Barack's Un-Righteous Rev
By New York Post Editorial
January 18, 2008
January 18, 2008 -- Barack Obama may have called for a truce in the increasingly ugly war of words with Hillary Clinton, but it looks like the Chicago minister whom he has cited as his mentor and spiritual leader didn't get the message.
Speaking at his Trinity United Church of Christ last Sunday, Rev. Jeremiah Wright noted that some in the black community say they're supporting Hillary "because her husband was good to us."
"That's not true," he retorted angrily. "He did the same thing to us that he did to Monica Lewinsky."
But hardly surprising from a preacher given to leading with his mouth.
Indeed, Wright's self-professed Afrocentric church has attracted surprisingly little media attention - given the critical role that Obama says Wright and the congregation have played in his personal development.
It's especially disquieting that Obama seems to be getting a free pass, even as GOP candidates like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee face repeated questions about their religious beliefs and associations.
Certainly, Wright's words and work should be considered fair game.
Like the award the church's Trumpeter Magazine (published and edited by Wright's daughter) last year presented to Louis Farrakhan, whom it said "truly epitomized greatness Wright himself has praised Farrakhan's "integrity and honesty."
There's more. In a 2007 interview with The New York Times, Wright said: "When [Obama's] enemies find out that in 1984 I went to Tripoli [to visit Moammar Khadafy] with Farrakhan, a lot of his Jewish support will dry up quicker than a snowball in hell."
The support, that is, that presumably had not already been put off by Wright's denunciation of Israel as a "racist" state, his equation of Zionism with racism or his description of 9/11 as a "wake-up call" to "white America."
As a member of Wright's "unashamedly Black" church, Obama presumably accepts its Black Value System, which warns African-Americans to "avoid the entrapment of black middle-classness."
In response to recent stories, Obama released a statement expressing his disagreement with the award to Farrakhan, whose "anti-Semitic statements" he "strongly" condemned.
On Wednesday, he publicly chastised Wright for his "personal attacks," saying they "have no place in this campaign or our politics" - though he added that they don't "detract from my affection for Rev. Wright, or appreciation for the good works he has done."
Obama plainly understands that his pastor is a potential lightning rod - which is why, at the last minute, he withdrew a request that Wright deliver an invocation at his presidential campaign kickoff, telling him "it's best for you not to be out there in public."
Mitt Romney felt his religious beliefs were a sufficiently critical issue for some people that he addressed them in a major speech.
Maybe it's time for Barack Obama to follow suit.
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