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Rev. Jeremiah Wright for President


 

Characterizing it as character-assassination "in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe," a statement released over the weekend by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s successor as pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago also had this to say about the American Masscult’s univocally negative reactions to some of the Rev. Wright’s old sermons:

Dr. Wright has preached 207,792 minutes on Sunday for the past 36 years at Trinity United Church of Christ. This does not include weekday worship services, revivals and preaching engagements across America and around the globe, to ecumenical and interfaith communities. It is an indictment on Dr. Wright’s ministerial legacy to present his global ministry within a 15- or 30-second sound bite," said the Reverend Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

During the 36-year pastorate of Dr. Wright, Trinity United Church of Christ has grown from 87 to 8,000 members. It is the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ denomination.

"It saddens me to see news stories reporting such a caricature of a congregation that has been such a blessing to the UCC’s Wider Church mission," said the Rev. John H. Thomas, UCC general minister and president, in a released statement. " … It’s time for us to say ‘No’ to these attacks and declare that we will not allow anyone to undermine or destroy the ministries of any of our congregations in order to serve their own narrow political or ideological ends."

Trinity United Church of Christ’s ministry is inclusive and global. The following ministries have been developed under Dr. Wright’s ministerial tutelage for social justice: assisted living facilities for senior citizens, day care for children, pastoral care and counseling, health care, ministries for persons living with HIV/AIDS, hospice training, prison ministry, scholarships for thousands of students to attend historically black colleges, youth ministries, tutorial and computer programs, a church library, domestic violence programs and scholarships and fellowships for women and men attending seminary.

Moss added, "The African American Church was born out of the crucible of slavery and the legacy of prophetic African American preachers since slavery has been and continues to heal broken marginalized victims of social and economic injustices. This is an attack on the legacy of the African American Church which led and continues to lead the fight for human rights in America and around the world."

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. preached the Christian tenet, "love thy neighbor as thyself." Before Dr. King was murdered on April 4, 1968, he preached, "The 11 o’clock hour is the most segregated hour in America." Forty years later, the African American Church community continues to face bomb threats, death threats, and their ministers’ characters are assassinated because they teach and preach prophetic social concerns for social justice. Sunday is still the most segregated hour in America.


Honestly I don’t know whether church is the most segregated place in America today.  (Though – Rome’s seed aside – I most certainly have my suspicions about the Unitarian Universalists.)

But I know for a fact that the American Masscult is a scary body of true believers.  And I sure won’t drink of their Kool-Aid.  

And if, like me, it turns out that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright favors beating swords into ploughshares, canceling the imperial world order, overturning the tables back home, taxing the rich, reordering the Federal budget to invest in projects that enhance human health and well-being, not to mention human felicity, reinstating habeas corpus, throwing open the cell doors to this country’s prison nation, and, last but not least, jailing our jailers instead, then I’m all for him.  And I hereby place the name of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in nomination to run as an Independent for the November 4 election.  Before it’s too late. 

"Statement from Trinity United Church of Christ," March 15-16, 2008 (as posted to the United Church of Christ’s website)

"Obama church responds in 9/11 row," BBC International, March 17, 2008
"Even if Dems win, total Iraq exit uncertain," Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, March 17, 2008

"Audacity and Hopelessness," ZCom, March 16, 2008

Update (March 18): For some reason, I don’t believe that Barack Obama is planning to vote for the Rev. Jeremiah Wright this November.

 

"A More Perfect Union," Barack Obama, Philadelphia, March 18, 2008

 

 

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