Wednesday, 19 March 2008
OVERVIEW: A thorough review of the anti-Bush, antiwar, anti-white, and pro-Palestinian “tenor and tone” of the “Pastor’s Pages” section of the weekly online bulletins published by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ during July 2007, and a more cursory look at nearly 100 other issues of that bulletin dating back to late 2004, show that the types of opinions and statements Barack Obama now characterizes as “unacceptable and inexcusable” — ones that he claims not to have been aware of until around the time he declared his presidential candidacy — have been a staple of the church’s overall Sunday presentation for at least several years, and would have been nearly impossible for an active church member to avoid hearing and/or seeing. The July 22, 2007 bulletin even gave two full pages of space to a known Hamas terrorist.
There appears to be some controversy about these paragraphs in a Newsmax report about a sermon given by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright (hmm — I wonder what would happen if I started calling him “Reverend JAWs”?).
The following excerpt contains the article’s first two paragraphs, followed by a passage from about halfway through:
Presidential candidate Barack Obama preaches on the campaign trail that
In fact, Obama was in attendance at the church when these statements were made on July 22. …..
Wright’s strong sentiments were echoed in the Sunday morning service attended by NewsMax.
Wright laced into
The sermon also addressed the
“Young African-American men,” Wright thundered, were “dying for nothing.” The “illegal war,” he shouted, was “based on Bush’s lies” and is being “fought for oil money.”
In a sermon filled with profanity, Wright also blamed the war on “Bush administration bulls–t.”
The Obama campaign now claims that the service NewsMax reporter Jim Davis attended was not the one that took place on July 22. The Democratic presidential candidate appeared in Miami on the afternoon of the 22nd (video here), had “an appearance” that morning in Chicago, and may not have had time to attend any of the Trinity United Church of Christ’s services that day.
But whether Obama was there on July 22 doesn’t really matter. Obama likely attended other services in July 2007 (in fact, I saw somewhere that the campaign has acknowledged as much; NewsMax insists that it’s so). I have also obtained all five of the TUCC’s online bulletins published in July 2007. Based on my review of them, I believe it’s more than likely that the Iraq War would have been a topic in a Wright sermon at least two and possibly more other times in that month alone.
Pages 10-11 of the “Pastor’s Page” section of the July 15 bulletin contains a two-page anti-Bush, screed by Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., Ph.D. (pictured here), that was apparently originally published somewhere on June 20, 2007 (curiously, every “Pastor’s Page” page reads “Sermons copyrighted by Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.”). Here are a couple of Mr. Hendricks’s more choice comments:
§ “(Bush is) a man who has shown a frightening disdain for the sanctity of human life for the entirety of his career in elective office.
§ He …… sent thousands of Americans to their deaths based on lies and knowing deception …”
Clearly, this article by Mr. Obery could have been used as a starting point for the Rev. Wright in his live sermon that day.
Then there’s July 8. In his “Pastor’s Pages” at Page 9, the Rev. Wright helpfully introduces an article on “Progressive Muslims” by one Omid Safi by telling us (bold is mine; pictured here):
Most of our members do not know that my Master’s Degree from the
The quote marks are the Rev. Wright’s, not mine.
This pastoral letter, written by the Presidents of the United Church of Christ Related Seminaries, the Officers of the United Church of Christ, and the 39 Conference Ministers of the United Church of Christ was read in our Worship Service last Sunday, on the July 4 weekend.
That would mean it was read on the previous Sunday, July 1.
Here’s how it begins, followed by a couple of other excerpts:
The war in
….. Tens of thousands more innocent Iraqi lives are daily being offered on the altar of preemptive war and sectarian violence…. In our name human rights have been violated, abuse and torture sanctioned, civil liberties dismantled, Iraqi infrastructure and lives destroyed.
In sum (including Wright’s intro), the “war on terror,” carried in quotes, is the equivalent of John Edwards’s bumper sticker; the
(Lest anyone think that there is universal agreement in the national UCC about the contents of the letter, check out the comments at the page where the pastoral letter was initially published.)
More to the point, the fact that
We could also visit the July 29 bulletin, in which the Rev. Wright bizarrely introduces an article (pictured here) about Paris Hilton’s alleged “conversion” (not …. kidding) as an example of “21st Century white distortions” and “arrogance.”
Oh, and what did Obama miss on the 22nd if he indeed didn’t attend TUCC that day, pick up its bulletin, or read the bulletin online? Why, in the “Pastor’s Pages” that day, there was a reprint of “A Fresh View of the Palestinian Struggle” (pictured here). This article’s original appearance in the Los Angeles Times provoked justifiable howls of outrage. You see, author Mousa Abu Marzook is the deputy of the political bureau of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement. That is, he is either a spokesman for terrorists and/or a terrorist himself. The Investigative Project goes with the latter conclusion, as does the government. The Rev. Wright apparently had no problem with reproducing the writings of a terrorist who, “during his tenure in the
Now what was that Barack Obama said to Major Garrett on Friday? Oh, this:
And so you know, I think that the statements that have been strung together are compiled out of, you know, hundred of sermons that he delivered over the course of his lifetime. But, obviously, they are ones that are, from my perspective, completely unacceptable and inexcusable.
And if I had thought that that was the tenor or tone on an ongoing basis of his sermons, then, yes, I don’t think that it would have been reflective of my values or my faith experience.
So we’re supposed to believe that Barack Obama picked up none of the clearly objectionable July material described in this post — let alone what the Rev. Wright might have said.
And this is only from one month. I have in my possession almost 100 other TUCC online bulletins dating as far back as December 2004. Although I haven’t read every issue’s “Pastor’s Pages” word for word, I have seen enough to be confident that July 2007 was not an atypical month — and that Barack and Michelle Obama would have to have been deaf, dumb, and blind on an “ongoing basis” to not have picked up a continual stream of what is, and remains, in Barack Obama’s own words, “completely unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Yet they continued to attend. Draw your own conclusions.
Posted on 03/19/2008 4:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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