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Media Finally Notices Obama’s Radical Pastor

From a tardy but nevertheless welcome ABC News:


Obama’s Pastor: God Damn America, U.S. to Blame for 9/11

Obama’s Pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Has a History of What Even Obama’s Campaign Aides Say Is ‘Inflammatory Rhetoric’

By BRIAN ROSS and REHAB EL-BURI

March 13, 2008—Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor says blacks should not sing “God Bless America” but “God damn America.”

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor for the last 20 years at the Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side, has a long history of what even Obama’s campaign aides concede is “inflammatory rhetoric,” including the assertion that the United States brought on the 9/11 attacks with its own “terrorism.”

In a campaign appearance earlier this month, Sen. Obama said, “I don’t think my church is actually particularly controversial.” He said Rev. Wright “is like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with,” telling a Jewish group that everyone has someone like that in their family.

Rev. Wright married Obama and his wife Michelle, baptized their two daughters and is credited by Obama for the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright’s sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.

“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,” he 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.”

In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the United States had brought on al Qaeda’s attacks because of its own terrorism.

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.

“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he told his congregation.

Sen. Obama told the New York Times he was not at the church on the day of Rev. Wright’s 9/11 sermon. “The violence of 9/11 was inexcusable and without justification,” Obama said in a recent interview. “It sounds like he was trying to be provocative,” Obama told the paper.

Rev. Wright, who announced his retirement last month, has built a large and loyal following at his church with his mesmerizing sermons, mixing traditional spiritual content and his views on contemporary issues.

“I wouldn’t call it radical. I call it being black in America,” said one congregation member outside the church last Sunday.

“He has impacted the life of Barack Obama so much so that he wants to portray that feeling he got from Rev. Wright onto the country because we all need something positive,” said another member of the congregation.

Rev. Wright, who declined to be interviewed by ABC News, is considered one of the country’s 10 most influential black pastors, according to members of the Obama campaign.

Obama has praised at least one aspect of Rev. Wright’s approach, referring to his “social gospel” and his focus on Africa,” and I agree with him on that.”

Sen. Obama declined to comment on Rev. Wright’s denunciations of the United States, but a campaign religious adviser, Shaun Casey, appearing on “Good Morning America” Thursday, said Obama “had repudiated” those comments.

In a statement to ABCNews.com, Obama’s press spokesman Bill Burton said, “Sen. Obama has said repeatedly that personal attacks such as this have no place in this campaign or our politics, whether they’re offered from a platform at a rally or the pulpit of a church. Sen. Obama does not think of the pastor of his church in political terms. Like a member of his family, there are things he says with which Sen. Obama deeply disagrees. But now that he is retired, that doesn’t detract from Sen. Obama’s affection for Rev. Wright or his appreciation for the good works he has done.”

It’s nice to see our watchdog media finally getting around to reporting what we have been talking about for more than a year.

But they still try to excuse it by pretending that Mr. Wright is merely the Pastor at Obama’s church.

“Sen. Obama has said repeatedly that personal attacks such as this have no place in this campaign or our politics, whether they’re offered from a platform at a rally or the pulpit of a church. Sen. Obama does not think of the pastor of his church in political terms…

In truth, we have been assured that Mr. Wright was the most important influence in Mr. Obama’s life. That he was Obama’s “spiritual mentor,” and the reason he joined the church and got into politics.

From a more than year old edition of the Chicago Tribune:

Pastor inspires Obama’s ‘audacity’

By Manya A. Brachear
January 21, 2007

When he took over Trinity United Church of Christ in 1972, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. was a maverick pastor with a wardrobe of dashikis and a militant message.

Six years later, he planted a “Free South Africa” sign on the lawn of his church and asked other local religious leaders to follow his lead.

None took him up on the invitation.

The sign stayed until the end of apartheid, – long enough to catch the eye of a young Barack Obama, who visited the church in 1985 as a community activist. Obama, was not a churchgoer at the time, but he found himself returning to the sanctuary of Trinity United. In Wright he had found both a spiritual mentor and a role model

Obama says that rather than advising him on strategy, Wright helps keep his priorities straight and his moral compass calibrated.

“What I value most about Pastor Wright is not his day-to-day political advice,” Obama said. “He’s much more of a sounding board for me to make sure that I am speaking as truthfully about what I believe as possible and that I’m not losing myself in some of the hype and hoopla and stress that’s involved in national politics.” …

In his 1993 memoir “Dreams from My Father,” Obama recounts in vivid detail his first meeting with Wright in 1985. The pastor warned the community activist that getting involved with Trinity might turn off other black clergy because of the church’s radical reputation.

When Obama sought his own church community, he felt increasingly at home at Trinity

Later he would base his 2004 keynote speech to the Democratic National Convention on a Wright sermon called “Audacity to Hope,” –also the inspiration for Obama’s second memoir, “The Audacity of Hope.”

Though Wright and Obama do not often talk one-on-one often, the senator does check with his pastor before making any bold political moves.

Last fall, Obama approached Wright to broach the possibility of running for president. Wright cautioned Obama not to let politics change him, but he also encouraged Obama, win or lose

Mr. Wright has been Obama’s political inspiration, his moral compass, his sounding board. And yet suddenly the media want to play down the importance of this man in his life.

Please check out the ‘related links’ below to see what the media should have been reporting about our hero long ago.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, March 13th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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