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November 3, 2008

Just When You Think Jeremiah Wright Was So Last Spring

What if Wright played a bigger role in the campaign? That's what Politico wants to know today.

John McCain refused to bring the Rev. Jeremiah Wright up in ads, even at the frustration of some in his own party. Wright was Barack Obama's long-time pastor until controversial videos were posted on YouTube. Obama resigned his membership in May and broke ties with his pastor.

The Pennsylvania GOP has created this ad, not with McCain's approval.



The Boston Globe
's Michael Paulson found an interesting entry in the ecumenical newsletter Vital Theology. Vincent E. Bacote, an associate professor of theology at Wheaton College:

"Jeremiah’s Wright’s theology is a progressive gospel which has a tight focus on the context of the African-American community. While not excluding others, it emphasizes the flourishing of African Americans in a context that has been hostile for most of U.S. history. In light of Wright’s background theologically and the church’s identity denominationally, this should surprise no one. The rhetoric in the video clips reflects, on the one hand, prophetic preaching that is also found in more conservative circles where America is given a warning because of certain sins (like abortion). On the other hand, whether hyperbolic or not, some of the words may mask rather than reveal Wright’s theology, because some hearers may attend more to controversy than God’s liberating activity."

The Chicago Tribune's Manya Brachear visited Obama's former church and writes that the congregation is ready for it to be Wednesday. Ah yes, ready for Wednesday.

Comments

I haven't seen that one, but we saw one from GOPTRUST.COM
last night.

http://nationalrepublicantrust.com/

Disgusting. We all have been in churches where we don't
support everything being said, and even if we did,
religion is more nuanced than this simplistic soundbiting.

Anyone go after Lieberman for going to a gender-segregated
synagogue? Do we see Palin's pastor and the witch-chasing
guy who prayed over her in ads or rallies?

Faith is important. The faith of politicians is important.

THIS, however, is racism.

no comparison.

I am a life-long Republican from a strong Republican family. But this ad makes me so angry I am ashamed to be a Republican. No wonder John McCain wouldn't endorse it!!!

“We all have been in churches where we don't support everything being said …”

Well, yes and no. We may have all BEEN in churches where we didn’t agree with what was being said, but we haven’t all STAYED in churches where reprehensible ideas were being preached from the pulpit. It is well known that Barak Obama attended this church for 20 years and considered “Rev.” Wright to be his religious mentor, just as Wright’s race-baiting preaching is also well known. This ad may be “simple soundbiting,” but it is not baseless … is it, Christianity Today? Or after this long election, don’t you know enough about Rev. Wright to know what he espouses?

I’ve read this piece three times, and I am mystified as to what the point is. OK, you don’t like the ad. You quote a professor who suggests this minister’s style of preaching is akin to “conservatism.” (Ah yes – now there’s a laugh!) The whole point seems to be to obscure Wright’s own incendiary, racist views and put him in the real of “no big deal.” And why should I care whether Obama’s former congregation is “ready for Wednesday. Ah, yes, ready for Wednesday”? What does that even mean? Everyone in this country is ready for Wednesday. Is the election of Obama – our new messiah – somehow supposed to vindicate Rev. Wright?

I recently began looking at this Web site, and this is the second time I have seen a piece critical of a political ad’s content without addressing whether the content is true or false. Throughout this long election process, the coverage in the mainstream media has been much like this – if you don’t like the message, shoot the messenger. Christians, however, are charged with bringing the truth to light. I came to this Web site looking for illumination apart from all the back-and-forth bickering, but I have not found any.

Thanks for your comments, Sharon. The comment in your first paragraph was made by JT, not me.

I usually don't make opinions in these blog posts. Instead, I try to point out what others are saying (including a Wheaton College professor) and let it up to readers like you to decide.

Ah yes, ready for Wednesday was meant to point you to Manya's interesting post and suggest that maybe we are all tired of the election.

This blog post was not meant to be critical of the ad, rather show people what's airing and some sort of context.

I found the ads titled "Polaroid" and "Bitter" to be much more effective. The one specifically about Jeremiah Wright seemed hypocritical because, after all, we Christians DO have a history of making similar statements about God's punishment of mankind.

I DO think that running the "Polaroid" and "Bitter" ads nationwide would have made a difference.

For Sharon: Don't let recent disappointments discourage you from reading CT online. I find it to be a valuable and, more often than not, balanced resource for information from a Christian perspective.

THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT OBAMA THAT I HAVE NOT RECIEVED ANSWERS FOR. THE MEDIA HAS NOT INVESTIGATED HIM OR HIS WIFE AS THEY HAVE INVESTIGATED SARA PALIN OR THE PLUMBER. I GUESS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW WHAT OBAM'S PASTOR TEACHES OR WHO OBAMA ASSOCIATED WITH AND WHERE THE CAMPAIGN MONEY CAME FROM!! IS HE A CITIZEN OF THE U.S.A. WONDER WHAT PART OF THE PRAYER BREAKFAST AT THE WHITE HOUSE WILL OBAMA'S PASTOR BE A PART OF. WILL HE BE THE WHITE HOUSE PASTOR? WAKE UP AMERICA!
MY ESTIMATES OF OBAMA!! HE WILL TEACH HIS GIRLS MORAL STANDARDS! BUT HELP THEM GET RID OF A BABY IF IT IS NOT A CONVENIENT TIME. HE WILL NOT SALUTE OUR FLAG. HE WILL BANKRUPT THE COAL COMPANY IF HE FEELS LIKE IT. MAYBE OTHER COMPANIES TOO. LETS SEE!! HOW MANY ELECTROL STATES ARE COAL MINING STATES? THERE GOES A LOT MORE JOBS. OBAMA WILL TURN OUR COUNTRY INTO A WELFARE COUNTRY AND WE WILL BE OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT. NANCY PELOSI IS ALREADY GOING FOR A REDUCTION OF OUR MILITARY OF 25%. THAT IS PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY?!! WITH THE OBAMA/DEMOCRAT CONGRESS, SENATE IN CHARGE WE WILL BE IN ONE MESS, FOUR YEARS OF OBAMA'S AS A DICTATOR SHOULD BRING EVERY CHRISTIAN TO THEIR KNEES AND THE NON CHRISTIANS TO ASK FOR GOD'S HELP.
SO FAR OUR GOVERNMENT HAS ALLOWED FOREIGN COUNTRIES TO BUY UP MAJOR COMPANIES, IF THE PARTS ARE MADE IN CHINA OR RUSSIA WE ARE IN FOR A VERY HARD TIME TO GET PARTS FOR OUR AUTOS.
IF OBAMA IS A CHRISTIAN! I DON'T WANT TO BE ONE! THANK GOD I KNOW THE DIFFERANCE. WE AS A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY WILL MAKE IT.
IT IS NOT OBAMA'S COLOR THAT I AM AFRAID OF IT IS HIS ASSOCIATION WITH THE CHICAGO CRIMIINALS.

PLESE VOTE FOR MCCAIN/PALIN. GOD BLESS AMERICA

I do not like nasty, unloving, screaming preaching in any Christian church. I think there should be a
"check" on preachers and teachers in the church, as we all are anointed ones and those who truly follow Jesus know that Christ's holiness, love, and desire to do God's will, should be the theme of any message.
Mr. Wright hurts people; people who love God truly and desire to grow in love, and those whom he is speaking to in his congregation. My impression is that he has little time left to become "big" in the eyes of the world and isn't content unless the spotlight is on him. I feel sorry for the man. If he could actually hear himself in his justification of his preaching, he would realize he best look at the 3 fingers pointing back at himself. Who was he speaking to? Is that what they needed to hear? I think he has a point of view, but has too much power in the position he holds and doesn't know what worshiping God is, let alone be able to lead worship services. I am tired of an ideology being preached as the gospel. I am tired of opinions and calling it "prophetic". The Biblical prophets have spoken what God says, not their opinions. Why isn't that good enough? God the Holy Spirit reveals what Christ means in the Beatitudes. Wright needs to pray for hearts to be open, not shut with the hate message and feel sorry for me message. It is all Good, what Christ preached in the Beatitudes. The Kingdom of God is within so teach people how to live in THAT liberating fact. When a man or friends of a man (in the UCC) need to defend the man's preaching by pointing out all his good works...that is called trying to justify the self, and the goals of an ideology, not the gospel. I don't feel impressed by the education level he has attained nor by books he has written. Pharacees come in all colors and in all the forms of men. We are all guilty and all need the blood. Sorry but Mr. Wright is the same as everyone else, a sinner saved by grace through faith.
I have to watch my tongue, why doesn't this man?

Things like this again, only promotes fear and discontent towards the new President elect! When will it end. Also, I'm sure if you search hard enough, there are many non-black Jeremiah Wright's out there. Search and you will find them. But I doubt if you will search.