Obama's "jeremiah"?

Via many elements in the media currently, both conservative and liberal, the racist and outright dishonest sayings of Dr. Jeremiah Wright, recently resigned pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, of which Wright's close-friend Senator Barack Obama has been a member for many years, have been repeated over and over. As tapes of his abundant sermons and writings are being constantly scrutinized, his positions are being profoundly examined and dissected, especially by conservatives who see something ominous in the relationship of the two men. Obama characterized that relationship on the Fox Channel on 14 March as Wright being a sort of "uncle" to him. The dictionary defines a jeremiah as: "person who is pessimistic about the present and foresees a calamitous future." Whose future?

Newt Gingrich put an entirely different spin on Wright's flagrantly anti-American statements a few minutes later by explaining that Wright's sayings are not so much racist as simply the reflection of what is being embraced and taught on college and university campuses throughout the nation, to wit and paraphrased, that this country is the "evil empire" in the world and the cause of all that's bad. It has been well documented that practically all the campuses – now dominated by the generation coming of age in the 60s-70s – are far-left in both the administrative and teaching areas, with the possible exception of the "hard sciences," where incontrovertible truth is paramount. The same could be said for the liberal political establishment, also dominated now by the "if it feels good, do it," crowd.

Wright's church – or at least Wright in some fashion – began the Trumpet newsmagazine in 1982, the same magazine that last year awarded its achievement recognition to Louis Farrakhan, head of the Nation of Islam and rabid anti-American and anti-Israeli. Its publisher is Jeri L. Wright, Jeremiah Wright's daughter. On her page in the Nov.-Dec. 2007 issue (complete with full-length picture featuring plenty of cleavage), she wrote, "Our history teaches us that all of civilization began in Africa. Those of us in the Diaspora, who are conscious, know it was on the shores of Africa where our ancestors were captured, enslaved, and shipped like cattle to these yet to be United States."

This is how the church officially describes itself: "We are an African people, and remain 'true to our native land,' the mother continent, the cradle of civilization." Besides totally disinviting therein any white people to be a part of its membership, this church has even a distorted notion of history, at least with regard to the "beginnings" as not only conceived by perhaps most scholars (though they actually haven't a clue) but also by the Bible it proposes to use, along with all other Christian denominations.

Ms Wright considers African Americans as part of a Diaspora, or a population of displaced persons. This might be something like the Diaspora of Israelites to Babylon in Old Testament times or the Diaspora of Christian Israelites from Jerusalem soon after the crucifixion of Christ in New Testament times, both occurring hundreds of years before what Ms Wright considers the black Diaspora brought on by slave-traders, though she didn't mention how those blacks were made available to the slave-traffic by each other in Africa as the result of their internecine battles, similar to those of the Indian tribes in this country, in which the losers are fair game for whatever disposition the victors decide to make of them. And that disposition was never as mild as water-boarding.

Indeed, if civilization began in Africa, Ms Wright should perhaps explain how a previous Diaspora made it possible for the slave-traders, who came from somewhere else (England, mostly?) and were therefore descendents of some other group of "once-Africans," came to be, as well as how they became white instead of black. This is not to speak disparagingly of any ethnicity or skin pigment; it is merely to call attention to the gaps in Ms Wright's explanation of historical process.

Much is made of the fact that Obama hasn't distanced himself far enough from Jeremiah Wright, but little if anything is said about what his denomination, the United Church of Christ (some 1.22 million members), thinks of Wright, one of its premier pastors. This is from a 14 March 2008 article on the UCC Web-site: "'Trinity United Church of Christ is a great gift to our wider church family and to its own community in Chicago,' says UCC General Minister and President John H. Thomas." The denomination, by its profound endorsement of Wright, automatically endorses his positions, his obvious and well-documented abuse of tax-exempt status notwithstanding, and to say nothing of his rabid dishonesty and anti-Americanism.

This was in a 10 March article on the UCC Web-site: "The UCC has been granted a three-week extension to respond to the Internal Revenue Service's inquiry of Sen. Barack Obama's June 2007 speech at the UCC's General Synod in Hartford, Conn." The IRS is also interested, apparently, in the tax-exempt status of the entire UCC denomination, as it should be in questioning what must have been a political speech at a denominational gathering. The IRS should also be investigating a host of other churches/denominations for the same reason.

Perhaps the second-best-known UCC member is Bill Moyers, among the farthest-left high-profile political figures in American politics. He also spoke at the UCC General Synod meeting in Hartford in 2007. This is what he said, "And it is a small, committed, determined People of Conscience who can turn this country around!" Moyers and Wright…people of Conscience? The United Church of Christ…the hope of the future? Egad! God help us if that should be true.

Significantly, Moyers was advertised for months as one of the five main exclusively-Baptist speakers at the New Baptist Covenant convocation, the creation of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, held earlier this year in Atlanta. This is what Moyers also said in that Hartford speech last summer: "We joined the UCC Community Church forty years ago this year [Stewart Avenue in Garden City, Long Island] when we moved to Long Island from Washington. … I am – or was – a Baptist, after all." One wonders if Moyers cancelled because of the obvious subterfuge.