Saturday, March 15, 2008

Wright's Statements Not Outliers for Church Flock

I've commented quite a bit on the Barack Obama's Wright scandal.

I have, for example, argued that Obama's statement repudiating Wright's sermons
is not enough, that the Illinois Senator needs to cut all ties with a church that proselytizes hatred.

It turns out,
as the New York Times reports, that despite some claims that Wright's controversial statements are aberrations in years of work promoting traditional Christian theology, members of the Trinity United Church in fact flock eat up Wright's hated-filled sermons:

Mr. Wright, 66, who last month fulfilled longstanding plans to retire, is a beloved figure in African-American Christian circles and a frequent guest in pulpits around the country. Since he arrived at Trinity in 1972, he has built a 6,000-member congregation through his blunt, charismatic preaching, which melds detailed scriptural analysis, black power, Afrocentrism and an emphasis on social justice; Mr. Obama praised the last quality in Friday’s statement.

His most powerful influence, said several ministers and scholars who have followed his career, is black liberation theology, which interprets the Bible as a guide to combating oppression of African-Americans.

He attracts audiences because of, not in spite of, his outspoken critiques of racism and inequality, said Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, in an interview last year.

But Mr. Wright’s blistering statements about American racism can shock white audiences.

“If you’re black, it’s hard to say what you truly think and not upset white people,” said James Cone, a professor at Union Theological Seminary and the father of black liberation theology, who has known Mr. Wright since he was a seminary student.
You think?

I mean, what good natured, patriotic white person would be upset at hearing Wright's venomous and paranoid attacks on this country?