Monday, April 28, 2008

Obama's Spiritual Advisor and Mentor Reverend Jeremiah Wright Speaks Today in DC at the National Press Club

[After appearances on PBS and at the NAACP, it will be interesting to see what the Reverence Jeremiah Wright says today in DC about why he is right and America is wrong.]

Event Name: Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright
Event Date: Apr. 28, 2008
Event Type: NPC Breakfast
Time: 8:30 AM
Sponsored by: Speakers Committee
Event Location: Ballroom

The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., senior pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, will discuss the role of faith in the public square in a presentation entitled, The African American Religious Experience; Theology & Practice, at a National Press Club breakfast on April 28th.

Dr. Wright will also talk about his pastorate, his development as a theologian and teacher, and the how the issues of social justice and global inequities have shaped his faith and his fight for those who are most marginalized in society. He will address the legacy and tradition of education in his family. And Dr. Wright will put into perspective theologically, historically and politically, his ministry and public service that has been so widely discussed in the media.

Dr. Wright will retire from Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in June, where he served the 8,000-member congregation for 36 years. While at Trinity he developed nearly 100 active ministries/outreach programs and seven separate corporations that continue to serve the greater Chicago community. He is a sought after lecturer and teacher and speaks at some of the nation's most prestigious universities and seminaries.
The National Press Club breakfast will begin promptly at 8:30 a.m.

The National Press Club is located at 14th and F Streets, NW, one block west of Metro Center. More information about the Club and its programs is found on its Internet website:


1 comment:

David F. said...

A view from within the United Church of Christ:


Wright lights the fuse

Monday, April 28, 2008

Trinity United Church of Christ's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, gave an indignant speech this morning before the National Press Club and African-American church leaders. The speech and Wright's response to questions afterwards will undoubtedly reignite the controversy around his sermons.

In his speech, Wright disowned the controversy by claiming that the media reporting and the public response was not about him, it was about the black church as a whole. Wright also mentioned the call to have a national conversation on race which was first raised by presidential candidate Barack Obama and formalized by the United Church of Christ's national office.

Throughout the question and answer period of his speech, Wright continually deflected questions about his sermons often answering a question with another question. When asked about his "God damn America" sermon, he asked "Did you hear the sermon?" When asked about his allegation that the U.S. governemnt created the AIDS virus to commit genocide on African-Americans, Wright asked if the questioner had read Horowitz's book and then claimed that he believed the government was capable of it. When asked about his controversial sermon that appeared to blame the U.S. for 9/11, Wright claimed to be quoting an ambassador although Wright clearly subscribed to the belief in the sermon.

On any level, the speech was a trainwreck. Wright didn't accept responsibility for his sermons or take ownership of his own words. By deflecting the controversy as commentary against the black church, Wright has also ignited a completely manufactured racial conflict and has unfairly cast a negative view of the black church and the United Church of Christ. Wright has effectively sabatoged the black church, the United Church of Christ and Obama's candidacy to protect his own ego.

While I personally agree with the spirit of Obama's call for a national conversation on race, it can not and should not be orchestrated as a defense of Wright's sermons. The controversy is not about race, it is about Jeremiah Wright. If we are going to have a real national conversation on race, it should be done in the spirit Obama's unifying optimism that we can overcome our shameful history.