Archive for Sunday, June 1, 2008

Obama quits church after long controversy

June 1, 2008


— 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.

"I suspect we'll find another church home for our family," Obama said.

"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 imputed to me even if they totally conflict with my long-held views, statements and principles," he said.

"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.

"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.

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.

The next day, Obama denounced Wright's comments as "divisive and destructive."

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.

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."


jmadison 9 years, 9 months ago

Senator Obama has again shown his good judgment and high moral standards by stepping away from a congregation which reveled in racist and sexist comments.

jonas 9 years, 9 months ago

o--k. . . . . You going to support such strong language? If you're going on the company he keeps, and there would be some support for that, I think I recall the article saying that he just quit. (It's been some time since I've read it, 36 seconds or so, so my memory might be a little dim) If you're talking about the man, then feel free to give a slew of links, or preferably straight quotes, in which he has made truly racist remarks. I've been out of the loop, admittedly, for the past 3 weeks, having other things more pressing on my time, and being halfway around the planet. I promise that I'll read them within the next 60 hours, at the latest when I get home from my 20 hour plane ride, and have my own internet that I don't have to pay for by the minute.And before the howls of traitor start back up again, I would say that with everything this church and it's titular head have done in the past few months, we have an apparent list, from Wright down to whatever leadership he employs there, of a number of self-proclaimed Christians who I would consider as traitors, tossing a "family" member to the wind in favor of 15 minutes of fame. Disgusting.

ASBESTOS 9 years, 9 months ago

Again from the press conference, he was not going to quit and it was not the "racist" rhetoric" from Rev. Wright and Father Pfleger, but the "backlash". This is from the press conference and IS in Obama's words, nbothing out of context:"He suggested that the Pfleger backlash was the deciding factor for him."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, praising the congregation and church leaders for their work in the Chicago community."It's not fair to the other members of the church who seek to worship in peace, so our faith remains strong and I suspect we will find another church home for our family."In Obama's May 30 letter to the church, he wrote that his relationship with the church had been "strained" by the statements of Wright."Nobody let David Duke off, nor should they, but just think of those around Trent Lott and his statment. There is a double standard, and the Obama Koolaide drinkers are in denial, this is a man whom believes in "anti white racist".Three Statements:1.) They are bitter people clinging to God, guns and religion and are suspicious of people that are not like themselves.2.) It is not fair to those that worship at the Church (Trinity) of my continued presence. ( Never mind the racism, it is just to cumbersome on the brethern.)3.) "... and found solice in nursing a pervasive sense of grievancee and animosity against my mother's race".Now, I can understand some black anonmosity toward whites, but this guy wants to be President, he can't play that game, and should have distanced himself from ALL of this before he had the bright idea of running for President.Additionally, to the DNC people, this is exactly why you make damn sure you have fully "vetted" your candidate. Hillary has been painfully "vetted", and yet there are more and more crazies submarining Obama out of his past.Don't you think the Republicans have some more dirt, that Hillary would NEVER use in a campaign? That should concern you a heck of a lot with this guy, you simply do not know what you got, and what you have is a Chicago insider politician, of course he is a radical and far more corrupt than a Beltway Republican.

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