Presidential candidate Barack Obama preaches on the campaign trail that America needs a new consensus based on faith and bipartisanship, yet he continues to attend a controversial Chicago church whose pastor routinely refers to "white arrogance" and "the United States of White America."
In fact, Obama was in attendance at the church when these statements were made on July 22.
Obama was not the only national African-American figure to cozy up to
Wright. TV host Oprah Winfrey once described herself as a congregant, but in
recent years has disassociated herself from the controversial minister.
A visit to Wright's Trinity United is anything but Oprah-style friendly.
As I approached the entrance of the church before a recent Sunday service, a large young man in an expensive suit stepped out to block the doorway.
What are you doing here?" he asked.
"I came to hear Dr. Wright," I replied.
After an uncomfortable pause, the gentleman stepped aside.
On this particular July Sabbath morning, only a handful of white men — aside from a few members of Obama's Secret Service detail — were present among a congregation of approximately 2,500 people.
The floral arrangements were extravagant. Wright, his associate pastors, choir members, and many of the gentlemen in the congregation were attired in traditional African dashiki robes. African drums accompanied the organist.
Trinity United bears the motto "Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian."
Wright says its doctrine reflects black liberation theology, which views the Bible in part as a record of the struggles of "people of color" against oppression.
A skilled and fiery orator, Wright's interpretation of the Scriptures has been described as "Afrocentric."
When referring to the Romans, for example, he refers to "European oppression" — not addressing the fact that the Egyptians, who were also a slave society, were people of Africa.
The Trinity United Web site tells of a "commitment to the black community, commitment to the black family, adherence to the black work ethic, pledge to make all the fruits of developing acquired skills available to the black community."
"Some white people hear it as racism in reverse," Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ, tells The New York Times. Blacks tend to hear a different message, Hopkins says: "Yes, we are somebody; we're also made in God's image."
I said yesterday that if it is proven that Obama was at one of these fiery sermons then his political career is over. This article indicates this to be so. We will see...
According to La Raza Barack Obama was speaking at one of their conferences...
SPECIAL FORUM: Foro Del Pueblo Con Sen. Obama – Room D128-129, (Open to the public)Featured Speaker: Senator Barack Obama (D-IL)
While it is possible for Obama to have been in church that morning and then flown to Miami, it isn't necessarily likely. It is of course a bit of political irony that a separatist, divisive group would provide cover for Obama against being linked again to a separatist, divisive pastor.
Newsmax has acknowledged the controversy but stick by their reporting. Here is what they have said...
The Obama campaign has told members of the press that Senator Obama was not in church on the day cited, July 22, because he had a speech he gave in Miami at 1:30 PM. Our writer, Jim Davis, says he attended several services at Senator Obama's church during the month of July, including July 22. The church holds services three times every Sunday at 7:30 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central time. While both the early morning and evening service allowed Sen. Obama to attend the service and still give a speech in Miami, Mr. Davis stands by his story that during one of the services he attended during the month of July, Senator Obama was present and sat through the sermon given by Rev. Wright as described in the story. Mr. Davis said Secret Service were also present in the church during Senator Obama's attendance. Mr. Davis' story was first published on Newsmax on August 9, 2007. Shortly before publication, Mr. Davis contacted the press office of Sen. Obama several times for comment about the Senator's attendance and Rev. Wright's comments during his sermon. The Senator's office declined to comment.
The situation remains fluid and surreal...
According to the Washington Post, Obama had a campaign appearance in Chicago that day as well...
This makes his appearance in Miami relatively moot. Obviously, it doesn't put him in the church, however this is what the fiasco has been transformed into and that is not good for his campaign.