Obama’s Pastor and the Traditional Religious Left
By Mark D. Tooley
FrontPageMagazine.com | 3/20/2008
Apologists for Obama pastor Jeremiah Wright have tried to portray him as a traditional voice for the black church in America . ‚ But the Chicago minister, who belongs to the nearly all white United Church of Christ (UCC) denomination, is far more recognizably the voice of the traditional white Religious Left than he is for the historically more conservative black church.
Wright’s calls for America ‘s damnation and his suggestion that our country deserved 9-11 are fairly traditional fare within the Religious Left, especially among the mostly white elites of his 1.1 million member denomination. ‚ His liberal stance on homosexuality, which is conventional within the UCC, is also anathema to historically black churches. ‚ Wright’s searing critiques of American foreign policy are far more common to the nearly all white Mainline Protestant denominations, of which the UCC is the furthest left, than to the historically black denominations. ‚ Not surprisingly, the UCC’s officers have rushed to defend Rev. Wright.
“Many of us would prefer to avoid the stark and startling language Pastor Wright used in these clips,” acknowledged UCC President John Thomas in a special March 17 statement. ‚ “But what was his real crime? ‚ He is condemned for using a mild ” ˜obscenity’ in reference to the United States . ‚ This week we mark the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq , a war conceived in deception and prosecuted in foolish arrogance. ‚ Nearly four thousand cherished Americans have been killed, countless more wounded, and tens of thousands of Iraqis slaughtered. ‚ Where is the real obscenity here?”
According to Thomas, “Pastor Wright’s judgment may be starker and more sweeping than many of us are prepared to accept. ‚ But is the soul of our nation served any better by the polite prayers and gentle admonitions that have gone without a real hearing for these five years while the dying and destruction continues?” ‚ In typical fashion for UCC officials, Thomas rambled on about the supposedly widening “gap between the obscenely wealthy and the obscenely poor,” neighbors “relegated to minimal health care,” and “bailouts” for “unscrupulous lenders.” ‚ ‚ Thomas wondered: ‚ “Is Pastor Wright to be ridiculed and condemned for refusing to play the court prophet, blessing land and sovereign while pledging allegiance to our preoccupation with wealth and our fascination with weapons?”
Evidently not content with his one statement, Thomas also issued another salvo against Wright’s critics through a March 14 UCC news release. ‚ “Trinity United Church of Christ is a great gift to our wider church family and to its own community in Chicago ,” Thomas gushed. “At a time when it is being subjected to caricature and attack in the media, it is critical that all of us express our gratitude and support to this remarkable congregation, to Jeremiah A. Wright for his leadership over 36 years, and to Pastor Otis Moss III, as he assumes leadership at Trinity.”
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