Notes From A Black Pastor On Reverend Wright

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With this latest pastor flare-up, I stumbled across an old post from Dennis Sanders about Wright in March.

He comes at this story from a very unique perspective, and as much as I’d like for the Wright story to just go away because I don’t think Obama should be held responsible for what somebody else has said, Sanders made some good points…

Most African American preachers will inject social concerns into their sermons. Because of our experience with slavery and later segregation, we tend to see Christianity in a more prophetic role, where God is on the side of the downtrodden. While I mostly preach in predominately white churches (and I tend to have a more subdued style than most black preachers) I do tend to talk about care for the poor and about the fact that God loves and accepts all regardless of color or sexual orientation. I believe that as Christians we are called to strive for justice and I do try to make that point in my sermons.

That said, the sermons by Rev. Wright go waaaay over the top. He paints an America that I don’t recognize and throws in falsehoods and a tinge of anti-Semitism that I believe shames all African American preachers.

There is no way you can explain away Wright’s belief that 9/11 was basically “just desserts” on America, especially a few days after the event. Then there is his giving into dark conspiracy theories such as the one where the government gives black people the drugs. Or, his talk of Zionism as white racism.

There is just something wrong about what Rev. Wright is doing. It’s not that he isn’t patriotic enough as some on the right are yelping: it’s that this man seems an inverse of the late Jerry Falwell: a mean-spirited preacher that uses the Bible to further his agenda.

Obama may want Wright to go away, and he already has to a degree, but I’ve talked with a bunch of people who just can’t get over him being at that church for 20 years. And do know that this point will be what he’s hammered on again and again and again during the campaign season. Why did you stay? I mean, even Dennis Sanders thinks that the appearance will be that he agrees with most of what Wright has said, even if that’s not the case.

Have you noticed similar things from people you’ve talked to?