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Every denomination needs one of these...

A Lesson for the Media

Monday, April 14, 2008

By Pastor Ted Weis, Congregational Church, Little River, KS

Here's a lesson, given by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. and the UCC national office, that the media will understand:

March 21 and 23:
Writing for the The New Yorker magazine, reporter Kelefa Sanneh visits Trinity United Church of Christ for Good Friday and Easter services.

April 3:
Trinity United Church of Christ tells the media "no more" at the "Sacred Conversations" press conference and establishes rules for any reporters inside the sanctuary.

April 7:
Time stamp for Sanneh's The New Yorker story, "Project Trinity: The Perilous Mission of Obama's Church."

April 12:
UCC.org has a link to The New Yorker article prominently featured on its home page.

April 12:
Rev. Jeremiah Wright, in his first public sermon since the firestorm over his remarks began, fiercely criticized the media in a funeral message:
Reflecting on the late [appellate judge R. Eugene] Pincham, Wright said his faith “was not the jingoistic, chauvinistic ‘you’re either with us or against us’ demonizing kind of faith.” Wright said Pincham was friends with “Jews, Muslims, rabbis, imams, fathers in the Catholic church and [Louis] Farrakhan in the Islamic faith.”

Escalating into full-preaching mode, Wright thundered, “Fox News can’t understand that. [Bill] O’Reilly will never get that. Sean Hannity’s stupid fantasy will keep him forever stuck on stupid when it comes to comprehending how you can love a brother who does not believe what you believe. [Pincham’s] faith was a faith in a God who loved the whole world not just one country or one creed.”

At that point, congregants nearly drowned Wright out with a booming standing ovation.

Wright also referred to Fox News as “Fix News.”
So much for encouraging the media to take its spotlight somewhere else.
posted by Living the Biblios, Monday, April 14, 2008


Thank you Rev. Wright for continuing to speak truth to power!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:17 PM  
This so called "reverend" will never ever "get it".
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:48 PM  
This man has cost Obama the presidency and perhaps any future run. He simply won't keep his racist mouth shut !!! Somebody PLEASE talk to him and those illogical lemmings from cheering him on !!!! I hope this "champion of the poor" enjoys that new mansion on the golf course...what a hypocite !!!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 12:04 AM  
"Fix news"! LOL! That's better "Faux News".
commented by Blogger Don Niederfrank, 7:35 AM  
Silly me, I though the primary purpose of a "Service of Thanksgiving for One Who Has Died" was to celebrate the promises of God. I didn't know I was supposed to be taking shots at Fox News. What was I thinking? Did I miss the JT memo on suggested topics for funeral sermons?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 8:24 AM  

Are you kidding? My North American (as distinct from American) Baptist colleague was told to use funerals as altar-call opportunities. I once followed on of these...whatever...who basically said to the family and gathered friends, "Max may well be in hell because he never found Jesus. Make sure that you don't follow him!" I did my best to minister to the grieving.

This is not excusing anything JW does, but only pointing out that such misuse of a service is not unique.
commented by Blogger Don Niederfrank, 3:03 PM  
Don (who pastors in Random Lake),
While I don't defend the "funeral-sermon-as-evangelism-altar-call" bit, at least you could say that it tries to accomplish an evangelism goal. Taking gratuitous shots at Fox News and fighting your own personal battles during someone else's eulogy just seems wrong to me. After all, the occasion wasn't all about JW, was it?

Your anonymous neighbor to the north...
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:24 AM  
Anonymous to the north,

Amen. I am even hesitant at funerals to talk about my times/relationship with the deceased unless I'm sure it is a shared sort of experience.

I'll tell you something. I can be pretty entertaining in worship. I'm a good story teller and a really good joke teller. I thought about stand-up comedy at one time. So I usually know when I'm being witnessed to about God-in-Christ and when I'm being entertained b/c the person wants that laughter/applause. It's the difference at last year's conference between JW and David Moyer. And it doesn't have to do with race; it has to do with ego. So I laugh at JW's cutsey cracks about the president he and I both dislike, but I listen to Dave.

I don't defend JW. But I don't condemn him either, because I've done what he does.
commented by Blogger Don Niederfrank, 8:25 AM  
I guess you and I have different reactions to JW's sermon at the WI conference meeting. I thought that, beyond a certain point, some of the critiques were becoming gratuitous and that he was having more fun than he should have at the POTUS' expense. (IMHO, I thought he had crossed the line into stand-up) Now, I usually avoid critiquing pols from the pulpit--even ones I don't care for--but ended up making a reference to POTUS 42 when I was doing a series on the Ten Commandments (e.g. bearing false witness). I can tell you that I didn't do it with glee but with genuine sadness--for him and for the legacy his example gave us. Of course, YMMV.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:17 AM  

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