March 14th, 2008
07:42 PM ET

Erica's News Note: Serial nightmares

The man convicted of abducting and killing a young Georgia hiker earlier this year – who is also charged in the deaths of two hikers in North Carolina – apparently dreamed up a movie plot about a serial killer more than a decade ago.  In that film, he suggested the crimes take place in the woods.

It is creepy, eerie, unsettling… nearly any adjective that makes your skin crawl fits here.  Gary Michael Hilton is now serving a life sentence for the death of Meredith Emerson, the young woman who went missing New Year’s Day on Georgia’s Blood Mountain. FULL STORY

"Sorry about that FBI surveillance truck… we had to sell it for parts to make ends meet." OK, that’s not really what happened, but when I saw the headline, "Theft of FBI spy truck blamed on budget cuts" that was my first thought.

The reality is much more disturbing.  The Federal Protective Service – the agency that secures federal buildings and grounds – has been hit with major budget cuts, and according to a new GAO report, that means security is suffering; there simply isn’t enough of it to go around.  It’s not just a stolen trailer, nearly two dozen guns were stolen from a federal building in Atlanta.  And most disturbing, in Kansas City, MO, a man died at a vacant federal complex and his body wasn’t found for three days.  How does that happen? FULL STORY 

Comments made by Sen. Barack Obama’s former pastor have taken on a life of their own. Today the presidential candidate is speaking out – and not just through his aides.  He’ll talk to Anderson tonight on the show.  Find out what he thinks of the controversial comments, and how often his pastor said things like this during a Sunday morning sermon.

You have responded overwhelmingly to this story – some of you don’t see the outrage, others can’t understand how anyone could miss the controversy, and nearly all of you have questions of your own.  Keep them coming!

Program note: Anderson's interview with Sen. Barack Obama will be
on Friday's 360° at 10p ET

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Kathie

    It was absolutely brillant of Anderson Cooper to ask him to sing and
    watch Obama evade it and squirm. Tell me Anderson was it a planned question to close with or was it a spur of a momen thing
    when it dawned on you what Obama is really all about.
    That sign behind Obamam "Change" really is scary now and takes
    on a whole new meaning after hearing the type of spiratual
    guidance he has been getting for the last twenty years.

    March 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  2. Barry, IL

    Senator Obama might not hear about the particular piece of sermons different medias are airing, but he cannot claim that he did not know Pastor Wright is very controversial. I just don't undersand why pastor deal with such issues instead of preaching what's written in the Bible. And Pastor is not an axception. Some of our pastors preachers preach politics, sociology, history..more than they do the direct content of the Bible.

    March 15, 2008 at 9:58 am |
  3. Jen

    I agree you can't go to a church for that time frame and not know what your pastor is saying.... And then to state he is your mentor ; and not know what this mentor is preaching. Talk about wanting your cake and eating it too. Then to top it off did any one hear Obama say when asked to sing God Bless America ..... yes !!! I will sing God Bless America, just not right now. NO, when asked...he said well I will not sing now and then Coop said ok I'll let it go at that. yet Obama never said yes. I would like to have someone ask him that again.

    March 15, 2008 at 2:40 am |
  4. Charlene Harris

    Why not admit that race is as part of America as motherhood and apple pie. When will we face the truth about what we have done to other people, say the Native American for example. Do you think that Native American's see this country in the same way as white Americans. Of course not. Is America going to get angry because Native American's don't think Columbus was the great discoverer as portrayed by American History. Why would you get angry at them. Think about what happened to Native Americans when the white man stepped foot on this continent. It was not a good experience for them. I think it is arrogant to say that the way white people see our country is the only acceptable way for it to be seen. Charlene

    March 15, 2008 at 2:38 am |
  5. Nandini Shah

    This pastor’s comment does not surprise me and it is impossible to believe that Obama never new about it and about its mentor. We heard about Obama's one lie that Tony Rasco collected $250,000 donation instead $150,000 over ten year period previously declared by Obama. If we keep asking again and again he will confess Rasco collected $250 million and he (Obama ) one caucuses using this money. Some how I always felt Obama is a manipulator.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:45 am |
  6. Chris in NH

    Has Roland Martin been hired by the Obama campaign?

    March 15, 2008 at 1:45 am |
  7. monika

    I don't believe Senator Obama -Would like to know if he went to the church post 9/11. If he was present, better yet if there is a video tape where he is shown in it.

    I think news media should do their research.

    Regarding asking Senator Obama to sing...Ridiculous...no one will sing on National T.V. if they are running for President...wait John McCain did...bomb iran...bomb Iran

    March 15, 2008 at 1:42 am |
  8. Jimmy Lopez

    Anderson Cooper was easy on Obama....Anderson forgot he is a professional journalist ,and not an Obama fanatic...........

    March 15, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  9. Tracy

    Something to consider!!! On the very night that CNN attempted to expose excerpts of Barrack Obama's pastor's sermon stating that his comments have no Biblical nor spiritual merrit . Well, it's ironic that the very news center that promoted its bias position against Reverend Wright's comments gets hit by a Phenomenal storm which is very rare and possibly historical for downtown's Atlanta central business district. One must ask from a Biblical perspective (Isaiah 66:14-15)why was the CNN center area devastated and most impacted by a tornado or a whirlwind which has a directed path from the Creator while the discussion was being aired. CNN stick with the POLITICAL race of the candidates !!!

    March 15, 2008 at 1:20 am |
  10. Pat Pickrahn

    Your making too much out of what Obama's Pastor said. Ever
    been to a Catchlic Church listen too Coglin. This is stupid.
    The Priests say horrible things about all the candidates all the
    time. But to listen to this Minister, it's not that bad. It seems
    like it came out of the Clinton Camp.

    March 15, 2008 at 1:16 am |
  11. Aida Gurwicz

    I watch your show regularly and always come away with the feeling that all sides have been fairly represented. At least that was how I felt until tonight's show about the Wright – Obama connection. You let Roland Martin do what he always does; spout his "message" and never answer a question. Then there is the anything but balanced position of David Gergen. I used to think that he was a competent political analyst. He's not and should not be CNN's Senior Political Analyst. He's Obama's Senior Apolgist. I was totally stunned to hear him say that Wright's hate-mongering sermons were unique to black churches and that the problem is that white people don't understand black churches. Really Anderson, just how stupid does Gergen and CNN think we are? And speaking of stupid, does Obama really believe that anyone will buy into his protestations of , "I never heard him say those things?" He's been mentored by this rascist "uncle" for 20 years and he doesn't know that Wright is a hate-monger? How often did he attend church over the last 17 years. If we are to believe Obama heard nothing in all those years and all those sermons, not very often.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:51 am |
  12. I. Rashada

    What is CNN's commitment to balanced reporting? There have been numerous replays of Rev. Wright's comments, but the limited replays of the ministers who have made religiously and/or racially charged negative comments who are supporting Mr. Mc-Cain are strongly apparent.

    I appreciate the earlier opportunity for Mr. Obama to provide his perspective during your interview. However, in fairness and integrity, please air Mr. McCain's ministers' comments equally. There are so many immediate references to other persons that it is not clear what the ministers themselves were saying. Thank you.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:24 am |
  13. Matt

    Did Anderson pay attention to the issues Katrina raised??? Is Anderson REALLY surprised that a black man of that age is ANGRY at the POWERS THAT BE for RACISM that was not ONLY the NORM during his lifetime, but it was the LAW??

    I'm a 40 year old white man, who went to private schools and can't possibly understand what it feels like to be a member of an OPPRESSED minority. BUT, I sure as HE, I can understand why someone who IS, might not be happy about the way in which his country has behaved towards people that look like him. Get your facts straight Anderson, you are an ignorant fool. Emphathize with the suffering of blacks and you will understand.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  14. lb

    Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!,my god ,what god was Obamas pastor talking about ,my god is agod of love each other ,black and white we are all gods creatures .that is how you teach equality.MR,OBAMA,is very very hard to accept that you did not know about it ,for God sakes the man was your mentor and inspire your books title.By the way we all could tell that perhaps you were
    not telling the honest true.............Im sorry wait until maybe 2016.

    ps,change your church it will help,,,,,,,,,

    March 15, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  15. Wade

    I would like anyone to refute what the reverend said, did we not bomb Cambodia? and other countries, why do we love to bury our heads in the sand when someone is telling the truth.
    Those of us in the African American community do not put anything past the US government. Remember the experiment on black men in Alabama.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:13 am |
  16. Peppita Poerwowidagdo, Surabaya, INDONESIA

    But what the pastor said was true, right ?
    Can't a pastor speak the truth in his own church ?

    March 15, 2008 at 12:11 am |
  17. jake

    obama is done.....march 15 is the Ides of March. March 15 is the Ides of Obama or the death of a presidential bid. Put a fork in him. He is done. He is guilty either by association or lack of judgement of having an association. If a member white preacher said hateful comments about jews, gays, blacks, or women, anyone associated with that person would have a political hot potato on their hands. And, that is what Obama has now and he is burnt and done. Ciao.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:03 am |
  18. Michelle

    Rev. Wright is a victim of the attack on Senator Obama. As the new young pastor of Obama's church mentioned, Rev. Wright's many years of service in the church have in one day been reduced to a toxic 30 second sound bite. I'm sure there are many American preachers, both black and white, who could be equally smeared.

    The truth is Obama's political record cannot be attacked. His personal life cannot be attacked. His writing and speeches cannot be attacked, so his opponents are attacking everyone around him in an effort to undermine him by association. It is a pathetic and tragic attempt to prevent a worthy presidential candidate from taking office and enacting real healing and change.

    I am increasingly concerned about the attempt the Clinton campaign is making to incite the black community to anger. If the media plays into this they will be fanning the flames of a potentially greater tragedy. It is my prayer that the media will be motivated by humanity rather that ratings and those who are insulted by veiled and overt racism will maintain clear heads. I am profoundly impressed by Barack Obama's choice to respond honestly and compassionately to those who strive to deeply wound him and those he loves. He stands as a model for all Americans. I hope I will be able to call him Mr. President with pride and honor.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  19. Mirella

    To pretend that race does not continue to be an issue in the US, as it is in many other societies, is nothing short of sticking one's head in the sand. While not condoning the incendiary tone and message of the Reverend's sermon/s under current review, some of the statements made by Wright about the racial divide are correct (simple fact checks can verify this) and reflect wounds-in both the White and Black communities -that remain to be healed. Wounds, which unfortunately no presidential candidates, current ones included, have had the courage to address in any meaningful way during their campaigns.

    That said, while it may be difficult for some to believe that Obama could belong to a church for two decades and not be affected by the beliefs of the Reverend, one should assess the Senator's past and current speech and actions before passing judgement. To date, there appears to be no evidence that anything he has said or done supports the Reverend's divisive message.

    Additionally, while there remains issues to be addressed, the US has come a long way with regard to race relations, reflected in the wide ranging support for Obama's campaign. And for this, America should be proud. Don't let a couple misguided sermons by an old generation leader throw you off track.

    A foreign observer in Washington D.C.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  20. MaryBeth Lunsford

    Hi Anderson, I know you will dig deep & keep `em honest. Your story on Michelle Obama on Thursday night exposed to me a black woman who will stop at nothing to promote the black agenda. She came across as being racist, especially coupled with her own anti-american comments.PLEASE dig around some of those older tapes from Barack Obamas' church. This is a very serious matter. This could very well divide our Nation. I, like most others, do not believe he knew nothing about this side of his Pastor.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  21. Matt

    There is no honesty in what Anderson Cooper reports. He has completely lost his credibility.

    March 15, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  22. Mark, Gilbert AZ

    "Yes, Lilibeth, we can control only our own actions, which is why Sen. Obama should’ve left the church immediately upon hearing Rev. Wright speak."

    If all Americans were to follow your logic, then we would be lining up to leave on the next ship for another country.

    Why? Our current president is pushing for a bill that is anti-constitutional and goes against the bill of rights. How is it that spying on email, phone calls and having the ability to skip due-process and filing for warrants ok? We're going to be trading in more of our freedom because of fear tactics!!!!

    Bottom line is Americans aren't lining up to leave the country because it still holds some value to many of us and we believe it's worth fighting for. You don't just leave because you don't agree with what's going on, you instead speak up and hope your opinion makes some difference which is exactly what I did: I wrote my rep. It's analogous to how Obama feels about his church: He doesn't need to leave it just because his pastor said something he disagrees with.

    Stop blaming Obama for the WORDS of another person. If Obama acts on those words and decides America needs another 9/11 or something, then maybe your comments toward Obama will hold some water, but as of right now there's a huge leak in your swimming pool!!!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm |
  23. June D.

    Anderson Cooper I was one of your biggest fans but Mr. Cooper the country is a mess and our citizens should not have to listen to the disgraceful comments of Rev.Wright. CNN (except for Mr. Dobbs) wants to shovel this situation under the rug and you and your associates make excuses for Obama and the Rev. Wright. Mr. Obama denies he knew of Rev.Wright's views on our country and Rev. Wright's feelings towards white people. I don't believe Mr. Obama because of his close relationship with Rev.Wright for 20 years!! God is a God of love for all humanity. I didn't hear any love in Rev. Wright's sermons only bitterness. Instead of closing the gap between the races, he is building stronger division by what he preaches. The God I believe in would have denounced the white people's treatment of blacks living in slavery and poverty years ago He is a God for ALL people and for the Rev. to preach negative relationships today is against the will of God. Rev.Wright is a Wolf in Sheep's clothing. I will no longer watch CNN and Mr. Cooper I won't even watch Regis & Kelly's show when I know your going to be on P.S. I 'm voting for McCain
    Shape Up MEDIA

    June D.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:58 pm |
  24. gerry richards

    So black churches get a pass for racism because it is a tradition? Is this the black version of the KKK? FYI – I have to agree that CNN is looking biased here. The reverend's language was hateful and objectionable – why did it take CNN so long to see that? Very disappointed with CNN and Obama.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:57 pm |
  25. Paris L.

    Theresa, I find it interesting you talk about belonging to a Church for 30 years. Perhaps you missed the part of the bible that says "Thou shall not judge" or maybe your Pastor never Preached that in 30 years.?

    March 14, 2008 at 11:57 pm |
  26. Gwendolyn Smith

    Senator Obama is not responsible for his Pastor's Preaching. He is responsible for his choosing that which speaks to his spiritual needs.I am an African American woman and the wife of a Minister who has been in ministry over 40 years. A Pastor seeks God's guidance in determining what he preaches keeping in mind the needs of the members of his congregation. I am sure that most people have not agreed with everything their pastor has said and have not left the church. Why do you hold a higher standard when it comes to Senator Obama. He has denounced the negative statements. Enough is enough.
    Why should Senator Obama and his family be pursuaded or forced to leave a church that evidently has addressed their spiritual needs. I would think that when a person connects with a church, they are not joining the pastor, they are joining a fellowship (Christian in this case) that provides an atmosphere for fulfilling their responsibilities as disciples of Christ. Christ himself was political and controversal. Senator Obama has stated and lived out his values. Why question his values on the basis of what his Pastor has preached. By the way a lot of what the pastor was saying is true if you can get beyond how it was stated.
    There are people out there who don't want Obama to win and are spending all of their time digging up negative things to divert his attention away from the real issues before America. CNN seems to be so willing to support this kind of thing. Just think of the number of times you have played excerpts from Rev. Wright's sermon. Zero in on what Obama himself has said and is saying. Stop lending support to all of these negative voices which are being used against all of the candidates. Deal with the real issues.

    Thank you for listening (I hope)

    March 14, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  27. Karen Fulbright-anderson

    Rev. Wright's statements were factual...who runs all major control centers in all sectors–media, education, business, philanthropy–predominately white males. This is not a racist statement it is a fact. Other countries abhor the US because our hypocrisy and our meddling. This is a fact. It is plausible that such feelings contributed to 9-11. NO ONE condones terrorism. It would be useful though if this country could at least try to understand why some might wish to harm us rather than shut down any attempts to be self-reflective. I believe Obama might not have heard these statements.. I have belonged to two churches for longer than that. I don't go to church every sunday and I don't know every controversial thing my ministers have said. And i'm sure my life is not as busy as Obamas. How can you hold a person responsible for something someone else said that he likely didn't even hear. This is ridiculous. No one held Romney responsible for belonging to a church that publically considered blacks as inhuman. No one made such a big deal about Ron Paul saying essentially the same thing as Rev Wright re: 9-11. No one held McCain responsible for Hagee's hate comments. No one holds catholics responsible for that churches homophobia and pedophiia coverups. Why the double standard with Obama. And why are we talking about this and not all the people being killed in this crazy war, the fact that so many have no health care, that kids are being undereducated....Let's talk about the FACTs and not people's reluctance to acknowledge the facts.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:52 pm |
  28. ken

    Anderson it is amazing to me that with all of the things that are going on in this country that the only things that you guys have to cover is about racism and what this pastor or that pastor said. Hillary, Barack or John McCain should not be held accountable for other people opinions. I guess with six weeks or so before the next primary, you all have to fill air time with something. Lets get back to the issues of what each canadiate stands for thats what America really want to know.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:51 pm |
  29. Rev. Dr. Chris

    Hearing Tony Perkins say that Senator Obama should have known what Rev. Wright said when Obama was not at church because church members always talk about what the Minister said the next week is just ridiculous. I am part of the ministerial team of a large church. When I am not there, I NEVER hear about what was said on that Sunday. It seems that if anyone would hear about it, it would be a Minister like me who is deeply involved in the community. I can't imagine that Senator Obama would spend his valuable time at church trying to find out what the Minister said on a Sunday that he did not attend.

    Senator Obama strongly repudiated Rev. Wright's offensive remarks and that should be the end of it. Let's get on with the important issues.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:51 pm |
  30. dianej

    Thank you for your coverage of this issue. I find it difficult to believe Sen. Obama did not know or hear Rev. Wright's sermons. Sen. Obama was a member of the church for years. Obama lost my vote.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:50 pm |
  31. Elizabeth

    Moderator – I see you are not open to any idea or statement that does not make people see the Obama/Rev. Wright story from a neutral perspective or one that illustrates he could be telling the truth.

    Why won't you post my comments that show the math is in Sen. Obama's favor about not being present for every Sermon the Rev. Dr. Wright has given over 20 years? Also, I'd like to inform you that my research has found that there are white and Hispanic members at the Trinity United Church of Christ as well.

    I'm going to keep trying to get this perspective posted. I was for Edwards and I'm undecided, but the way the media is acting is making me lean towards Sen. Obama more and more for several reasons.

    For starters, it is very believable that Senator Obama did not have prior knowledge of all the things the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright Jr. had said. Trinity United Church of Christ has 3 services per Sunday, as do many of the churches known as Mega Churches. (Mega Churches are those with 7000 members and up.)

    Do the math – 52 weeks in a year means 52 Sundays a year times 3 services a Sunday equals 156 sermons. When you add on special Worship services like Communion Services, Revivals, Holy Week, Good Friday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, Church conferences, Funerals, and many other events, you could easily be talking about 500 plus sermons a year. Do you think during 17 – 20 years Sen. Obama was present at every service?

    Not to mention in the Black Church community churches fellowship with one another, meaning one church will go to another and the Pastor of that church will Preach there and then that church will in turn visit that church and its Pastor will Preach there. Plus Pastors like Dr. Wright travel and preach services at churches and theology schools around the country and world. I guess Sen. Obama should know everything he said then too.

    The Black Church is a very unique entity. Your lack of knowledge, study, and research into the history of the many denominations of the Black church is affecting the way you are presenting this story and making it look to others.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm |
  32. Durand and Gina

    The views of Barack Obama's former minister are not necessarily his views. Any good student will often listen to what the teacher has to say, but it is up to the student to interpret the lesson or message in his or her own fashion. There is probably a large segment of any church that may not share all of the views expressed by its pastor. I believe Sen. Obama to be a man of deep spiritual conviction, someone who not only loves his faith, but also has deep admiration and reverence for the United States and the World community.

    I am confident that Sen. Obama has his own mind and is not in agreeance with his former minister on many of the statements that are being re-played adnauseum on every news network. Is this country so upset with the state of our economy that we would rather focus on "non-issues" instead of what really matters?

    In closing, I was totally apalled that Anderson Cooper had the "audacity" to ask Senator Obama if he had an issue with singing God Bless America. There are so many issues that could and should be addressed in such a forum, including the state of our economy, our failing educational system, the resurgence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as a host of other pertinent topics that should be discussed as we continue down the road to electing our next chief executive.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  33. Josefina

    I praise senator Obama for immediately addressing the issue brought on by the apparent racism comments made by one of pastor Wright's sermon's played by Fox news. Your senior political analyst clearly said that we most believe what senator Obama stated is the truth. Senator Obama has also given Anderson a letter re-stating the truth.

    I am seriously concerned that the media is being bias when it comes to reporting news about one of senator Obama's supporters. Your further investigation into the new Trinity's church pastor replacing pastor Wright upon his retirement clearly demonstrates that you are being biased. I expect that CNN provide the same in-depth coverage about John McCain's minister who spoke against the Gay community and also give enough air time to Hillary Clinton's spiritual associations and Bill Clinton's 'race card' speech.

    I expect that a world wide news media like CNN focus on the national issues we are facing in our nation rather re-playing a few minutes of pastor Wright's YouTube video. I would expect sensationalism in the Bill O'Reilly show and not in Anderson's 360.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:44 pm |
  34. irma

    allright its time to get back to the issues!
    where will the dem party end up -loosers!

    March 14, 2008 at 11:43 pm |
  35. Elizabeth

    I am an African American from the old school and the Baptist church. Dr. Wright is a very renowned ministered that is very well known among the religious scholars. I have visited his church because he is from my era and I feel and understand the things that he preach about. Like a lot of ministers that has studied and has seen so much in our communities, some do speak in terms to make you aware of what is going on. The media continues to run it in and as the Blacks will see it, this is a way to stop Obama. This is what Blacks have been waiting on. This is why Blacks are afriad to vote for Obama because we feel that(as Jeremiah Wright is preaching) that the country would tear him down. This has always been the case and we as Blacks, stand back and wait. It is not a matter of prejudice, FACT.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:36 pm |
  36. Katherine

    What real difference does it make that Obama didn't hear THOSE sermons? There is no way Obama hasn't heard sermons such as these, sermons filled with frightening rage, sermons for 20 years. . There is no way Wright suddenly changed his voice from intellectual spirituallity to stupid. Yawn. Who hasn't heard the whole wail about the white man's crimes against blacks. There is NO excuse for this. What does the BLACK church culture have to do with this issue? Your guests are lazy. They blip blip and nod.

    I do not believe Obama. I do not believe in him, his wife, or his excuse for his "faith"! Seems to me that black churches love to keep the hate white hype up for ever and ever.

    And what about the guest who talked about how McCain's pastor's views may hurt him? I didn't hear anyone say that about how Obama will be hurt. Oh, that's right. No one wants to hurt Obama. Obama is NOT someone who needs to be in the white house. I'm voting for Hillary in the primary and McCain in the general.

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  37. Avery Brown

    As an Afican American with Ph.d I am so glad that at least David Gergen has the right idea. Why is Anderson Cooper delliberately trying to stir up controversy by replaying the same sound bites over nad over, forcing the candidates to waste valuable time respnding to NON-ISSUES.
    What is the meaning of "racially-charged" Mr. Cooper.? "It seems that any time a black person points out racism and discrimination he or she is accused of playing the "race card" or now "racially charged comments. Name one statement that Rev. Wright makes in your excerpt that is false. NAME ONE! Old Testsment prophets frequently called down damnation upon Israel for straying from God. This is exactly what Rev.Wright is doing without saying "Woe is thee oh America" in the Old Testament language.
    ALL black people see things this way to some degree unless they are being dishonest for some ulterior motive.
    I have been at my church 30 years and I don't agree with everything my pastor preaches. The pastor's sermons are but one facet of why we attend a particular church. Other factors are youth ministries, community actvities, marriage ministries, location. etc
    Remember, in the black church our ministers often discuss politics and social justice from the pulpit..

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  38. Dr. Maury Jackson

    Two things are curious to me about the discussion regarding Dr. Jeremiah Wright's comments. First, it is curious that Mr. Tony Perkins quotes from the apostle Paul about praying for your government, but he does not quote from the apostle John in the book of Revelation who calls his imperial government of Rome a beast. This Christian apostle was praying "God damn Rome." Second, it is curious that the factual statements of Dr. Wright's sermon about George Bush Sr. (who at the time was the director of the CIA), which was complicit in the capture of Nelson Mandela who spent nearly 3 decades in prison was never a part of the discussion. We can focus on the rhetoric and fail to wrestle with the facts.

    Dr. Maury Jackson

    March 14, 2008 at 11:34 pm |
  39. bernice

    Again I ask what this man said that was incorrext??? Anyone of color, Latino, North American First Nation or African American has had to work harder and more intellengially to make a living or even to hail a cab than a caucasian in USA is deluded. As much as we have worked to leave racism behind, all you have to do is watch your collegue report the news.

    March 14, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  40. Laron

    This is getting bad it is clear that Hillary Clinton will not let Obama win even if she is not the one that america has chosen. She is willing to let the Dems Lose the white House so she can have a turn at it again in four more Years. I say please lets move onto what is important getting a different party in the white house.

    March 14, 2008 at 10:00 pm |
  41. Julianne Barbato, Las Vegas, Nuh-VAD-a

    Yes, Lilibeth, we can control only our own actions, which is why Sen. Obama should've left the church immediately upon hearing Rev. Wright speak. I suspect it will come to light that it was Wright's black liberation theology that drew him into the "church" in the first place.

    Instead of empowering through love and acceptance, Wright incites with hatred and bitterness. That Obama tries to soften the blow by characterizing Wright as an uncle who speaks inappropriately at times is even more troubling–unless, of course, he is Obama's uncle.

    I think it's fair to say that Obama's 20-year membership in such a church, with a pastor that preaches politics from the pulpit (unlawful for a tax-exempt org.) and spews ugly invective and loathing of this country, shows very bad judgment, indeed, and is a dealbreaker for the presidency. No amount of denouncing on his part can erase the vitriolic teachings that have been deeply instilled.

    This is change we CAN'T believe in.

    March 14, 2008 at 9:32 pm |
  42. Teresa, Ohio

    While I wish Obama well in his run for the white house, I , like Cindy from Covington, Ga., find it highly unusual and UNBELIEVABLE that one would attend a church for two decades and all of a sudden NOT agree with the sermons.

    Dont think so. I had been with the same church, for the last 30 yrs. until one year ago. We got a new pastor. I found his sermons to be in CONFLICT with bible gospel. It took me TWO sermons to decide I didn't want to be a part of his way of interpretting the bible.

    On Obama not knowing what was going on with the sermons.... I-dont-think-so-in-ohio. Good luck to him!

    March 14, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  43. Evelyn

    I have watched the entire video on YouTube of Rev. Wright and I realized that the video has been taken out of context. Please before making judgements evaluate all information in its proper prospective. In addition, it appears as if there white members of this church serving the God that we all so love. Are we going to go through each and every person running for public office religious associations or just Senator Obama? What happen to freedom of Religion? I am so disappointed by these attempts to dehumanize this man.

    March 14, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  44. Lilibeth

    I can't even imagine what goes on in the mind of serial killers. Punishing them is one thing, but it won't solve the problem. Question is, why do they commit these heinous crimes to begin with? And when we have the answer to that question, what can we, as a society, do about it?

    The incidents associated with the Federal Protective Service are too embarrassing for words. Makes me question why we have the DHS. What do we pay them for?

    Regarding the pastor, if anyone has some explaining to do, it's him, not Sen. Obama. We can't control someone else's words and actions...we can only control our own. That's my opinion only. But since the senator is speaking out, I'd be curious to hear it.

    See you tonight!

    Edmonds, Washington

    March 14, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  45. Cindy

    Barack is going to have to do a lot of talking to make me believe that he doesn't believe or stand by everything his pastor says. I mean he has been with the man for 20 years. It's hard to be with someone that long and what they do and say not effect you in some way or another!!

    Cynthia, Covington, Ga.

    March 14, 2008 at 7:49 pm |