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Priest stands up to reporter on Jeremiah Wright

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Speaking of Jeremiah Wright (as I was in the previous post), Homeyra and 99 (whose post is called I’m stoked about Father Michael Pfleger) tipped me off to this remarkable video interchange between a white priest— a friend of Rev. Wright—and a Fox News reporter.

Father Pfleger firmly but gently rebukes the oversimplifications and corrects the errors, point by point, though apparently taken by surprise. It is simply excellent, and he represents Jesus admirably. Much good here!

[Update: I posted this clip at my Clipmarks page, too, and Dulios, a clipper whom I admire, left this comment: Father Pfleger is a hero to those of us in Chicago who fight for social and economic justice. He deserves a wider audience! Isn’t it great what you can learn from friends on the web?]


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Written by Monte

April 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Jeremiah Wright on Bill Moyers Friday, April 25

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Now here’s television serving the public: Bill Moyers will interview Rev. Jeremiah Wright, long-time pastor of Barack Obama, on April 25. What a marvelous chance to hear Wright tell his own story, rather than hearing it sliced and diced by sound-biters.

clipped from www.ucc.org

Jeremiah Wright to be interviewed by Bill Moyers

In what will be his first interview since snippets of his preaching became a central issue in the U.S. presidential campaign, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. will speak publicly to veteran journalist and fellow UCC member Bill Moyers.

The interview will be broadcast on Friday evening, April 25, on Bill Moyers Journal, a PBS news series that airs nationally. Check local listings at www.pbs.org/moyers.

Wright retired in March after 36 years as senior pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity UCC in Chicago, where U.S. Sen. Barack Obama has been a member for more than 20 years. Trinity UCC is the largest congregation among the UCC’s 5,700 churches. […]

Following his appearance on Bill Moyers Journal, Wright is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the NAACP Detroit Branch on Sunday, April 27. He is also slated to speak on Monday, April 28, to a breakfast gathering at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

blog it

Join me, screen-side!


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Written by Monte

April 19, 2008 at 12:46 am

Is Jeremiah Wright mostly right?

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Jeremiah WrightDamn you rich! You already have your compensation.
Damn you who are well-fed! You will know hunger.
Damn you who laugh now! You will weep and grieve.
Damn you when everybody speaks well of you!

A rant from a radical preacher? Without a doubt. … That’s the Scholars Translation of Luke 6:24-26, and the speaker is Jesus of Nazareth. …

And it’s strikingly similar to:

God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human.
God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

That’s Jeremiah Wright.

And he’s got a point. I’m quoting here from a post on Daily Kos by the blogger known (appropriately, some will say) as Devilstower. He throws down the gauntlet about the Wright words, especially to we who preach.

Consider: Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

April 13, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Listen to Jeremiah Wright for yourself

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This is daring, but excellent preaching, and way different from what I’d been led to expect. Way different. I so hope you’ll watch it. Here are some things that surprised me:

  • I heard he quoted Malcolm X; not so. He quotes retired U.S. Ambassador Edward Peck, a veteran diplomat, who said in a TV interview that what Malcolm X had said (“the chickens are coming home to roost”) was true of what was happening to the U.S.A.
  • I heard that he singled out the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; not so. The references to those cities were part of a long list of incidents he mentions to demonstrate a point.
  • I heard that he was anti-American, that he preached hate, that he was anti-white; not so. He’s preaching here as an American (he’s an ex-Marine, by the way). He is preaching in opposition to hatred and revenge! He calls America to carefully consider its path. I found it a tender-hearted, thought-provoking message, well worth hearing.

This is a preacher challenging the morality of a nation of violence, and he’s got a point. If all the criticisms against him are as far from his meaning as the reports on this sermon have been, he’s been sorely slandered, and we’ve been badly misled.


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Written by Monte

March 27, 2008 at 10:35 pm

A better look at Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Trinity Church

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So OK: let’s really look at Barack Obama’s pastor and church

Here are excerpts from people in a position to offer an informed view. The emphases are mine.

First, Prof. Martin E. Marty of the University of Chicago, one of America’s most distinguished professors of religion, quoted at the urban legends debunker Snopes.com:

Martin E. MartyTrinity is the largest congregation in the whole United Church of Christ, the ex-Congregational (think Jonathan Edwards) and Reformed (think Reinhold Niebuhr) mainline church body. Trinity’s rubric is “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian.” So far as I can tell Trinity shapes a kind of ellipse around these two “centers,” neither of which makes sense without the other.

This you would never know from the slanders of its enemies or the incomprehension and naiveté of some reporters who lack background in the civil rights and African-American movements of several decades ago, a background out of which Trinity’s stirrings first rose and on which it transformatively trades. So Trinity is “Africentric,” and deals internationally and ecumenically with the heritage of “black is beautiful.”

Despite what one sometimes hears, Wright and his parishioners, an 8,000-member mingling of everyone from the disadvantaged to the middle class, and not a few shakers and movers in Chicago, are “keepin’ the faith.” To those in range of Chicago TV I’d recommend a watching of Trinity’s Sunday services, and challenge you to find anything “cultic” or “sectarian” about them.

More important, for Trinity, being “unashamedly black” does not mean being “anti-white.” My wife and I on occasion attend, and, like all other non-blacks, are enthusiastically welcomed.

Second, Dean Snyder, the current senior minister of the Foundry United Methodist Churchthe church the Clintons attended while living in the White House:

Dean Snyder“The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times,” Snyder wrote. “He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his
congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence.

Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.”

A few entertainer/commenter types (not to mention Candidate Clinton) have distorted the record of this church and pastor in an effort to smear Mr. Obama. Their criticism doesn’t stand up under more careful – and less partisan – examination.

Thanks for reading!


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Written by Monte

March 26, 2008 at 7:19 pm