Monday, April 21, 2008

Rev. Wright to be interviewed by Bill Moyers

Written by J. Bennett Guess
April 19, 2008

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

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.

Moyers, a member of Riverside Church (UCC/American Baptist) in New York City, is a critically-acclaimed public affairs journalist who is known for his thoughtful attention to the intersection of politics, religion and the media. Last June, Moyers and Obama were among the presenters at the UCC's 50th anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Conn.

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., followed by a teach-in at Howard University School of Divinity and Shiloh Baptist Church, which also will host an ecumenical prayer service.


Dave said...

This is really good news. Bill Moyer is a believer and a wonderful journalist. I can't think of a better person to take the Rev. Wright "controversy" and turn it into a fair and balanced education for America regarding the Balck Church in America (and Chicago in particular).

What passes for anger in a Fox News video clip is closer to the "fire and brimstone" climax of a evangelical southern minister.

Reverend Wright moves people to action and that action is political and spiritual in nature.
I think Bill Moyers will give him a chance to show his love for poeple and that he is working passionately to improve America... not destroy it.

He sees the sins of America and holds it's government responsible for those sins. That is true patriotism. You wouldn't turn a blind eye to a child that commits unpardonable sins... why should a patriot do any less woth America when she strays from the rightousness?

I can't wait to see this show. Thnak God for Public television and Bill Moyers.

The Uppity Negro said...

hmmmm...I support Rev. Wright 100% and what he has to say, but will this not be more fodder for those who are anti-Obama? I doubt very seriously that Wright would alter his stance on any of the issues, and I'd be VERY interested to see how this plays out against Obama.

Frankly, as far as interviews go, I just think it would be more approrpriate for him to wait until after Novemeber when will be referring to Obama as President-elect Obama. Now as far as preaching and lectures, I don't have a problem. But as an attentive watcher of CNN and FoxNews, I can't help but see this as ALL downhill for Obama.

brian said...

Thanks for posting this. I will be watching.

Hopefully, Reverend Wright will explain that his opinions are his opinions, not necessarily those of all of his congregants. BTW, I fully support Reverend Wright and Barack Obama. But, it's not like they are the same person or share the same views on everything.

The Uppity Negro said...

to Brian: Well, apparently his congregants subscribe to most of what he says from the pulpit, not unless they're one of those sometimey members like Obama must have been, and missed some sermons when perhaps something was said from the pulpit that perhaps would have made them leave in the first place.

Granted I never agree 100% of the time, but I'd say that at least 85-95% of the time I agree with what gets said from the pulpit going every Sunday, or else I would have left.

Morna said...

I plan to watch. Bill Moyers and PBS are the best. It does no good to pretend Rev. Wright doesn't exist. The GOP will be certain to remind everyone often - in fact there is a new ad out today, by the NC GOP, and it is disgusting. I think our only hope is to get this out into the light and educate people. Otherwise, all they hear are the soundbites which, when taken out of context, sound pretty awful. But, in context, they are inspiring. Here is a nice article that is related to this topic:

brian said...

Mr. Uppity...

My guess is that Barack Obama probably agrees with most of what Reverend Wright said. The clips were lifted from years of sermons. I listened to a couple of sermons in their entirety and they were excellent and inspirational. However, pieces of them lifted out of context completely change the tone of the sermon. Unfortunately, we live in a soundbite society and 99% of Americans are not going to take the time to listen to the entire sermon. Thus, Barack Obama must distance himself from those parts of the sermons.

I shudder to think what could be put together from the hundreds of sermons I have listened to in my lifetime if I had to stand behind every phrase, let alone every sermon.

My guess is Barack Obama agreed with the overall theme of the sermon 85 or 90%. The soundbites that were taken were not representative of the themes of the sermons. I would guess Barack Obama would disagree with most of what was said in the soundbites.

cg said...

As I share a copy of another wonderful Rev Wright "bio" that someone sent me, I'm reminded about a sermon another minister talked about when he said, Know that you are making an spiritual impact when Satan comes after you (in the form of attacks on your character)!
See the info below about Rev Wright:


In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,' gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.

In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.)

The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and
became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member
of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery. For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation. What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated.

While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/ sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father.

Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections.

Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to
serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country?

After leaving the service of his country, the young African-American
finished his final year of college, entered the seminary, was ordained as a minister, and eventually became pastor of a large church in one of America's biggest cities.

This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright,
the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

stephanie said...

i think the Rev. wright should stop speaking ASAP! As an African American from Illinois familar with this church I find his comments offensive. It's a good thing I also support Hillary as I would not want this man as my Pastor!

Dave said...


You probably never heard of Rev Wright until the media decided his words had some political importance.

And now you want him to stop speaking?

People need to get to know the real man behind the controversial soundbites.

8,000 people attend his church and there's no evidence of them doing anything but good works in their community. Look into that aspect of what this church is and why even you might be proud of the association. "It takes a village..." thinking. Organize people to do good works.

If you still support Hillary after everything she has done to try to take down a good man then I will pray for your soul. (Just kidding...)

I do hope you join us when the party finally votes and it's made clear that she is NOT good for the party. In fact, she's started to fight the party. She fights anyone who stands in her way.

One final point. Freedom of religion is the freedom to choose your faith and church and NOT have someone in power tell you that it's wrong to do so.

What exactly do you know about Hillary's church? Me either. And frankly I don't care. I judge her by HER deeds and not by anyone she assocaites with. Even her spouse... who by the way was... never mind.

JonDo369 said...

And I was hoping for a link to the sermons so that I could read or hear them in this context that he talks about.
Not likely, though. The Trinity church and their web site have been sanitized and locked-down now.

Senator Obama disavowed the so-called "soundbite" comments.
Wright talks about them being "old".
Two questions:
Does Wright also disavow his comments in the context of these "soundbites"?
Does Wright disavow these "old" sermons?

Furious D said...

As neither a Trinity member nor a person religious in any way, I still find it disgusting the way Mr. Wright has been demonized and thrown under the bus. What I think many people are too blind to see amidst the media(who frankly should be embarrassed for insulting our intelligence) smear campaign is that the supposed "hate speech" actually, well, makes a lot of sense and could only come from a man who really does care about his country and his community.

And now people argue that Rev. Wright should lay low and avoid interviews to defend himself for fear they might hurt the campaign? I think it's ridiculous. Any person who's character has been so shamelessly assassinated by reactionary simpletons would want to do the same and Obama should say as much. It's unfortunate that he has to pretend the man was wrong or face the consequences of our exciting new breed of McCarthyism.

-Some white guy in Chicago who is really frustrated by manufactured controversy

Tao said...

As a 50 year old white male living in Kentucky I have to admit that when I first heard Barak Obama speak I sat straight up and said, FINALLY!"

Then when the constroversy started with the Rev. Wright I was impressed! I was impressed that Barak Obama actually stuck with a church that he believed in and one that made him question the generally accepted status quo...

Here are two men (Rev. Wright and Sen. Obama) with compassion and conviction in their beliefs.

But as a unapologitic liberal with a Masters Degree in Political Science I also realize that both of them are going about things wrong. Rev. Wright needs to invite Bill O'Reilly to his church and show him all the good work Trinity has done. Invite the devil into the community and let him see the positive; not in words and interviews but right to the people and the community and let actions speak rather than words.

Get the world to realize that one can LOVE America without believing that it is perfect. One can love their country and still be critical of it.

Then Obama needs to get back his fire and let the world know that it is because of Rev. Wright that he cares for the poor, the working class, the uneducated...and the white.

Now is not the time to be "safe" and try to sneak to the finish line...this may only be the primary but lots of people are watching and now is the time to let them know that he is for "hope" and "change" because he believes that America's political system has let its people down.

I remember as a youngster at UCC/Hope Church our minister started a sermon with, "What if God doesn't exist..." Well, half the congregation walked out half way through...and it was a shame because it was one of the best sermons ever but it would have made one hell of a soundbite...

des52 said...

The Bill Moyers interview was outstanding. America and the national enquirer journalists owe Rev. Wright and apology and the Trinity family. Fo course those who are too closed minded to see they have been snookered will only stick with their mythic view of Wrights comments, which incidentally were him quoting an ambassador who first uttered the ntion on Fox noise that Americas chickens were coming to roost. The sermon was about Psalm 137, not using violence and revenge to the point it blinds you and you end up illign innocents. But how many folks say, "don't confuse me with the facts." Wright was brilliant. He spoke the truth. If they want to hear it they wll if they have itchng ears they will not. How wonderful that through this evil those who want to know the truth will be freed. By the way, OFx was showing the entire sermon in segments probably because they know they are exposed by a real journalist Bill Moyers. He made me proud again as someone who went to j-school. Everybody hasn't bowed down to Baal. Rev. Wright and Trinity, you rock!!!!

Anonymous said...

To Rev. Wright, Trinity, Bill Moyer, PBS et al: Outstanding!

To Stephanie, Jondo: See? Now don't you feel just a little bit silly for being so scurred?

Remember -- God is in control of this, and despite our beliefs sometimes to the contrary, He knows what He is doing.

When times get stupid it's best to do a couple of things 1) remember Who is in control; 2) do all that is in your power to do and allow Him to do the rest; 3)keep the issue lifted in prayer (and fast if necessary); 'cause 4) we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities and with powers and with spiritual wickedness in high places.

Be blessed!

brian said...

Wonderful interview. Bill Moyers and Reverend Wright did a great job! Reverend Wright came across as articulate, intelligent, passionate and deeply faithful. Bill did a great job of putting the clips and the man into context.

Unfortunately, the people who have already judged Trinity, Reverend Wright and Barack Obama as "guilty" won't take the time to watch the interview. But, after finally hearing Reverend Wright speak for himself, I can see why he has drawn so many people to Trinity UCC.