naturally, if you haven't any interest in my thoughts on this, go ahead and delete now. :)
Obama quits Chicago church after long controversy*
May 31, 10:21 PM (ET)
By TOM RAUM
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) - Barack Obama said Saturday he has resigned his 20-year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago "with some sadness" in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and more recent fiery remarks at the church by a visiting priest.
"This is not a decision I come to lightly ... and it is one I make with some sadness," Obama said at a news conference after campaign officials released a letter of resignation he sent to the church on Friday.
"I'm not denouncing the church and I'm not interested in people who want me to denounce the church," he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and "the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them."
Obama said he and his wife have been discussing the issue since Wright's appearance at the National Press Club in Washington last month, which reignited the furor over remarks Wright had made in various sermons at the church.
"It's clear that now that I'm a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, including guest pastors, the remarks will be imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my long-held views, statements and principles," he said.[ oookay...so HOW OFTEN do the remarks of those who are supposed to be "leading" your church (whether in your physical location or another--the job and views/statements/principles should be the same!) TOTALLY conflict with your views, statements and principles??? and just HOW LONG has this sort of thing been happening???
and WHY would you WORSHIP AT such a place??? this tells me that either Obama's faith is meaningless (and possibly a token, to reassure mainstream Christian voters), or he just pays absolutely NO ATTENTION to what is being said and taught at his church. oh wait...those are far from mutually exclusive.
i would not suggest for one moment that any pastor's remarks should be imputed to him; however, if many remarks were made that clearly CONFLICT the accepted teachings of Christ, he'd better be able to either explain them in the context of HIS faith, or give a reasonable explanation for why he's still involved with a church whose very tenets or principles conflict his own! having lacked the ability (or cajones) to do this, he's conceding to pressure. the former already disgusted me, not the latter increases that because it suggests to me that his faith is secondary/tertiary. ]
"I have no idea how it will impact my presidential campaign but I know it was the right thing to do for me and my family," he said.
[ riiiight. and your deciding to leave the church only AFTER the media attention on it continues to come back again and again. . .that's pure coincidence? also, the years your family spent there with a vocally UNCHRISTIAN pastor were the right thing to do at that time? ]
"This was a pretty personal decision and I was not trying to make political theater out of it," he added.
For months, Obama has been hamstrung by the rhetoric of Wright, whose sermons blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks and calls of "God damn America" for its racism became fixtures on the Internet and cable news networks.
Initially, Obama said he disagreed with Wright but portrayed him as a family member he couldn't disown. The preacher had officiated at Obama's wedding, baptized his two daughters and been his spiritual mentor for some 20 years.
[ WHAT?! did Obama himself ever state that Wright was his spiritual mentor? cuz if he did, he's a twit! "He's my spiritual mentor" one month, then the next "He has made some remarks that totally conflict with my long-held beliefs and faith...but I won't denounce him or attempt to explain how this is reasonable." ]
But six weeks after Obama's well-received speech on race, Wright claimed at the Press Club appearance that the U.S. government was capable of planting AIDS in the black community, praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and suggested that Obama was acting like a politician by putting his pastor at arm's length while privately agreeing with him.[ okay. if this Wright fella continues to hold a leadership position in ANY self-respecting Christian church -- and/or his congregation does not oust him or simply dissolve/leave -- there will be people OTHER than Obama causing me great disgust and disappointment. how does a supposedly CHRISTIAN speaker (let alone a pastor!) justify praising the leader of the Nation of ISLAM?! Wright should go JOIN that church; he obviously is no Christian. ]
The next day, Obama denounced Wright's comments as "divisive and destructive."
[ at last! taking a stand! but still worshiping at that church??? very sad. ]
Remarks by Wright inflamed racial tensions and posed an unwanted problem for Obama, front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, as he sought to wrap up the party's nod.
[ oh, an UNWANTED problem. not like all those other problems, which were welcomed! ]
More recently, racially charged remarks from the same pulpit by another pastor, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, kept the controversy alive and proved the latest thorn in Obama's side. As a guest speaker at Obama's church, Pfleger mocked Obama rival Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Although Obama condemned comments by both Wright and Pfleger, the controversy persisted.
Obama made clear he wasn't happy with Pfleger's comments - in which the Catholic priest pretended he was Clinton crying over "a black man stealing my show" - and said he was "deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger's divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn't reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause."
[ how on earth did Obama's UCC church ever get a Catholic priest to come speak??? certainly the Vatican (not to mention his own diocese) isn't THAT out of the loop on this crazy Islam-loving wacko... mebbe an EX-priest. ]
Pfleger issued an apology, saying he was sorry if his comments offended Clinton or anyone else.
[ no. he should have issued an apology, saying his comments were inappropriate an unChristian! no IF involved! ]
The timing of Obama's decision broke late Saturday, while most of the political attention was focused on the Democratic National Committee's struggle to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan.
Republican John McCain also has had his woes with religious leaders.
Earlier this month, McCain rejected endorsements from two influential but controversial televangelists, saying there is no place for their incendiary criticisms of other faiths.
McCain spurned the months-old endorsement of Texas preacher John Hagee after an audio recording surfaced in which the preacher said God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land. McCain called the comment "crazy and unacceptable."
[ and this nutcase is influential??? are Christians in Texas that close to brain death? ]
He later repudiated the support of Rod Parsley, an Ohio preacher who has sharply criticized Islam and called the religion inherently violent.
[ that doesn't sound terribly controversial to me. i've heard passages from the Koran that make the vengeful God of the Old Testament sound like Ned Flanders. ]
"This was one I didn't see coming," Obama said Saturday when asked if he had anticipated the firestorm that would erupt over his relationship with Wright.
[ of course not, Barack. your faith never meant enough for you to care, or to pay that close of attention. ]
why, six months was AGES ago! just look how many of those candidates have fallen by the wayside!
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy Will be done...