Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tavis Smiley says "Wright Is Standing In a King Tradition"

On Real Time with Bill Maher...


des52 said...

If you really want to be a journalist then you put things in context as this Tribune writer did on the 2 stories below.

Sound Bite versus sermon

Rev. Jeremiah Wright's words: Sound bite vs. sermon excerpt
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, where Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. served as pastor for more than three decades. With Obama and Hillary Clinton in a close battle for the nomination, provocative snippets of Wright's sermons began circulating widely in the last month. Obama has repudiated the remarks but continues to support Wright.

Tribune staff report,0,4778852.story
March 29, 2008

March 28, 2008
Wright's sermons fueled by complex mix of culture, religion

On the Sunday in 2003 when Rev.
Jeremiah Wright Jr. shouted "God damn America" from the pulpit of Trinity United Church of Christ, he defined damnation as God's way of holding humanity accountable for its actions.

(here is the link.),0,7247383.storygallery

CNN had a 3 minute blurb about Rev. Wright being a guest at St. Sabina. What was laughable was the CNN anchors obvious lack of preparation. Sanchez referred to Pfleger as some white guy trying to get famous from all the hoopla. They had a little blurb of Pflegers sermon during the 7 last words.( I was at that sermon) Had Sanchez just done an internet search of Pfleger he would have know there is a long relationship with Trinity. But of course that would not fit into their caricature of Trinity being radical, militant.

It sort of reminded me of Paul Newman in the Verdict when Sally Field realizes what a jerk she has been. She ruined someones life with a bad story and then Newman turned the tables on her.

While MSM continue to ad lib and make up news lets continue to worship God and not get ourselves muddied by their foolishness.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for spreading the word on this whole issue. So glad I found the blog!


Politics,Racism & Black Liberation Theology....

Over the last couple of weeks, there has been much said and made about Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ and it's recently retired Senior Pastor the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.

As you may know, there has been a national uproar regarding Dr. Wright's comments and how it "offended" so many whites on their perception of race and its perceived "Anti-American" content. Much has been said about the context in which Dr. Wright made his statements, and how five edited fifteen second sound bites may have inaccurately depicted Dr. Wright and made Senator Obama somehow accountable to those statements.But what is interesting to me in this new race neutral America is what is not known about the genesis of Black Liberation Theology not just by whites, but by African-Americans, and how it came to be.

The field of black liberation theology received its name in the 1960's and includes in its history Pan-Africanists from earlier centuries who used the teachings of Christianity and/or the vehicle of the black church as foundational to their efforts for securing a self-determined existence for Africans in America. The message of Black Liberation Theology is that the African American struggle for liberation is consistent with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and every theological statement must be consistent with, and perpetuate, the goals of liberation. This theology maintains that African Americans must be liberated from multiple forms of bondage—social, political, economic and religious. This liberation involves empowerment and seeks the right of self-definition, self-affirmation and self-determination. Others may simply call this nothing more than Black Nationalism.

Some of the earliest forms of this type of theology was formed post the Revolutionary War. In 1787 Richard Allen (an ex-slave and a Methodist minister) led a group of blacks out of St. George Methodist Church in Philadelphia. In 1816 he founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. He did this because he and his followers refused to accept segregation in the "Lord's house." Years later, James Varick and other blacks in New York followed the same path and formed the African Methodist Episcopal Zion (AMEZ) Church. The AME Church during Reconstruction spawned Bishop Henry McNeal Turner. He later embraced and promoted black nationalism with Marcus Garvey. He was so angered by the Supreme Court's decision in 1883 that the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was unconstitutional, he said that, "If the decision is correct, the United States Constitution is a dirty rag, a cheat, a libel and ought to be spit upon by every Negro in the land." Talk about Anti-American rhetoric....

What incensed people like Turner, Allen, Varick and others of that time frame was optimism about blacks achieving equality in America has always been the torchlight of integration. This optimism was based not just on the political ideals of the United States, but upon it's claim as a nation of Christian principles. The Christian faith requires that all men and women treat each other as equals before God. The conviction of this argument was claimed with fervor by black preachers. That being said, black theologians of that time felt that the integration of whites and blacks into one community was the only option for Christians.

After the Civil War, the majority of black Christians joined black-led churches. The independence of these churches enabled their pastors to become very prominent leaders in the black struggle in American society. Some of these well known pastors included Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. and Sr., Martin Luther King Sr. and Jr., Vernon Johns and Howard Thurman. All of theses voices spoke out against the government and against society bringing to the forefront the ills of slavery, segregation, war and racism. In framing his opposition in April 1967 to the Vietnam War as a moral issue, Dr. King stated,‘‘as a minister of the gospel, I consider war an evil. I must cry out when I see war escalated at any point.’’ Recounting his difficulty in spreading the message of nonviolence to the same African-American communities that the Dr. Wright has worked with for four decades, King stated, "I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today. My own government." Some at the time felt that King was Anti-American....

Today's voices of Black Liberation Theology such as James Cone, Cornel West, Cain Hope Felder, Dwight Hopkins and Jeremiah Wright have continued to sermonize their congregations and communities with the same "Truth to Power" as their predecessors. While gains have been made towards parity in this society, the black church's responsibility has been to African-Americans whose suffering is a daily encounter with the overwhelming and brutalizing reality of a dysfunctional, social, political and economic system that has not yielded them true equity in America. For slaves it was the sole source of identity and the sense of community.The black church became the only sphere of black experience that was free of white power and influence. For this reason the black church became the center for emphasis on black culture, freedom and equality.

In clarifying why the gospel of Jesus Christ and Black Liberation Theology are one in the same, Cone states,"Jesus had little toleration for the middle- or upper-class religious snob whose attitude attempted to usurp the sovereignty of God and destroy the dignity of the poor," Cone added,"The Kingdom is not for the poor and not the rich because the former has nothing to expect from the world while the latter's entire existence is grounded in his commitment to worldly things. The poor man may expect everything from God, while the rich man may expect nothing because he refuses to free himself from his own pride. It is not that poverty is a pre-condition for entrance into the Kingdom. But those who recognize their utter dependence on God, and wait on him despite the miserable absurdity of life are typically the poor, according to Jesus."

So as many who may not understand this brand of theology, the question is raised, What do they want? A separate theology or black doctrine ? No. All Black theologians are asking for is cultural acceptance, social and economic parity as well as justice for African-Americans and all who share in this society. Churches,mosques and synagogues whether it be white or black or otherwise cannot continue to evade this responsibility. They cannot say that the poor are in poverty because they won't work, or that they suffer because their own volition. Having come before God as nothing and being received by him into his Kingdom through grace, the Christian should know that he has been made righteous (justified) so that he (or she) can join God in the fight for justice. Therefore, whoever fights for the poor, fights for God; whoever risks his life for the helpless and unwanted, risks his life for God.

Jesus has a concern for the oppressed that does not always come through in the other gospels. In Luke 4:18-19 Jesus begins his ministry with this announcement: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

If the great racial divide in this nation is to ever be bridged, it will require that we bring as Senator Obama said a discussion of something more than good intentions, or pious words about making sure everyone is treated with equity. Not only will we have to bring to the conversation a willingness to try to understand the pain African-Americans feel, but we will also have to recognize that we are so intimately involved in a historically racially divided system, that whites are often oblivious to the degree that has caused or continue to cause that pain. Hence if the white church had challenged slavery, Jim Crowe, segregation, genderism and other equitable deficiencies akin to African-Americans and women from the inception of this republic, we may not be having this conversation.
Perhaps the real test of whether whites can dialogue with African-Americans about racism is not what we might say about Barack Obama, but rather how we choose to respond to a Jeremiah Wright who challenges us in ways we would prefer not to be challenged.

Pass it on......

sip said...

The internet is a wonderful thing. The MSM will have you living in the dark and ignorant. I'm glad I found this site and all it's available links!

Also, I think the MSM obsession with Rev Jeremiah Wrights is backfire. People are researching their own info. Instead of 30 second snipits, we getting the whole sermon in total context.

After all the attempted smearing of Barack Obama, he maintains the lead.

des52 said...

I just finished reading the post Politics, Racism and Black Liberation Theology. It made me cry. It was so eloquent. . .this is it entirely. . I am emailing this to my reporter friends to chew on. . . .

Today I heard a sermon delivered by a friends husband. The church is predominantly European but more and more blacks are coming. I was a guest pianist for them. Anyway, he spoke of living in Lebannon for 3 years and how that experience helped him see a tiny bit what it was like to not be part of the dominant culture where everything is catered to their needs and not yours. It was so depressing that at one point he ended up on top of a building. Thank God he did not jump, God had work for him to do.

Often the domiant culture does not understand those who are marginaliized and his personal experience tried to show how it must feel for blacks and other minorities in America.

The bible says we are to treat foreigners and strangers as fellow citizens, this is in OT and NT.

This was ignored and a demonic spirituality which did unimaginable injustices to Indians and blacks was embraced. I was glad that this thirtyish, caucasion speaker had caught a teensy bit of what Dr. Wright had taught.

At the end of his sermon he used Peggy McIntosh's invisible napsack exercise on 6 volunteers, to show the mostly white congregation about white privilege. The church wants to be multicultural and the speaker told them before they can ever go there, they needed to understand what has been ingrained in their psyche as the dominant culture in a racialized society.

After church the speaker, his wife(a dear friend of mine) and her parents went to breakfast. My friends parents asked me if I was from Detroit. I said no, I was raised in Chicago. They asked where. They love Chicago. I said the South side. Then I confessed that my family goes to the infamous Trinity and that the church was a stones throw from my moms house. I also gave a couple poignant stories about Rev. Wright. They listened. Did they hear, I do not know. I wish I had a penny for their thoughts. But truth was told. That is a start.

soulscribe said...

I have very little use for Tavis Smiley but I do appreciate that the brother "gets it" and that he spoke out and up for Rev. Wright.

Anonymous said...

A number of Rev. Wright's sermons and services are available via and