Friday, March 2, 2007

Reverend Radical?

Obama's Pastor On H&C

UPDATE: ArchPundit has the video on the H&C's appearance and a puzzling explanation of why Obama's church is "allowed" to use separatist language.
Is it really that hard to understand that African-American communities face challenges distinct to being an African-American community? And that Christianity might play a role in that?


Barack Obama'
s people might want to rethink putting the senator's pastor on the airwaves. Or get him some media training.

Obama's place of worship, Trinity United Church of Christ, is coming under increasing scrutiny from both the conservative and liberal media. There's the question of the church's stated doctrine, which smacks of black separatism, and of the sermons, which a liberal Rolling Stones author described as radical.

This is as openly radical a background as any significant American political figure has ever emerged from, as much Malcolm X as Martin Luther King Jr.
In order to quell some of the criticism, Reverend Dr. Jeremiah Wright appeared last evening on Fox's Hannity & Colmes. When I saw him appear, I thought the campaign's decision to put him on a conservative-leaning show was a sign it wanted to aggressively knock down the negative storyline. A good strategy if Wright was up to the task explaining why his church is not way out of the mainstream.

Instead, Wright was ineffective and belligerent. Instead of explaining his church he defiantly challenged Sean Hannity's knowledge of theology and kept asking him if he knew the teachings of several obscure theologians.

WRIGHT: Do you know liberation theology, sir? Do you know liberation theology?
HANNITY: I studied theology; I went to a seminary. And I studied Latin.
WRIGHT: Do you know black liberation theology?
HANNITY: I'm very aware of what you're calling black liberation, but let me get my question out.
WRIGHT: I said, do you know black theology?
HANNITY: Reverend, I'm going to give you a chance to answer my question.
WRIGHT: How many of Cone's books have you read? How many of Cone's book have you read?
HANNITY: Reverend, Reverend?
WRIGHT: How many books of Cone's have you head?
HANNITY: I'm going to ask you this question...
WRIGHT: How many books of Dwight Hopkins have you read?
HANNITY: You're very angry and defensive. I'm just trying to ask a question here.
WRIGHT: You haven't answered — you haven't answered my question.
HANNITY: And it seems to be, when you say the black community, black family, black work ethic, black community...
WRIGHT: It seems arrogant, ignorant...
WRIGHT: I'm asking you...
WRIGHT: ... how many books of Dwight Hopkins have you read?
HANNITY: Sir, I'm going to say this whether you like it or not. I'm going to get my words in, and I'm going to tell you right now...
If Wright's strategy was to explain his church's philosophy to curious Americans, he failed. He only made the church appear more mysterious.

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