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What Will Obama Do About His Pastor?

Barack Obama must have been dreading this for a long time. ABC News has uncovered several examples of unadulterated anti-American fury in the printed sermons of Obama’s Chicago pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright:

Wright’s sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.

“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,” he said in a 2003 sermon. “God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

Here’s Rev. Wright the Sunday after 9/11:

“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Rev. Wright said in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001.

“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he told his congregation.

In the past, Obama has said Wright is “like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with.” Which would be an okay excuse if Wright was Obama’s uncle—a wacky relative you can ignore on the occasional holiday. But Wright is Obama’s spiritual advisor. Wright married Obama and his wife and baptized their children. Furthermore, the level of hateful vitriol that’s now become apparent can no longer be glossed over with a folksy claim to avuncular affection. If I were this man’s nephew, I’d happily denounce my flesh-and-blood. The simpleminded political fury that Wright calls religion demands Obama’s unqualified repudiation.

So why doesn’t Obama repudiate Wright? If it’s true, as Obama’s campaign asserts, that Jeremiah Wright is “one of the country’s ten most influential black pastors,” then hate speech like Wright’s isn’t a big deal to a giant swath of American blacks. Moreover, that vote must be courted. Funny, how Democrats have spent decades stoking fears about the dangerous and discriminatory political influence of the religious Right, and now a demonstrably vile Reverend like Jeremiah Wright has the ear of a man who could become the Democratic nominee for president.



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