.
June 5th, 2008
11:56 AM ET

Is Obama off the hook?

Brian Fitzpatrick
Senior Editor, Culture and Media Institute

By leaving his church, has Barack Obama put the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy behind him?

Not a chance.

The public still has serious questions about the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, even though the media are trying to help him wriggle off the hook.

Sunday’s New York Times sounded almost desperate to see Obama freed from Wright: “Now that Mr. Obama has addressed his ties to the church and pastor in a long speech and fully broken with both, it is not clear what else he can say or do to ameliorate the continued concerns of some voters about those associations.”

The Times may not see it, but in fact it’s clear as day what Obama needs to do. He needs to answer, credibly, the important questions about his values and character that the Wright fiasco has raised.

Read the rest of his blog...

soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Loretta from California

    The Church thing again.

    I'm African American, have attended the same Church for over 20 years. And guess what? I disagree with my Minister all the time.

    The Sterotype: Senator Obama must think like Rev. Wright, after all they're both black.

    1..Not all African Americans think alike people.
    2. Not all African Americans look alike people.
    3. I don't condone or accept the things that Rev. Wright had to say.

    We are not monolithic in thought. Give me a break!!!!

    June 5, 2008 at 11:20 pm |
  2. Raymond Duke Texas

    NO NO NO that is the answer. If you people think the american people are going to forget them problems your living in fantasy land. Besides the republicans are not going to let it that lay. So the people for the general will get to hear them statements over and over and then anybody with a brain will say I don't believe that crap that he went there for twenty years and did not heae any of those remarks. Only a fool who hates america or is delusional would believe that. Plus the republican party is not afraid of the press and has fox to keep things straight when cnn and pmsnbc tries to cover it up. Yeah you can take it to the bank it will come up again to remind people and to alert anyone that might have missed it on cnn and pmsnbc 's baised reporting. Game is even now. It won't matter what john thinks republicans run to win. He is nothing but a figure head to the republican party.

    June 5, 2008 at 11:01 pm |
  3. Oscar from California

    I dont think he should be judged for the actions of his friend. The again, he probably should have left the church if it was saying racist rants. Why cant America just leave racism behind? Why cant we just move forward without noticing the color of someone's skin? Also, how can Obama be a black supermacist if he's part white?

    June 5, 2008 at 10:56 pm |
  4. Faith Nevada

    With all the Jeremiah Wright bashing the GOP has done to Obama. Isn't it time to call McCain on the carpet over indicted Congressman Rick Renzi?

    June 5, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  5. Kathie,Ontario.Canada

    Just because he left the church for the simple political reason
    to win votes and get elected President, what is to stop him
    from going back to that same church if he gets elected.
    What are you going to do to him if he did, take away the
    keys to the White House ?
    You have been PUNKED ... as the saying goes .

    June 5, 2008 at 9:22 pm |
  6. chaz

    Hey people I think lavon has the right point do not judge. Cindy she might have gave you some good advice try it you may like it. I mean you are all nutty If you do not realize this man is real deal,stop trying to say he would agree with the Revarand Wright; what do you want Barack to do?IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII love BARACK OBAMA. GOT BLOOD

    June 5, 2008 at 9:11 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    I don't know why but Obama quitting the church he attended for 20 years bothered me more than the things the pastors were saying. He attended that church for 20 years, had to have heard at least some of the hateful messages from the pulpit, and yet continued going there. Then when it became evident the church was going to be a continuing problem he resigns from it in a very politically expedient move.

    I think you can add "no loyalty" along with the "no judgment" charge to his list. Looks to me like he will do anything to get elected – which is the same charge his supporters always flung at Clinton. I think the GOP is going to have a field day with all of this and we are going to hear far more about it than we ever thought possible.

    This is one election that I will be very glad when its over.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 5, 2008 at 9:10 pm |
  8. seah ohio

    Obama showed true racism and favortism.

    He had imus fired and did not feel sorry, for a joke he made on the air.

    Father Pleger – for racial attacks, gets put on sabbatical by his Cardinal, Obama statment he was sorry to here that

    Wright Obama did not like the words he used and forgave him

    Hypocrisy alive and well with obama.

    His friends can viciously use racism and attack people or the country and obama does not address it as hard or want and damage to come to their careers lives or what people think of them.

    A poor guy makes a joke, and getting him fired was not enough.

    June 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm |
  9. Spencer

    Nope, and this is why, Because your are influenced by the company you keep..20yrs of influence, you just can't I quit this church, there is still the 20yrs of influence that bothers me...Sorry but that is the way I feel about it for now...

    June 5, 2008 at 8:19 pm |
  10. Ratna, New York, NY

    Dear Brian Fitzpatrick,

    First off all, I think everyone overlooks that Obama never had trans-atlantic slavery in his heritage: his father was from Africa and his mother a white American. None of his anchestors were slaves, or subject to Tuskegee legacy or have been cleansed by Human genome project.

    There is a whole truck load of difference in this.

    So, I personally think that Obama and Ref. Wright come from two different points of perspective. And the other white pastor -who made fun of Hillary Clinton – is just an attention seeker and a copy cat.

    June 5, 2008 at 7:43 pm |
  11. ginger

    So I guess McCain and the Keating five get a pass.

    Did you people know about this and that McCain was punished for trying to influence the outcome of Keatings criminal behavior?

    Oh, and lets not forget he cheated on his first wife with Cindy. So don't hold Sen. Obama to a higher standard then you will hold McCain.

    If you are going cite Sen. Obama's flaws or lack of judgment as you proclaim, please cite Sen. McCain's at the same time.

    Thanks for your cooperation.

    June 5, 2008 at 7:26 pm |
  12. karin jeskay

    I am a canadian and a huge fan of US politics. Talk about reality television.

    Can someone please tell me why Barack Obama is considered to be the first BLACK presidential nominee when he is only half black. It seems to me by saying he is BLACK you are doing a dis-service to his white mother and grandparents who actually raised him making him what he is today (your potential president). I have a feeling he would be the same guy even if he was only half white. I realize this is a small thing, but it does drive me crazy, in news reporting you want to be accurate but everytime someone says "Black" when referring to Barack Obama they aren't accurate. His dad was also a muslim and Barack is not presented as a black muslim (the muslim part is largely left alone, how interesting). From what I understand if the reporting is accurate his father left him at 2 and didn't see him again until at least 8 – 10 years later. Not much good influence there black or white.

    I love your political process, I've loved the race and the cnn coverage of it, I can't wait for obama and mccain to go head to head, and I really wish I could vote,but this one thing really drives me crazy. Technically he ISN'T the first black presidential nominee, he's the first 1/2 black presidential nominee, or the first 1/2 white nominee. Either way he is an inspiring man, a man of vision, a man of character and honor. Thanks for taking the time to ponder my question, I really hope someone out there gets back to me. I have learned so much about your process in the last year and think it's a great one. This is just the last part of your process that I can't figure out.

    Regards

    Karin Jeskay
    A Canadian fan of the American Political Process

    June 5, 2008 at 7:12 pm |
  13. Jo Ann

    Splinter; This is not really about the church; it is about Obama’s lack of judgment and honesty. First of all there aren’t any “squeaky clean, perfect people,” no matter where you look. I am suspicious of religion in general so I have problems with all of the candidate’s religious affiliations. Belief in God is one thing; religion is another. However, I find the relationships Obama has with Wright and Pfleger especially troubling.

    I have serious problems with the way Obama has tried to redefine his relationship with Wright and Trinity in order to save his political career. He went from calling Wright his spiritual advisor and mentor to claiming that he was just his pastor even after he named his book after one of Wright’s sermons and made him a part of his campaign. He went from saying that he wasn’t in the church to hear Wright’s sermons, to he wasn’t listening to them. The videos showing the vocal and animated responses of the congregation during the sermons of Wright and Pfleger make that statement unbelievable. You would have to believe that Obama and his wife sat there oblivious to the congregation’s reactions; that in itself is troubling. He also allowed his children to be exposed to these hysterical, hate-filled rants and that, in my opinion is bordering on criminal. Obama left the church, without denouncing its teachings only to attempt to pacify the critics. What did that prove?

    I have my problems with McCain as well, but he did not worship with Roberston or Falwell for twenty years. Although I don’t like it, it is obvious that, unlike Obama’s relationships with Wright and Pfleger, these relationships are purely political.

    I guess it is just a matter of the lesser of two evils. A choice must be made and I have made mine.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    June 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm |
  14. Joyce Austin

    First is was Rev Wright Now Rezko. People Obama has had contact with forever but he has no idea how they feel or what they say or what they do. If he is elected what kind of people will have in his cabinet

    June 5, 2008 at 6:43 pm |
  15. Mike in NYC

    ginger wrote:

    "You forgot to mention all the black on black crime in Michigan."

    Or in just about any large urban center in the US. Not to mention plenty of non-white on white crime.

    "And I read the hate in your posts too."

    Love and hate are two faces of the same coin. You cannot truly love if you cannot hate evil.

    You know what I really hate? Whites taking the blame for everyone else's problems. I really HATE that.

    June 5, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  16. Michelle

    Ack! In my 1:37 comment, please fix the word "scrutiny." thank you

    June 5, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  17. Kim Cole-Francisco

    Osama Bin Ladan has done much for the Arab Muslim population. She we try to show a good light on all the things that he is done for the Muslim world, and forgive him for the thousands of people he has killed, in the name of Allah?
    You don't even make sense, girl!
    There is terrible black on black crime in Detroit. But Obama, Wright, Pfleger, they don't live there.
    I do not have to point out the racism in Trinity, watch the DVD, read their newsletter! Racism is not an adjetive for any one peticular ethnic group, it is a form of ignorant hatred and attitude, just like the one you show.
    I have mixed race family on both my husband and my side, I have Afro-Anglos on both sides, I have 2 Korean nephews, I have Anglo-Ecuadorian nephews. I have the same love and respect for them as I do my Anglo family. I myself am mixed Anglo, Cherokee, and African.
    So please tell me again, how racist I am.
    Ginger, Heal thyself!!

    June 5, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  18. ginger

    "I have read that Obama gets 90% of the athiest vote.
    I can see why Obamakins feel the way that they do."

    Kim, next time please cite the credible news outlet you got this information from.

    Thanks.

    June 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm |
  19. Red in Denver

    Ginger -

    I wasn't alive when blacks had to ride in the back of the bus, or drank from colored-only water fountains, etc. I've HEARD about those times - but have not LIVED in those times.

    If you choose to believe that everyone who's not voting for Obama is doing so "because he's black", I feel sorry for you, because your lenses are distorted by your own resentment. And besides, I don't consider Obama 'black', since he's half white, he, like a couple of my friends, are of mixed heritage, and a lovely cocoa color.

    Also, you insult people's intelligence by saying that the hateful remarks would have not been hateful had they not been 'taken out of context'. How many paragraphs do you have to hear to explain away the AIDs remark, for instance?

    June 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  20. Brian from Granada Hills, CA

    Hi Carmelita,

    I do have a much bigger concern then the people B. Hussein Obama hangs out with. I am more concerned that he will be a nightmare for all of our livelihoods as he will tax the hell out of us.

    How is taxing corporations and individuals going to solve the porblems with

    Losing their homes (Carmelita do you feel it will be easier to pay a mortgage if your take home pay has been re duced 20 or 30%?)

    Gas prices (Carmelita do you feel it will be easier to pay a mortgage if your take home pay has been re duced 20 or 30%?)

    The rich seem to be going to hell in an handbasket. When did it become a crime to be successful in a capitalist market. Aren't they the ones that actual take the risk to hire people and give them a job?

    Search your souls and perhaps you’ll see that the truth is you have an issue not with Obama’s church, but with Obama. Yes I have a very big issue with his TAX AND SPEND POLICIES. They concern me very much.

    No kumbayeh speech at an audotorium with rabid democrats speaking about problems with no solutions or specifics as part of the speech will ever pay my mortgage. For someone that claims to be such a uniter, Barack Hussein has never even attempted to work with anyone on the other side of the Senate aisle, and he has hanged out for nearly 20 years with some of the least patriotic dividers this country knows, in Wright and Ayers.

    I will have PEACE if Barack Hussein O is defeated Carmelita

    PEACE
    Brian

    June 5, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  21. Kim Cole-Francisco

    Ms Ginger:
    Be careful of calling people racist to the very ones that have fought since the 1960's so blacks no longer ride in the back, or have seperate drinking fountains or pools, so they could vote without restriction.
    The slave owners (whom were a few, rich Americans) had a "Slave Owners Proclamation" that taught the slave owners to coddle a few, so the slaves would fight amongst themselves. (See sociology) They will throw us some crumbs and we will fight over them.
    Not one person, including the Clintons, have said anything racist against anyone. That is what sickens us.
    But Obama, his wife, his pastor, his priest friend has said extremely racial and cruel remarks!
    You better straighten up your own candidate, before you try to correct mine.
    The Badge of Courage should go to the Black politicians that are Hillary supporters! This is black on black racism and harrassment.
    Why no such outrage from you Obamakins????

    I am outta here!

    You may now go back to your kool-aid! Kum-Bah-Yaaa!!!

    June 5, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  22. ginger

    From the Trinity Website About us.

    United Church of Christ Statement of Faith in the form of a doxology

    "We believe in you, O God, Eternal Spirit, God of our Savior Jesus Christ and our God, and to your deeds we testify: You call the worlds into being, create persons in your own image,and set before each one the ways of life and death. You seek in holy love to save all people from aimlessness and sin. You judge people and nations by your righteous will declared through prophets and apostles. In Jesus Christ, the man of Nazareth, our crucified and risen Savior, you have come to us and shared our common lot, conquering sin and death and reconciling the world to yourself. You bestow upon us your Holy Spirit, creating and renewing the church of Jesus Christ, binding in covenant faithful people of all ages, tongues, and races. You call us into your church to accept the cost and joy of discipleship, to be your servants in the service of others, to proclaim the gospel to all the world and resist the powers of evil,to share in Christ's baptism and eat at his table, to join him in his passion and victory. You promise to all who trust you forgiveness of sins and fullness of grace, courage in the struggle for justice and peace, your presence in trial and rejoicing, and eternal life in your realm which has no end. Blessing and honor, glory and power be unto you. Amen.

    We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

    The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:

    A congregation committed to ADORATION.
    A congregation preaching SALVATION.
    A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
    A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
    A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
    A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
    A congregation committed to the HISTORICAL EDUCATION OF AFRICAN PEOPLE IN DIASPORA.
    A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
    A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
    A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.
    Click here to read about Dr. Wright’s talking points for Trinity United Church of Christ its Web site and the Black Value System."

    June 5, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  23. ginger

    Kim Cole,

    You forgot to mention all the black on black crime in Michigan.

    And I read the hate in your posts too.

    Interesting how you ATTEMPT to point out that trinity is a racist church with a racist preacher. But you FAILED to point out the many accomplishments of the church. Try listing all the wonderful community things the church has been involved in. But you can't and won't do that because your agenda of hatred has to shine through.

    June 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  24. Splinter

    Kim Cole –

    Please provide your evidence that Obama is a "friend" of the black panthers... or ever has been.

    There are so many great women out there that actually made thier way to where they are by working hard on their own, why we need to support Hillary when she just rode her husbands coat tails to the Senate is beyond me. And to even consider calling her a femanist when she joins in with Bill to bash the women he's sexually harrassed, is simply incredible.

    June 5, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  25. Splinter

    Kim Cole-Francisco –

    So I suppose if anyone going to Trinity United must sign an oath to follow the teachings of the “Afro-Centrist Black Liberation Church”, just as every American attending a Catholic church must sign an oath to follow every rule and teaching of the Pope's Vatican... right?

    Can you please try to explain exactly what your fears are about Obama? Do you really think Obama believes the black race is superior and could you please provide even the tiniest bit of evidence to back up your claim?

    Using your logic, every morman must support polygomy and every morman must believe the black race is inferior.

    Why can't you just look at Obama's actions, and the words he has written over the last 20 years and make a judgement based on that, instead of making a judgement based on only the most radical people he happens to be associated with? It would be like basing my entire view of Hillary based on her days as a "Goldwater Girl" and her days in college.

    Think for yourself

    June 5, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  26. Kim Cole-Francisco

    It ain't over until the superdelegate vote in August. The Fat Lady has not sang yet!!! Neither Clinton or Obama will have enough delegates to win without the super delegates. They will not vote until August. It depends on the RNC, do they wait to show and tell before August or after? So the election is over 2 months away. Nobody is going away!!
    Dawn in PA: You go Girl!! We feel the same in Michigan ( w/o the high mountains, but we do have the great lakes) I deer hunted on my honeymoon, but I was clinging to my Bow and Arrow instead of a gun.
    With the record number of black on black shooting deaths in Chicago, it looks like some people cling to their guns for different reasons. You think Obama, Wright, (both millionares) and that priest that thinks that he is an inner city black, would be spending money on and trying to fix that horrible situation.
    People of God should be teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, and not the gospel of "Afro-Centrist Black Liberation Church".
    Obamakins, please Google "Afro-Centrist Black Liberation Church" read it, study it, then tell us again why you feel no concern. I remember the Black Panthers ( Obama is friends with them today), I remember the riots, it set back race relations decades. For politicians to threaten the American voter with "riots in the streets this summer if Obama does win" is a sickening threat! Remember people, you are blogging with mostly Democrats here. People whom have fought for fairness and equal rights their entire life. We are not the enemy, we are men and women, people of all colors,backgrounds, and religions.
    We are Americans!!
    With Liberty and Justuce for ALL!!! including Sen. Clinton!

    My heart is with Hillary.... so my vote is with McCain!!

    Kim Cole-Francisco
    Michigan

    June 5, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  27. ginger

    Excuse me. You people crack me up.

    How many of you have remained in this country while blacks had to ride on the back of the bus, drink from colored only water fountains, had to attend segregated schools, didn't have the right to vote? What was that teaching your children?

    If you don't want to vote for Sen. Obama because he is black then don't but please don't use Rev. Wright as your excuse.

    The interesting thing about black people 40 and older they understand what Rev. Wright was saying. Not all of them agree but they certainly understand because many of them lived this life, and if them, their parents or grandparents did.

    Also, many of the quotes have been manipulated, taken out of context or cut out. We all know how to cut and paste.

    Obama 08

    June 5, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  28. Chyenne's Mom

    Does it matter? We need to look at the real issue with this country. It seems to me the only reason why eveyone is stressing over this issue is because he is black. Let it had been Mccain or someone else, whom it happened to, would we really stress the issue. I can't believe that we as a people are still judging someone because of the color of there skin. Whatever Rev. Wright said does not define who Obama is, just because he was w/ this church for 20 years. Come on people wake up and smell the coffee.

    June 5, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  29. Trudy in Peoria

    Does anyone know what church George W. Bush goes to, or Cheney, or Condi Rice? No? Then why is so relevant to keep bringing up Obama's and McCain's churches? They are running for president, not archbishop! We are a nation of laws and liberties, not petty little religious sects. Obama is off the hook, and he did everything he had to do, everything he could do. Johnny is going to have his hands full defending the constant bombardment of the issues that Obama is going to blast him with. I'm sorry, but the war, racism, economy, health care, education, energy crisis, are far more important than "pastor-wars."

    June 5, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  30. carmen

    He's off the hook, he won the nomination, he will be President - get over peope !!!!! Can someone let Lanny Davis know?

    June 5, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  31. Esbee

    Obama-resignation from that church was-A CHEAP POLITICAL STUNT.

    O-bama-–O-forget it.

    June 5, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  32. Heather L.

    ~Red in Denver. I have to agree with you, those "Wright type" sermons are probably business as usual at Trinity. The reaction of the parishioners to those hate-filled words is even more disturbing than the pastors themselves. You make a great point when you ask what Obama and his wife were doing when the rest of the congregation was cheering the hateful rhetoric of Wright. Are we supposed to believe that they just sat there oblivious to what all that shouting was all about?

    ~Angie. So you are saying that the "issues" include McCain and his pastors, but not Obama's pastors; am I right? Your comment is typical of the people defending Obama. You cannot explain his 20 year relationship with Wright or his relationship with that foul mouthed Pfleger so you try to change the focus.

    I don't know what race you are, but either way I guess you are alright with Obama and his family, including his innocent children, sitting in that church while Wright and others like him spewed hate against the U.S. and the white race. Do you honestly believe that they were oblivious to the shouting going on around them as we saw in the Wright and Pfleger tapes? Do you not think that their children remained unaffected by those hateful and emotional outbursts? Only a fool would believe that.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  33. LAVON K HUMMEL

    Cindy i just have to resond to your post. I have noticed your blogs. You seemed to have one purpose in your blogs. Proving just how much you would love to derail the Obama train. Just what makes you such a expert on him. How do you know what is ingrained in him. did you attend his church, have you ever been to ethnic churchs. He has answerd for his church over and over. . Cindy there are other cultures they have always been part of what makes America, America. I think hate is a result of fear, and fear is a result of the unknown. If we open our hearts it can be the gate way to knowlege. My father is of welsh desent, my mothers ansesters are from lebanon. I'm just one of there 5 childen. We have had a very insightful view of our nation, I thank God every day for giveing a upclose veiw of two very different coultures. I was lucky. You will have go out and get your own taste of it. good luck Cindy

    June 5, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  34. Kim Cole-Francisco

    The only people that think that the "Afro-Centrist Black Liberation Church", Wright, and the Obamas are a non-issue are Obama supporters.

    I have read that Obama gets 90% of the athiest vote.
    I can see why Obamakins feel the way that they do.

    So "Smarter Then That", I don't mean to offend you, but you are acting to me "Dumber Than That"!!!

    Kim Cole-Francisco
    Michigan

    June 5, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  35. Rosie

    This will probably not get on the Blog, but I must speak it any way. I have listened to many persecute Barack Obama because of his name, his church, words spoken by others, his associates, and mainly his length of stay at this church. But I have yet to hear one go into the scriptures and show him where God spoke against any of these acts.
    But if I had the space, I could speak scriptures that would show God's disapproval of the many who has done nothing but find fault with this young man. Now many are blameing him because Hilary was defeated, but this was not his doing. Should you take time to read the following scriptures; you will see why Hilary was defeated and by whom she was defeated, and then you can give Obama some peace. You might even want to say, "Thank you, and I am so glad you were born! [1st Cor.11:3; Proverb 31:3, and Matt.24:35]
    When you read these scriptures and come to understand them, then will you realize why God called out a man such as Barack Obama.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  36. Lora

    The Clintons were the ones who found out about Obama and Rev. Wright and made sure the public knew. They thought it would work. It did not. People need to stop judging him by those who know him and look at him and his work. Get over it! But in elections everyone will try things like this!

    Obama '08

    June 5, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  37. Smarter than that

    The only people who are still interested in Rev Wirght are those who do not attend church. I am a church goer and everything my pastor does and says does not represent me, and likewise everything I do and say does not represent him.

    There are many horrible things done by various priests and pastors and they did not represent any of the congregants of those churches.
    It is stupid to think it does. This is not hard, but change is. I believe and know that Rev Wright is only a cover for the racism we must as a nation overcome. If there were anything negative that the media and any low hateful racist people could find on Obama, it would be blasted everywhere. It is a complement to Obama and his ethics.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  38. Mike in NYC

    Mimi wrote:

    "...Hilary chose her husband she did not think that he would cheat on her in the oval office. She did not know he was going to offend African Americans to start race divide in this country..."

    Sure, sure, there was no race divide before Bill said anything. We were just one big, happy family on the road to the "promised land."

    BO's political antecedents are fair game, as were the Clintons'.

    His religious views are of little interest to me. His attitude towards white people interests me greatly, however, considering the tremendous power that he may soon wield over us.

    Any sense of entitlement, resentment or grievance would render him unfit for the office.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  39. Cleo

    I feel sorry for you Brian and anyone else who refuse to let the issue die. We should all examine our relationships we have with people and see how we can be construed to look like racists, bigots, unpatriotic and any other demeaning term because of our membership in an institution. His church is not his identity and nor is his identity constructed and created by the friendships he have with people the public suspects are questionable. Why aren't we digging up the graves of the many scandals that both Clinton and McCain names are tied to?

    Deborah, you should read the DNC voting rules that both Clinton and Obama agreed to - reading is fundamental. If anyone who have similar views like yourself, calling for reform - it's a little late for that. The democratic process only needs reform when it doesn't work in your candidate favor. You should stop throwing tantrums and grow up.

    Being a scornful sore loser supporter will not help better this country but I don't expect maturity or open mindedness from individuals who feel the Obama campaign got a media gloss over. I can recall CNN and the many other news outlets being the center of the Wright firestorm, continually day-in and day-out even after he responded to public "concerns". This man has not been his pastor for over 5 years but that doesn't matter. If Obama campaign received the gloss over from the media so did Clinton and McCain. There were many questionable friendships that both Clinton and McCain have that no one in mainstream media has examined. A real journalist is unbias and exposes all sides but I don't expect that from the mainstream media.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  40. Kim Cole-Francisco

    Splinter: Google "Afro-Centrist Black Liberation Church".

    That is what he, Wright, His wife, and all people of that church adopt as their own belief system.
    They would not have sat there for 20 years if they didn't!
    Would you have not only sat there, but join the church and become their choir director? I WOULD HAVE NOT!!!!!!!!
    Use your brain, think for yourself!
    This is serious!
    I too, hope in my lifetime that I can see a qualified candidate from ALL the spectrums of our great country, to run for president. But not at all or any cost. That too my friend is racism.
    What kind of Kool-Aid do they give you guys.
    Please, THINK!! And do research for yourself, because the corporate news media run by rich billionares Soros and Murdock are moving our opinions to their favor. There are no skilled journalist that we can trust anymore, only mouthpeices for their personal choice.
    Remember, the Germans were not evil people, but Hitler used his oratory skills to brainwash the public so he could use his form of racism. He would gradually turn up the volume to sublimeally exite the crowd.

    Think for Yourself.

    Kim Cole-Francisco
    Michigan

    June 5, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  41. Carmelita

    Hi Brian,

    I hope that while you were writing this article, you stopped to think about all your friends, the people you may have asssociated with or know who have said, done or have beliefs that are contrary.

    It seems as if everyone is up in arms, because no one saw Obama coming to derail their perfect show. The train ride should have been over a long time ago and Obama would have beee an after thought, but oh no he had the AUDACITY to be there and to win the nomination to boot.

    So therefore you are trying your journalistic best to upset the balance of equation again, let me tell you who cares about Obama church, people like you who do not understand that the church is not a building, but a community.

    Obama, leaving his church is viewed as a political move to people like you. It is not! He left the church, because he loves the community and does not want the church to be penalized by people like you who proably go to church, but is not saved in the real sense of the word.

    It is so hyprocritical of all those people out there who are going on about Obama sitting in the church for twenty years, what about the people who have sat in churches where there are priests who have raped and destroyed young lives, but these people not only sit there they condoned the very act, by staying year after year, contributing their time and efforts and even if a priest is exposed do they leave that church?

    I firmly believe that if it was anyone else most people like yourself would not give a hoot.

    Give it up already, Find something important to write about, perhaps the many people who are loosing their homes, gas prices, criminals looking over your shoulders and the the way the rich seem to be going to hell in an handbasket, but it is great news fodder and gets all the attention.

    Search your souls and perhaps you'll see that the truth is you have an issue not with Obama's church, but with Obama.

    PEACE
    Carmelita

    June 5, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  42. Splinter

    Teresa in Kent OH –

    The "media" isn't doling this out at all. This "information" you are talking about concerning Obama's church is a hit piece put together by non-media political groups. Do you really think the Wright video represents everything Obama stands for... or for that matter, everything Wright stands for? As Obama himself has said, these are the "Greatest Hits" of Wright, but together by the same ilk that put together the John Kerry swiftboat ads.

    Even though Wright has nothing to do with Obama's view, other than he helped bring him to Christ, Wright has actually done a lot for the inner city poor neighborhoods when it was very unpopular. Speaking out against hatred towards gays and working to prevent HIV. Obama worked with the church to help them help themselves. I don't agree with Wrights views on a LOT of things, but I still find him a lot more "christian" than the so-called "christians" in the GOP.

    June 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  43. Larry

    Anobody else read Michelle's thesis? Republicans will have a field day with it.

    June 5, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  44. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Hagee – Parsley is worse for McCain.
    He took two months to fall head over, then denounce. How can he be trusted to run the country?

    June 5, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  45. Larry

    Obama spent most of his adult life in that church. Perhaps he had the same teachings in other churches prior to Trinity.

    I feel sad for his mom and her parents who sacrificed so much for him, and he just turns his back on them or tosses a couple of flippant remarks.

    June 5, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  46. Red in Denver

    Now that it's become pretty apparent that anti-white, anti-American rhetoric was NOT an anomaly in Trinity, I have a question:

    What did Barack and Michelle do when the rest of the congregation was standing and applauding and cheering the hateful, divisive comments?

    Did they walk out? Did they sit on their hands? Or did they stand, applaud and cheer – like the rest of the congregation?

    June 5, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  47. Kim Cole-Francisco

    When Wright retired, his church has almost completed his $25 million dollar home, and has given him a $10 million dollar lin of credit account, all to be paid by Obama’s church. Sounds like he got paid well for performing his duty of helping Obama to get elected. It is an extremely large house, 25,000 sq. ft. for 2 senior citizens to occupy.
    And there are no people of color living in that new subdivision, so why is he there? He preaches one thing and does another.
    Sounds like the Obamas. And why is the church paying for it?
    How many college scholarships did they throw away?
    How many families could they have feed? How many homes for the homeless could they have sheltered?
    I was taught in church that God said that it was harder to get a rich man into heaven then to get a camel through the eye of the needle.
    It is not that the rich cannot get into heaven, but that one sells their soul to be rich.
    Observe and study what people do, NOT on what they say!

    Remember: Google "Afro-Centrist Black Liberation Church" and see if you agree. And they are rare in the Black Community of Churches.

    Kim Cole-Francisco
    Michigan

    June 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  48. Alice Newnam

    Please let us see and hear more of Rick Sanchez!!!!

    June 5, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  49. Dawn in PA

    Senator Obama,

    YES YOU CAN APOLOGIZE!
    I live in central Pennsylvania. In your opinion, I spend my time clinging to the gun that I do not own, bible thumping and oh, this is my favorite, filling my days with anger towards those who are different than I.

    It sounds to my gun toting, ignorant, religiously intolerant self that you might be talking about Chicago and not PA. Nevertheless, if you had a bobcat in your backyard every night at 3 in the morning, you’d own a shot gun too!
    Apologize…this was a pathetic way to appeal to elitists like yourself, suggesting that PA citizens are somehow inferior to their purported western, intellectual counterparts.

    Oh yes, further, stop implying that we are uneducated. This irritates me beyond comprehension. Many Pennsylvanians understand that our government is a facade and understand the very real threat of a neoconservative impact on our countries future. We understand that our government is no more democratic than the processions of the sun. You understand this as well. So when are you going to tell your supporters the truth at an Obama rally?

    Challenge your base to become thoroughly informed about the platform of change that they can believe in, in the face of status quo. If you are really going to challenge the powers that be, why not identify them for everyone….how about the CFR, or what about the FED and the UN and the WB…..call out the military industrial complex…the media..oh….yeah now I remember why this won’t happen………and you do as well……

    So please don’t use our state as some sort of paradigm for the ills of our country and don’t exploit the idea that we exercise the rights that we have left.
    Apologize and you will get my vote, you know it was a gross generalization and a just plain unfair statement.

    The problem is people think that it is the truth about PA. So let me clear a few things up.

    People cling to religion all over this great nation, it is our right.

    Antipathy for others is the result of a government that is not protecting the people, if the government would follow their own rules, you would not see nearly as much of this. But you know what is driving the government…so it isn’t a surprise that this kind of sentiment is echoed in some sections of the population all over the NATION….it’s a natural response to betrayal and sure you find it in PA as much as you find it everywhere else.

    Anyone who thinks we cling to our guns….yeah…o.k. many of us do and if you don’t understand why please allow me to educate you. Come to our state, you will notice that the Appalachian Mountains run though it. Pitch a tent on a mountain top somewhere for a week. Simulate where many Pennsylvanians live amongst great mountain wilderness. After you’ve been greeted by a bear, hissed at by a raccoon and stalked by a coyote, you’ll join the gun club too.

    June 5, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  50. Sandy, Arkansas

    The people it offended to begin with are still offended and question the 20 year association with the anger and hatred. Anger and hatred of a race, whether black or white is destructive. I think many people have moved forward and are not lost in past injustices but caught up in future possibilities...Trinity seems to be caught up in the past injustices.

    Whatever Barack Obama believes or doesn't believe...the negative and antagonastic tone of the sermons are not something I would aspire to listen to in any church...in fact, I, like Oprah would have left a long time ago...He didn't and that makes me question his judgement and what he considers acceptable.

    I, personally, need an explanation of why. People wanted to fault Hillary Clinton on her Iraq vote and the explanation, "if we had known then what we know now." Well, I know what is preached in my church and if Obama was going, or had close ties to other parishioners, he knew then...but he didn't leave then! He left when it became a political problem.

    June 5, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
1 2 3