Pastor Wright and Barack Obama: The media finally notices
Dr. Jeremiah Wright Jr. has been saying things like “God damn America” for a couple of decades to a congregation that has grown to the thousands, and his sermons only go out via webcast, podcast, telecast, broadcast, cable cast. And for the technologically challenged, audio cassettes and books. I mean, just how deep should we expect our intrepid media mavens to dig? It’s hard to find that haystack in the needle, ain’t it?
But under the Biblical principle of being grateful for what you have, I am thankful that millions more are aware of this now than were just 48 hours ago. You know, back in the good ole days before “client number 9” was a housefold word.
(I must wonder, however, how this got past Clinton, Inc, for so long. Maybe it’s just me, but since we’ve been told that white Iowans and so on loved the non-threatening post racial nature of Obama….I can’t help but think that a little Jerry Wright sprinkled in early and often might have nipped this hoax in the bud. Just a thought.)
It is critical now, however, that more understanding of this dymanic be circulated.. People need to understand the unique nature of a large independent church pastor and his congregation. It is very different from the relationship that exists in more traditional denominational churches.
Jeremiah Wright is not simply a pastor who was assigned to Trinity United Church of Christ by a synod or diocese as the latest in a long line of such assignments. Jeremiah Wright is the TUCC. Or, more accurately, the TUCC is simply one of “Jeremiah Wright’s ministries.” This is how it works with these independent churches.
These churches exist for the sole purpose of spreading the pastor’s specific ministry. If there is a market for such a ministry (and in Chicago there has been one), then the church will grow. Most of these churches, in fact, are founded by (and for) the pastor.
TUCC was not founded by Wright. But almost. He has pastored it from a membership of 87 to one now of over 6000. It is his doctrine, direction, interpretation and emphasis that is TUCC. Wright is TUCC and TUCC is Wright. Period.
And with this dymanic, being an active member and significant benefactor of such a church for 20 years is by natural extension an endorsement of the pastor’s message. With one of these churches, if you do not buy into the pastor’s specific direction, you go to another church. It is not at all like going to your family’s 3 generation Methodist Church and having varying degrees of agreements with the numerous pastors as they flowed through the pulpit.
Barack Obama sought out the message of Jeremiah Wright, joined and remained in and supported TUCC because of that message, and in fact named his book after a sermon of that message. He even used that message so that black voters in Chicago would not focus on the half of Obama that is white, and on his privileged Hawaiian education. To paraphrase the good pastor, he “was riding dirty” on that message.
In other words, he embraced Wright and TUCC’s agenda to get his black street cred and to escape his “white half.” Now, he’s trying to divert attention away from his black street cred. And a little sober reminder here… he is doing this so he can occupy the Oval Office.
The media will of course try and tie any conservative candidate to any outlandish statement made at any time by any pastor who endorses such a candidate. Last night, MSNCB was trying to change the subject by linking John McCain to one of John Hagee’s statements about Catholics years ago. As far as I know, McCain and Hagee have never even met and the Catholic statement is not the founding principal of Hagee’s ministry.
But if that’s the standard, then it portends disaster for the Obama campaign. As long as the message can get out. Because Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright have met. Often. For decades. And hating America always has and always will be the driving principal of Jeremiah Wright and his followers.
God help us if the message does not get out and one of those followers ends up in the Oval Office.
C. Edmund Wright is not related to Pastor Wright.