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Every denomination needs one of these...

Sacred places provide good cover

Monday, April 07, 2008

Here's an interesting column from the Sunday Chicago Tribune:
The wounds inflicted on Barack Obama by the hateful speech of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are serious and profound.

Why else would ministers gather at Obama's church in Chicago—Trinity United Church of Christ—to hold a news conference demanding a "sacred" national dialogue on race?

"The intersection of politics, religion and race has heightened our awareness of how easy it is for our conversations about race to become anything but sacred," Rev. John Thomas, president of the United Church of Christ, said last week. "That's why we are calling for sacred conversations, and for the respect of sacred places to begin right here and now."

In other words, listen up you reporters: Back off.

Clearly, it's difficult enough to pray and reflect upon the story of the Good Samaritan without pesky reporters asking you to defend Wright's indefensible, hateful words.

It's got to be tough when reporters ask about that 10,000-square-foot suburban mansion the church bought for Wright, the one along the golf course, the one with the $1.6 million mortgage held by the church.

Wright has damaged Obama by cursing America from the pulpit, breaking one of the 10 Commandments along the way, shouting "G-d damn America!," blaming our nation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks and suggesting our government infected people of color with AIDS.

"And, they will attack you, if you try to point out what's going on in white America, the U.S. of KKK-A!" Wright was quoted as saying.

Now that he's retired, I wonder if he'll play a tape of that one while he's out on his deck, perhaps holding a new titanium driver, smiling, absently listening to himself shouting "white America, the U.S. of KKK-A!" but also thinking ahead, to the water hazards and sand traps on that back nine.
posted by UCCtruths, Monday, April 07, 2008


These are the words of John Kass, a regular Tribune columnist who loves to take on the local polital machine. (Oh, how I wish there were a way to leave the denomiation but stay in my local congregation.)
commented by Anonymous David M., 2:19 PM  
You identify with what John Kass says don't you???

Maybe .. you should read a differing opinion for the sake of **dare I say*** balance
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.
commented by Blogger truthToPower, 2:38 PM  
Who cares what some right-wing nut has to say? If he were UCC, then I'd care. JW is a UCC minister giving the UCC a bad name. His sermons were full of hate and lies. Lets take the log out of our own eyes first.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:45 PM  
And how would you suggest we do that? Should we bring back excommunication to the UCC? I think this type of tension is unavoidable in a uniting denomination which includes people from vastly different political perspectives.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 2:58 PM  
What did he say in your opinion that was so 'hateful'
commented by Blogger truthToPower, 3:06 PM  
just as not every criticism of Israel is anti-Semitic, not every criticism of Jeremiah Wright is racist
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 4:17 PM  
Jeremiah Wright is not solely responsible for the negative public image the UCC may have. ABC news did a hatchet job on his sermons for the purpose of "selling newspapers." Certainly he said those things. But he did not play them over the public air ways all over the country and world.

Trinity UCC, if anyone cares, has given the UCC credibility among a lot of black people beyond the south side of Chicago.

It's not simple.
commented by Blogger Don Niederfrank, 4:23 PM  
Oh c'mon Don... do you really believe that? That would be like blaming the Washington Post for Nixon's Watergate lies... Or the National Enquirer on Monica Lewinsky. Jeremiah Wright has a responsibility to own his words here and as I've said on the message board, he hasn't done anything to squelch this. As C. Hitchens says, perhaps he is relishing this.
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 4:50 PM  
It appears to me to be hypocritical that Jeremiah Wright has a very expensive home on a golf course, paid for by his church. He is like Joyce Meyer and all the other right-wing evangelists being investigated by the US legislature, and he and his church should be investigated too. I live near Joyce Meyer and her mansion, and her ministry facility in Fenton, Missouri, and I am very aware of her excesses. Does Jeremiah Wright also preach the prosperity gospel, encouraging hatred of whites so African-Americans can gain the prosperity at the expense of whites, by taking control of the country?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 9:49 PM  

While you might feel that a 1 million dollar house for Dr. Wright is exorbitant be assured that to compare him to Meyers and Creflo Dollar is a huge stretch. Again, You guys need to do your research. Dr. Wright is not a prosperity gospel preacher. And this charge of encouraging hatred of whites is absolutely ridiculous! Because he relates the scribes and pharisees and currupt governments of old to those of today you say he preaches hate?? Prove that he hates white people. tell me the accounts where he's forbid whites from visiting the church.. tell me of the accounts of him encouraging his flock not to date or marry inter racially .. tell me of the accounts of Dr. Wright a Marine encouraging his flock not to serve the country.. tell me of the account of Dr. Wright mistreating his poorer white neighbors for fear of his 'property values'
This charge of encouraging hatred to whites .. absolutely ludicrous. I just hope you don't go around spreading that falsehood
commented by Blogger truthToPower, 11:04 PM  
Truthtopower makes comments about Reverend Wright that could also pertain to the vast majority of right wing preachers. Prove that these white preachers hate blacks, homosexuals, and women. For the vast majority, you would have a hard time really proving it. Saying that being a homosexual is not a sin, but the act of homosexual sex is a sin is not hating homosexuals. Not allowing women to be pastors is not equivalent to hating women. Not being in favor of affirmative action or bussing is not equivalent to hating African Americans. You would have a hard time proving that the vast majority of right wing pastors hate minority groups or women or homosexuals. Since they call themselves Christian, and loving other people is part of being Christian, they would not say or admit to hating people. Where is your proof?
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 11:52 AM  
"UCCtruths said...

Oh c'mon Don... do you really believe that? That would be like blaming the Washington Post for Nixon's Watergate lies... Or the National Enquirer on Monica Lewinsky. Jeremiah Wright has a responsibility to own his words here and as I've said on the message board, he hasn't done anything to squelch this. As C. Hitchens says, perhaps he is relishing this."

I don't mean to say he is not responsible for his words, but that what we are dealing with is not just his words. There is more to the phenomenon than just his words. Indeed, most of what is now happening are the various responses to his words including the vast amount of speculation regarding what he really believes, how he might have influenced Obama, and whether he's relishing all this or not.

Are these words so terrible that for the well-being of whoever they needed to be given the attention they have? Of course not. They were given that attention because the response is eyes on the tube and newspapers purchased. That Jeremiah Wright said these things to his congregation on the south side has almost no effect on me whatsoever. That's why some people have to see if maybe they're "all" saying such things and how far this who black liberation theology thing has spread.

He's not the problem. He's the stimulus of problematic behavior.
commented by Blogger Don Niederfrank, 1:25 PM  
I greatly appreciate this blog, and the fact that it is open to all viewpoints and is fair-minded. That is much different than the left-wing blog produced by left-wing UCCers. There is support as well as criticism of the UCC. If the UCC were like this blog, I would still be a member of the UCC! I still care about the denomination I was brought up in. I quit rather than trying to destroy the congregation with my criticism, since the fine old congregation is on the verge of financial ruin, and I did not want to be the cause of its demise.
Sorry to get off topic, but I appreciate the chance to comment, as I did twice above.
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:30 AM  
Anonymous says : Truthtopower makes comments about Reverend Wright that could also pertain to the vast majority of right wing preachers. Prove that these white preachers hate blacks, homosexuals, and women.

Truth says : First lets be clear. Call it what you please love hate or other, if a person stands up against equal rights for all and favors discrimination based on race sex or sexual orientation, that to me sure doesn't equate LOVE! You've never seen me make broad charges against 'right wing preachers' but it's a fact that until recent times like in the last 20 years, white protestant church's as a whole have been silent on the very real issues of racism,sexism, and homophobia. Bob Jones University, a so-called christian college, only struck down their no interracial dating rule in 2000! It's also a fact that the Southern Baptists favored slavery, Jim Crow laws, segregation, and fought against women's suffrage, federal lynching laws, desegregation and civil rights.
So there is proof... but again I haven't made any charges to 'right wing preachers' I'm far more critical of 'right wing preachers' for not standing up for the human rights of Iraqi civilians or sending Americans to die in an unjustified war
commented by Blogger truthToPower, 1:47 PM  
In response to "Truth," it depends on what your definition of discrimination is. Only allowing male pastors is not discrimination, it is sacred tradition in some conservative denominations, and these denominations have the right to do this. Opposition to bussing or to affirmative action is not discrimination. People have a right to be opposed to these. Opposition to gay marriage is not discrimination. It is the accepted law in most states. I was brought up in the UCC, with moderation and without exposure to extreme viewpoints of to hate of anyone, and I was lucky. Perhaps that is why I just don't understand the viewpoints of people who are not moderates. I can't understand your extreme left-wing viewpoints, "Truth."
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 1:11 PM  
Allowing only male pastors within a church denomination is not discriminatory since it is a choice to join that church and cannot be forced on others. There can also be legitimate non-discriminatory reasons to feel that bussing and affirmative action are not needed or appropriate. However, opposition to equal marriage rights can only be based on prejudice and hatred. It represents a classic case of a religious belief being forced on everyone. You are free to believe what you want about marriage, but when you put that belief into law and take away the legal rights of life partners based on those beliefs, that is clearly unchristian, unjust, inhumane, and unforgivable. There is no defensible argument for homosexual life partners not having the same legal rights as everyone else in regard to retirement benefits, tax benefits, survivorship and inheritance, medical treatment, etc. To preclude those rights based on any religious definition of marriage is simply discrimination based on fear, hate, and ignorance. And using the defense of it being "accepted state law" is absurd. Remember that most racial injustice in the US was supported for more than a century by state law just as descriminatory as what you so strongly and smugly defend. That's why people like you scare the living hell out of me!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, 7:07 PM  

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