15 March 2008

Barack's "Pastoral" Problem

ABC News and other news outlets have recently highlighted Barack Obama's relationship to the pastor of his home church Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Rev. Jeremiah Wright's role in the Obama campaign has come under scrutiny and CNN reports that the pastor has now resigned from the campaign.

If you listen to the man's "sermons" (the quotation marks are used advisedly), you cannot but conclude that here is a violation of the tax code. The United Church of Christ (UCC), probably the most liberal denomination in the United States, has long left biblical Christianity. Rather than preach the gospel, this denomination prefers to revel in social activism and self-actualization messages. Ever since the forerunners of the UCC set biblical teaching aside in the 1930s, God has gotten little attention there.

Rev. Wright can be seen in Youtube videos (o.a. this one) fulminating against rich white people. In the video I linked to, Rev. Wright is displaying a ridiculous ignorance of the Bible and a scary disinterest in the Bible. Pointing at a Bible on the lectern, and which seems to be nothing but an ornament because he never apparently reads from the Holy Book, Rev. Wright concludes that "Jesus was black" and the "Romans were Italian, which means they were European, which means white." So, first-century Palestine turns into an allegory for Rev. Wright's view of Black America.

Jesus was not black. He was born to a Jewish woman by a mystical conception through the Holy Spirit. Since Jesus apparently did not stand out in society by an unusually dark skin, or the Gospels would surely have mentioned it, He was undoubtedly similar in appearance to modern Jews: i.e. white.

Rev. Wright can preach whatever he wants in his church, but let's not pretend that the speech on Youtube is either Christian or a sermon. Let's be clear about it: Rev. Wright's Christmas 'sermon' is a campaign speech. For it, the IRS ought to cancel the church's tax-exempt status.

And one can't help but wonder how Barack Obama benefited from the teaching at Trinity United Church of Christ. Christ certainly is preached there but rarely, if the reports are anything to go by. That is legitimate reason, at least, to doubt the depth of Mr. Obama's faith.

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