Cross-posted from Faultline USA
Contrary to media reports, Jeremiah Wright hasn’t been in self-imposed exile since Obama distanced himself from Wright’s anti-American and racist remarks. On the contrary, Wright has continued his whirlwind speaking tour across America. Friday he was interviewed by Bill Moyers of PBS, Sunday he delivered two sermons at Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, where he finally received a belated award from Brite Divinity School (see previous articles below), then he flew to Detroit to address the NAACP, and this morning his gave another self-gratification speech to the National Press Club.
So what’s up with Wright?
To summarize Juan Williams’s assessment on Fox TV following Wright’s speech this morning, Wright is saying “If you are attacking me, you are attacking the Black Church.”
Yesterday, Wright said that he was being “crucified.” Today the Black Church is being crucified.
Williams went on to observe that Wright never explained his inflammatory statements. “It was all about ego and self-gratification for Wright. . . Wright isn’t looking out for Obama. . .It’s all about Wright and Black Theology.” Williams said that Wright “Is playing racially divisive politics. You don’t hear that from the Black Pulpit. It’s not typical.”
I watched the entire speech and the Q&A session following the speech. His speech lasted less than fifteen minutes but it was packed full of inflammatory quotes that should come back to haunt Wright as well as continue to plague Obama. Another 20-30 minutes were devoted to answering pre-screened questions.
Here’s the gist of the speech:
Wright said that he will be opening a two day symposium of Black Theologians, scholars, and social workers etc., and said that Obama has called for a dialog on the Black Church. He opened his speech by referring to the media’s playing of the “out of context” sound bites saying, “It’s not an attack on Jeremiah Wright. It is an attack on the Black Church.”
Then Wright went into a brief history of the Black Church in America and attempted to distinguish his “Prophetic Theology of the Black Church” from James Cones’ “Black Liberation Theology.” What are the differences? Basically none except that Wright’s theology goes beyond “white supremacy” to the prophets of the Old Testament. He hinges his theology on the 61st chapter of Isaiah and on Luke 4.
According to Wright, his theology is a theology of liberation, transformation, and “ultimately, reconciliation.” Why did he insert the word “ultimately”? According to Wright, the white church in Europe and North America is a “theology of white supremacy.”
Here’s a summary of Wright’s speech concerning what whites have to do in order to become reconciled to the Black church in America.
God’s desire is for a radical change in a social order that has gone astray. God’s desire is for a radical transformation. This is the heart of Liberation Theology. What must we do in order to become reconciled? “Children of God repenting for past sins against one another.”
Apparently, Wright thinks whites have a long, long way to go before they deserve to be reconciled to the Black Church.
I wonder what kind of additional repentance Wright has in store for Whites? Hint, go listen to Obama’s new pastor’s sermons and, can you spell Reparations and residtribution???
With regard to the “white supremacy” church in America, Wright quoted Dr. William Augustus Jones to explain how one’s theology determines one’s sociology. Really? Can we get permission from Wright to apply that same standard to Obama???
I wonder if Wright considered that if that’s truly the case, then why shouldn’t all Americans have a right to ask Obama to explain his own theology in terms of comparison and contrast to Trinity United Church of Christ and Jeremiah Wright?
The Q&A session offered some hard questions that Wright attempted to turn to his favor.
When asked about the “chickens coming home to roost” post 9/11 sermon he responded:
“Have you heard the whole sermon? (He waits for a response) Well that nullifies that question.” Then Wright went on to say that (1) “I was quoting the ambassador of Iraq,” (2) What Wright said “comes from the Bible”, and (3) “You cannot do terrorism against other people and not expect it to come back on you.”
Asked if he was patriotic and loved Aemrica, Wright said:
“I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic?” Then he waved a flimsy salute.
Hummm. Looks like he doesn’t want to give a direct answer on that one.
Wright was asked about his relationship with Louis Farrakhan, the acting head of the Nation of Islam. Wright implied that he had been hurt by his relationship with Farrakhan because Farrakhan has once called Zionism a “gutter religion.” But Wright went on to say, “Farrakhan and I don’t agree on everything. Farrakhan is one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st centuries. I won’t put down Farrakhan any more than (Nelson) Mandela would put down Castro.”
Asked about Sen. Obama’s disavowal of him, Wright reminded the audience that Obama had not disavowed him just “distanced himself from me because he is a politician.” Wright said that he was downstairs praying with Obama before Obama went upstairs to talk. What does this imply?
When asked about his own motivation, Wright said, “If Obama had not said what he said he would never get elected.” Then Wright added, “I’m not running for office . . .(then with a kidding grin) I’m hoping to be V.P.” As a matter of fact, he said that again at the end of his speech. Interesting, and I bet he’s serious.
Asked about what evil our government is capable of, he said, that based on the Tuskegee experiment, “I believe our government is capable of anything.”
Asked if he likened Israeli policies to apartheid, he denied saying that and said that Israel has a right to exist but needs to sit down and work out a solution – reconciliation.
Wright refused to comment about Bill Clinton and said that “I came to talk about the church not politics.” Funny, he could have fooled me.
Wright was asked how the Black and White church could reconcile. He said that many have already “taken great steps to do so. To reconcile, whites must understand the injustice that was done.”
He would start educating at the earliest levels by using “Infusion curriculum” – telling the true story.
When asked if Islam is the way to salvation, Wright said, “Jesus said, ‘Other sheep have I not of this fold.’”
So what’s Obama to do?
Wright, like a dirty old piece of gum, is permanently stuck to Obama’s shoe. Obama can’t shake him. Granted, Obama hasn’t tried very hard to convince most voters that he’s all that upset with Wright, but why should he? If Obama were to come out even stronger against Wright or his own Black Liberation church, he’d lose the votes of his primary supporters on the left.
Some speculating yesterday on the news had the Obama camp actually redirecting Wright in an attempt to rehabilitate his image. The idea is that if Obama can stop attacks on Wright, he can win the blue collar white votes he badly needs. The only way to do that is to turn this thing on his head. Apparently, the far left is taking the ball and running with it.
Here’s the new spin. To question Wright or Obama is tantamount to white racism!
For more background on this continuing story read:
(1)Brite Divinity School to Honor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, (2) Brite Divinity School Jeremiah Wright Update, (3) Brite, Jeremiah Wright, and the Out of Context Card, (4) The Brite-Jeremiah Wright Debate Continues, (5) Brite Divinity School Accused of Violating Its Own Covenant, and (6) Jeremiah Wright’s 9/11 Sermon “In Context”, and (7) An Outraged Active Democrat Tells Brite Divinity School Off, (8) The Clever Rev. Jeremiah Wright