?
And can you imagine the uproar if a white candidate belonged to a church that promoted a white value system?