<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d10515331\x26blogName\x3dUCCtruths\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dTAN\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://ucctruths.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://ucctruths.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d6655932653190031468', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

UCCtruths

Every denomination needs one of these...

The media gets it - the "sacred conversation on race" is about Jeremiah Wright

Monday, May 19, 2008

Shockingly, the United Church of Christ's spin machine could not shape the message for newspapers reporting on the "Sacred Conversation on Race" called for by our denominational leaders. While media coverage of the "sacred" conversation was sparse, the ones that did cover it all mentioned Jeremiah Wright as the catalyst:
  • From the headline in Bangor Daily News: "Rev. Wright debate brings racism issue to UCC sermons".
  • From The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Wilson was invited to deliver the Sunday sermon as part of a "sacred conversation on race" declared by national United Church of Christ leaders after the stormy reaction to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's denunciation of the U.S. government."
  • From Greenwich Time: "The United Church of Christ asked pastors across the country to hold "sacred conversations" on race yesterday. The call, according to the organization's Web site, came in light of the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., the pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago whose racially charged comments has been closely linked to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama."
  • From the Kennebec Journal: "The national office of the United Church of Christ, which has 5,700 affiliates across the country, called for all churches to talk about race Sunday in part because of comments made by Chicago pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a former UCC pastor.
  • From the Chicago Tribune: "They joined hundreds of United Church of Christ congregations across the country in the dialogue on race, sparked last month by the controversial statements of Sen. Barack Obama's longtime pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. of Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago's South Side."
The UCC shell game for promoting the "sacred" conversation seemed to be designed to provide cover for Wright and the denomination without actually admitting it. It's refreshing that the media actually saw through this and put the "sacred" conversation in it's proper context.

The Philadelphia Inquirer article actually went further and deeper on the Wright connection to the "sacred" conversation:
Wilson, pastor of Healing Stream United Church of Christ in Kensington, staunchly defended Wright in a May 6 Philadelphia Daily News column, and he offered a similar justification with the Wayne congregation during coffee hour yesterday.

He asserted that, like Wright, some African Americans believe the U.S. government is responsible for instigating the AIDS epidemic, even though there is no evidence to support that view. He said many blacks feel that way because of the nation's history of slavery and oppression of minorities.

"For 400 years, we were slaves in this country, we were ripped from our homeland," Wilson said. "So as black people we have lived in situations where you might well say, 'Well, that never happened.'

"Do I believe that the U.S. government put AIDS in our communities? I don't know," Wilson went on. "I wish that I could say no, but I know the government has done other things in the past."

Some members of the congregation gently pushed back.

Phil Clark, a scientist who works in the pharmaceutical industry, said that there was no evidence that the government had anything to do with starting the AIDS epidemic and that it did not have the technology at the onset of AIDS to create the virus.
In the end, I don't think our denomination's call for a "sacred" conversation will have much of an impact at all. If this were a genuine effort at discussion, which I think is needed and is healthy for our nearly all white denomination, this would have already been a part of our social infrastructure and not something spurred by the media frenzy around Jeremiah Wright. During John Thomas' tenure as UCC President and General Minister, the national office of the UCC has largely been out of touch with the concerns and needs of the local church and their handling of the Jeremiah Wright situation amplified the disconnection even more.

While the Wright controversy alone won't hurt the denomination, as Barack Obama gains a higher profile with his inevitable nomination for President, the UCC will find itself under greater scrutiny and for many in the UCC it will be an eye opening experience.
posted by UCCtruths, Monday, May 19, 2008

10 Comments:

Ok, let's try this:

The UCC NEVER denied that this call for a sacred conversation was prompted by the controversy surrounding Jeremiah Wright's comments.

from http://www.ucc.org/news/ucc-ncc-calls-for-nationwide.html
"As a proactive response to the heightened interest surrounding Trinity UCC in Chicago, national and regional UCC leaders, joined by the National Council of Churches, today called for a nationwide "sacred conversation" about race in the United States."

from John Thomas' statement at the news conference calling for the conversation. http://www.ucc.org/news/thomas-on-race-sacred-conver.html

"Forty years later the painful reality of America's struggle with race endures. The events of the past few weeks in relation to Trinity Church, have catapulted Trinity – and our nation – into a new awareness of the ongoing impact of race in our society.

This new awareness has been a painful awakening. Members of our church, and many others, have been disturbed by what they have seen and heard on television. Many have felt that the real story of the United Church of Christ and of Trinity hasn't been told. Members of Trinity Church in particular have had to celebrate Holy Week and Easter under profoundly difficult circumstances."

from http://www.ucc.org/sacred-conversation/
"The UCC announced this intiative on April 3 -- on the 40th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s last sermon -- in order to foster a spirit of healing and unity. While much has been said during the past several weeks about the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., this dialogue is intended to be a larger conversation, one not focused directly or exclusively on the recent controversy, but one certainly influenced by it."

from http://www.ucc.org/news/uccs-full-page-ad-in-usa-toda.html
"The USA Today ad, though different in content from The New York Times ad, is part of the UCC's effort to ensure that the denomination is not caricatured in narrow and distorted ways in wake of heightened media interest."

So disagree with the call, or whether it will have any affect. But to imply or state that the UCC was somehow denying that this had to do with the controvery is incorrect.

BTW, I preached on this yesterday- and though I did mention Jeremiah Wright in it, it was only to state 1) that the impetus for the call was the controversy surrounding him, and 2) that multiple times I heard in conversations him refered to as "that black preacher" and Obama "that black candidate" without every mentioning their names. No defense of his remarks, but a sermon about the diversity that God creates in us to reflect the image of God in the Trinity and how we who are white sometimes don't realize what that means to those who aren't.

God's grace and peace,
Deb Kunkel
commented by Blogger Deb, 4:15 PM  
Deb, you "preached" on this yesterday?

I thought this was supposed to be a "sacred conversation"?

Perhaps it should have been called "Sermon Sunday on race".


As we had a lay-leader preach this past Sunday - we worshiped God - it was awesome!
commented by Blogger daver, 4:30 PM  
Deb, you are again missing the point and maybe I'm not communicating it very well... the ONLY reason for this copnversation on race is Jeremiah Wright. The call for the conversation was an attempt to change the subject away from Wright and the UCC and make it about race. Criticism of Wright didn't occur because of his color, it occured because of what he said.
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 5:36 PM  
ucctruths why preachers have said equally disturbing things.. yet I never once saw the type of backlash from their entire congregations calling for ex communications and charges of anti patriotism or "racism"

And to be honest.. I doubt many who post on ucctruths really know much about Rev. Wrights ministry. Judgements were made on soundbites and media distortions.

The implicit biases Americans hold against blacks is what prompted such 'outrage'.

There've been several church scandals over the past few years.. outside of someone being found guilty of a crime you tell me the last time you've seen such a reaction to a white ministers words
commented by Blogger truthToPower, 9:04 PM  
Please. Do the names Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson mean anything to you?
Come on... the reaction to Wright was based on the inflammatory nature of his comments. Wrights comments at the National Press Club validated all the assumptions about Wright's sermons.
commented by Blogger UCCtruths, 11:29 PM  
Jerry Falwell nor Pat Roberson were never made into a political liability.....

No candidate funning for any office of government has ever been asked to denounce either Falwell nor Roberson nor their popes.

Quite the contrary.. politicians seek the endorsements of these men no matter how many times they've called for the assassination of world leaders ** note the sarcasm**
commented by Blogger truthToPower, 12:37 AM  
Truth to Power,

Fine, despite the fact that you want to distract the conversation away from Rev. Wright, I will humor you. At least since you think that there is a conspiracy to cover up for white preachers...

Tell me the exact circumstance of how Pat Robertson called for the assasination of Hugo Chavez.

Then if you'd like we can talk about the exact circumstances of why Rev. Wright said the things that he did.

Of course, we will also have to talk about the relationship between Falwell/Robertson and President Bush -compared- to the relationship of Obama to Rev. Wright.

Rather than arguing we can talk about it.
commented by Blogger Freedomnow, 1:48 AM  
"Jerry Falwell nor Pat Roberson were never made into a political liability....."

Excuse me? What planet do you inhabit? Democrats have been making hay off of the Terrible Two since the early 80s, trying to associate them with just about every significant Republican who has run for national office. Just for the most recent example, how many Democrats bashed John McCain for meeting with Falwell a couple of years ago, acting as though it was proof positive that McCain was a knuckle-grazing Neanderthal in moderate's clothing.

Geez, the lengths to which some lefties will go to justify their most ridiculous remarks...
I dont know what motivates TruthtoPower to say such things, but I would like to find out what it is that causes him or her to believe in white oppression against blacks in the 21st Century.

TruthtoPower said:

"The implicit biases Americans hold against blacks is what prompted such 'outrage'."

A David Duke supporter says the same thing in reverse:

"Today, the Federal Government is forcing an across-the-board racial discrimination against European-Americans in employment, promotions, scholarships, and in college and union admittance. This racial bias is pervading all sectors of our national life, including civil service, education and business."

(I am not including a link because I do not want to leave a link to a hate website.)

I'm tired of these hysterical accusations. The hatred of those who espouse beliefs like Black Liberation Theology and false victimhood gives white supremacists an excuse for their own hate, creating a vicious circle of hatred.
commented by Blogger Freedomnow, 4:19 AM  

Add a comment