Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Former Pastor: White America Should Heed Jeremiah Wright

At the risk of keeping this old horse alive for the sole purpose of beating it to death, and at the further risk of playing into the hands of James Carville, Lanny Davis, Paul Begala, and the loathsome Terry McAuliffe, I'd like to invoke the name of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright one more time.

Right-wingers love to play (and play and play) that "God damn America" soundbite. But as many have pointed out, Jeremiah Wright was pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ for 36 years, and in that time said an awful lot of things that somehow never made it to the attention of the mainstream "liberal" media. Even the sermon in question -- the "God damn America" sermon -- is compelling when you listen to more than the six-second sound bite.

This is, however, a sound-bite world we're living in at the moment, and the right wing certainly knows how to exploit a good sound bite (exploitation, it must be said, is one of the right's areas of expertise). But Trinity's current pastor, Rev. Otis Moss III, skillfully defended both his Church and its former pastor by reminding anyone who is paying any attention (not the "liberal" media, of course) that reality is more than a six-second sound-bite:

Now comes word that Bill and Hillary Clinton's former pastor while in the White House, Dean J. Snyder, Senior Minister of the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, DC, says that white Americans should listen carefully to Jeremiah Wright and heed his words. And we should not be so quick to distort the words of others for political gain.

Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize. This is a critical time in America's history as we seek to repent of our racism. No matter which candidates prevail, let us use this time to listen again to one another and not to distort one another's truth.

You can find his entire statement on the Foundry United Methodist Church's website.

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