Letters to the Editor

Pastor defended

March 20, 2012


To the editor:

My brother-in-law is a retired pastor in the United Church of Christ, a mostly white denomination of which Trinity Church in Chicago is a member. Their retired pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has always been highly regarded as a fine pastor doing marvelous work on Chicago’s Southside.

After the right-wing media began to smear him, several Chicago reporters read over 1,000 of Rev. Wright’s sermons, and only found two which had anything that seemed controversial. The famous “G-D America” statement was actually a quote from a speech by a white man who was as incensed at the racism on the Southside as Rev. Wright was. Rev. Wright is neither anti-American, nor a racist, nor a homophobe. He was the pastor who brought President Obama to know Christ and become a Christian.

Intelligent people with open minds are able to meet and converse with many people of various points of view over the years. We hope that Mr. Boyer (Public Forum, March 14) and others will in the future be able to explain how they differ with the policies of a political opponent without personally demonizing any candidate, especially one who is the president of the United States.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks, Audrey, for your very enlightening letter. It never seems to amaze me how the wingnuts on the extreme right will scrape and dig in their imaginary notions of who people are that have been present in President Obama's background.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

"Intelligent people with open minds are able to meet and converse with many people of various points of view over the years."

She clearly wasn't referring to you, math.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

So, you can't resist, can you?

What a hypocrite.

I'll warn you again, don't post on my comments.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

Yep, I did post something pretty similar.

LO made a big deal of shunning me a while back -- something I find anathema to the concept of a public forum, but it's allowed under the terms of use on this forum, so I complied.

Then, out of the blue, he decided that he needed to become attack pug, and my ankles were his target. But who needs that sort of annoyance?

Anyway, I've invoked the same privilege he previously did, and so far, he's chosen to be a hypocrite (well, that's completely in character for him, so "chosen" is probably the wrong term.)

Paul Decelles 6 years, 3 months ago

SO answering a cheap shot with another cheap shot is OK?

jonas_opines 6 years, 3 months ago

Of course, if he Had cited it, you know as well as I do that you'd just find something else to complain about, ne?

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

I didn't read it that way. I read it as a statement that God does in fact damn America, for it's failure to live up to our own standards of equality.

MarcoPogo 6 years, 3 months ago


You just failed to cite Anthrax.

parrothead8 6 years, 3 months ago

OH, I'm sorry...did you have access to the written version of that speech? You know, the version where people generally cite their sources?

For rhetorical purposes, it is common in verbal communication to refer to other sources without crediting them. For example, if I were to point out your "delusions of adequacy" in the course of a normal conversation, I wouldn't also need to stop, attribute it to the late Walter Kerr, and then continue the conversation. I could simply make the reference and assume that my audience understood the reference.

You see, audience plays a large role as well. Rev. Wright knew his audience, and knew they would understand his reference. This is what gives us license to use certain references with some audiences that we wouldn't use with others. For instance, when I call you "modest," and add that you even "have much to be modest about," I can assume you will understand the reference to the famous quote by Winston Churchill, but I would never use the same quote in talking to a group of small children because I wouldn't expect them to have learned that bit of minutiae quite yet. If I did use it with them, I'd have to stop, explain who Winton Churchill was, and explain his particular brand of witticisms. But with you, I can expect that bit of cultural knowledge to be ingrained, so I don't have to stop and explain all of that.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Do you think that God should bless and praise America for it's treatment of black people?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 3 months ago

Republicans are always distorting just about anything as they lie about so many things during a campaign which I suppose is fitting for a bible toting republican.

One thing that can be said about the democrats and Obama is they consistently do not tear the nations economy apart. Such that republicans do as they wear bibles on their sleeves.

Documented evidence: 1. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out The Reagan/Bush Savings and Loan Heist aka home loan scandal sent the economy out the window costing taxpayers many many $$ trillions (Cost taxpayers $1.4 trillion), Plus millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. http://rationalrevolution0.tripod.com/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

  1. ENTITLEMENT - Bailing out the Bush/Cheney Home Loan Wall Street Bank Fraud cost consumers $ trillions, millions of jobs, loss of retirement plans and loss of medical insurance. Exactly like the Reagan/Bush home loan scam. Déjà vu can we say. Yep seems to be a pattern. http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2009/0709macewan.html

3.ENTITLEMENT - Bush/Cheney implied many financial institutions were at risk instead of only three? One of the biggest lies perpetrated to American citizens. Where did this money go? Why were some banks forced to take bail out money? http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/10/good_billions_after_bad_one_year

Thou shall not steal. Thou shall not tell a lie. Unless I am a republican politician.

Republicans are always distorting just about anything as they lie about so many things during a campaign which I suppose is fitting for a bible toting republican. And they put millions upon millions out of work along the way. God would not participate in such activity.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

Wow! Has it been a whole day since you last posted that set of links?

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

That also means another meaningless post from snap. Who can't address the issues, just insult. What an intellect! /sarcasm/

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

Maybe he's watching his carbon footprint and didn't want to burn another lump of coal to spam the forum until now. That's my guess.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 3 months ago

Did you just cite the bailouts as a reason to hate Republicans? You do know Obama authorized those right?

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

You do know that Bush gave the banks bailout money before he left don't you? With no strings attached. Obama just added strings which angered a lot of people. Oh, and you do know the recession started before Obama became president, right? I love these rewriters of history long past and recent.

deec 6 years, 3 months ago

The first one was in October 2008, before Obama was elected, and was no strings attached. The others under Obama did have some controls attached.

no_thanks 6 years, 3 months ago

Politicians (Republicans and Democrats) lie, but you need to get a few facts straight. There were two major issues that most economists and analysts attribute to the excessive risk taken by Investment Banks (not community banks), and the home crisis. First, was the repeal of the Glass-Stegall act , which was passed in 1999, and was signed into law by President Clinton (not Bush/Cheney). But, that aside, the move for home ownership for low to mod income began with Freddie and Fannie, who lobbied Barney Frank and other Democrats about the low risk of home ownership. With that said, both parties are at fault for failing to act in the Coutry's best interest, but to say one party distorts and the other doesn't is simply wrong.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

While you're correct that Clinton and his economic team were partners behind the repeal of Glass-Stegall, the Republican leadership in Congress are the ones who pushed those laws through to get signed. And while there was a good deal of the same crony capitalism infecting Freddie and Fanny that exists in Wall Street investment banks, the laws that opened up home ownership to low-income buyers are not what caused the sub-prime/liar loans/derivatives mess. The programs encouraging low-income home ownership were directed towards qualified borrowers and offered reasonable terms. The "liar" loans consciously avoided these programs, and were 99% the doings of the private lenders who blatantly ignored responsible lending practices.

jaywalker 6 years, 3 months ago

" the laws that opened up home ownership to low-income buyers are not what caused the sub-prime/liar loans/derivatives mess. "

The laws themselves didn't cause the industry collapse, but they were absolutely the first domino.

jaywalker 6 years, 3 months ago

Mmkay, punkin'. I know the truth here is wholly inconvenient for your agenda, so you just go ahead and believe what you want to believe.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Please cite the statute that required lenders to ignore all proper lending practices, mmkay sweetumz?

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

We've already gone through all this, bozo, and you've shown that you're unable or unwilling to grasp the concepts of what's actually transpired. Not willing to go through same thing again with someone unable and/or unwilling to loosen his grip on a supremely biased agenda. Sorry.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually, I think he's right.

The CRA, in requiring that all loans be made consistent with "safe and sound" operations of the banks, wouldn't lead to risky loans if it were followed.

jaywalker 6 years, 2 months ago

Jafs, there's legislation and then there's political pressure. I'm fairly well versed in what drove my business under.

no_thanks 6 years, 1 month ago

Wrong it was Barney Frank and his cronies, along with strong testimony from the Former Head of Fannie Mae who was a HUGE Clinton supporter. But, that aside, Mortgage Backed Securities, pooled good and bad credit into a large portfolio that paid attractive yields to investors. This worked too well, which led to yet another government program (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) in which businesses were able to take advantage of the rules. Fannie Mae could have easily required for income verification prior to accepting a loan into their portfolio, but didn't. Interestingly, borrower's had to sign the "liar" documents requesting the loan, thus, don't they have some responsibility in the mess as well?

cato_the_elder 6 years, 3 months ago

Anyone who saw any of Wright's interviews during the time Obama was in the process of disowning him could easily see who the real wingnut was.

And, to the letter writer: Check out Wright's new mansion sometime. I'm sure that it fits well within your definition of "social justice."

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

So how many white televangelists live in mansions. That's ok, though. They are the "right" kind of Christians. And I suppose you love that guy who talked all of those chumps into giving him money, because he said the world was going to end. You probably blame the chumps and consider him an innovative, creative entrepreneur, right? Of course, I suppose I'm just envious, because I don't have as much money as him. What a crock.

cato_the_elder 6 years, 2 months ago

I am critical of all so-called televangelists who are in it for the money, and find them disgusting.

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

Sorry, she isn't the "right" kind of Christian for you.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

If Wright is such a sterling character, then why did the Mope throw him under the bus in 2008?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

"the Mope"

Why did you choose this particular word as a euphemism for the n-word?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

You need to review the Troll playbook-- you're not supposed to lecture.

Kathy Theis-Getto 6 years, 2 months ago

  1. Mope: A person of any race or culture that is: presenting themselves as uneducated (either by mannerisms or the clothing they are wearing). Plural = Mopes Mopes usually are up to no good and may have an extensive criminal record and a limited vocabulary. See Thungs

  2. Mope: (N) A person of lower socio-economic status that leeches off the greater good of society, is lazy and is normally involved in some sort of criminal activity. The streets are full of mopes tonight; just sittin' around drinking their 40's and collecting welfare.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Why did he choose that word -- when I am pretty sure the moderator will now allow use of the n-word anyway. Okay, to be fair, when using the n-word, it will only be allowed if used to describe a public figure. Name calling is all the rage around here in the instance of public figures.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

False, what word would you use to describe those "banned" but returned?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

Merriam-Webster says: "mope, archaic : to act in a dazed or stupid manner Origin of MOPE probably from obsolete mop, mope fool First Known Use: 1568" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mope Sorry, bea, your race card isn't valid here.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Snap, my response was directly related to bozo's question. However, I'll remember your comment next time you use "thug" to describe our president.

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Zombie is a term that describes any poster who has been banned yet returned, conservative or otherwise. Is it my fault that the most obvious abusers of the LJWorld "banned users" policy are conservatives?

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the lecture on name calling. You are an expert at it, after all, so I guess you are in a unique position to know.

That still doesn't change the fact that it applies to all who return. Feel free to use it. I don't own the copyright.

Or -- I will stop using zombie if you stop all of your name calling. Deal?

Didn't think so.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

So, you've chosen to ignore terms of use rules multiple times.

Are you seeking to get disappeared?

Third warning-- don't post on my comments.

ivalueamerica 6 years, 3 months ago

The modern day GOP have long abandoned facts for sound bites.

In any other context, they would be called habitual liars.

Mike Ford 6 years, 3 months ago

when theocrats can't find a real point of arguement....they invent one and ride it as long as possible because the three amigos here know none of their rush or hannity bots will question it. there's no point in explaining anything to the willfully ignorant so let them stay in their insistence of dillusion....just minimize them to the point where a small circle of willfully stupid people still believe them.

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

I know. You should have seen the look on a relative's face, who is an adamant birther, when I asked to see his birth certificate. He was always saying that Obama's certificate wasn't real, because it just said "Certificate of Live Birth". Guess what this relative's certificate says? Yeah, "Certificate of Live Birth". I've started calling him my "illegal" relative. He is still convinced Obama is a Muslim Kenyon though. If Rush and Fox told him we just went to war with Great Britain, he would believe it.

Shelley Bock 6 years, 2 months ago

I like that, tomatohead! Were you able to convince your relative that now's the time to "self deport"? I should have used that on people I know who have the same argument.

By the way, fighting with Great Britain wouldn't be difficult. US could then get a 51st state and some great pubs, restaurants and real football (soccer), but no Tex-Mex. It doesn't exist in London

cato_the_elder 6 years, 2 months ago

Tomatohead, I'd suggest that you refrain from harassing your relative until you can learn how to spell "Kenyan."

tomatogrower 6 years, 3 months ago

You're right, Lnative. After I've acted like a child in several posts above. But I'm still calling my relative that I described above "illegal".

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

I think Audrey would agree with your basic point. Her complaint is precisely that rather than focus on issues, the right-wing smear machine has chosen to smear a pastor with a very distorted view of his record.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

" lefts "war on women" hyperbole"

But it's not hyperbole.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 3 months ago

Can we just condemn and reject all pastors, preachers, priests, popes, imams, mullahs, witch doctors, rabbis, and other god heads as religiously insane and move on?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 3 months ago

Obama has shown quite a propensity for pandering to demagoguery.

jafs 6 years, 2 months ago

Obama's a politician, and Wright became a political liability.

BlackVelvet 6 years, 3 months ago

The irony of all this is that both sides have extremes, and both sides (dems and repubs) lie about their opponents regularly. Reminds me why I am a staunch independent.

jayhawklawrence 6 years, 3 months ago

Thanks Audrey for taking the time to write this letter.

I doubt it will change any minds that are already politically biased but I was happy to read it.

I am sure that Rev. Wright, like all of us, is not perfect and anyone that wants to slander him and use that against Obama will be able to weave any story they want to achieve that purpose.

The larger issue here for me is how arrogant white people who never attended a Southside Chicago church can sit in judgement about people they are completely clueless about because of something they heard on Rush or Fox News.

I attended those churches many times and even sang in some choirs in front of a packed church. It was a rare privilege and experience I will never forget and very humbling for a white boy from a small Kansas farm town.

beatrice 6 years, 3 months ago

Nice to see the Right once again attacking the freedom of religion.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 3 months ago

Wright has the freedom to be a hater and we have the freedom to point that out.

Ragingbear 6 years, 3 months ago

Pastor=Cult Leader and scumwad. No exceptions exist.

yourworstnightmare 6 years, 3 months ago

Religious leader=Cult Leader and scumwad. No exceptions exist.

tbaker 6 years, 3 months ago

The author is naïve. Rev. Wright smears himself. In addition to intelligent people with open minds, complete morons with no mind can see this fact for themselves. Examples abound.

Mike Ford 6 years, 3 months ago

The new racism.....attacking the victims of racism to deflect actual racism....practiced by many on this blog....fact.....right wing america wants america to be god first just like the smart guy from mississippi on maher the other night....the question is.....whose god?.....if one speaks of the concept of Wakan amongst Siouan people and realizes that the Siouan people didn't try to wipe out Christianity but Christianity tried to wipe Siouan and many other indigenous religious beliefs....shouldn't a Lakota person or any other indigenous person be right in speaking of the indignant hypocracy and denial of Christianity's involvement in the cultural and physical genocide of their people? the same can be said by many minorities. Who is really racist? my southern ex grandfather who justified slavery by quoting the bible verse "Slaves obey your masters" or Reverend Wright? not so easy for conservatives to paint their fiction is it? too bad they believe it....

notaubermime 6 years, 3 months ago

You know, I usually find tuschkahouma's posts to be prone towards incoherence, anti-white, anti-Christian, and anti-American sentiments... but he is correct here. There is a startling amount of bigotry that some people in the majority attempt to hide behind claims of being persecuted.

Mike Ford 6 years, 3 months ago

man...you guys just proved my point......attacking the person who sees you for what you are.... your attacks don't change the equasion....I must've hit home to incur your wrath.... you were lead to water and you drank....how pathetic....

Mike Ford 6 years, 3 months ago

I'll go one step further.....having watched the documentary on the Rosewood Florida massacre and visited the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa many times where the 1921 bombing massacre by White people using the Oklahoma National Guard's airplanes and the multiple examples of lynching in the midwest....one would say that Reverend Wright has the right to imbue this country for not holding up it's virtues of being a caring Christian nation and instead being a nation of people with guilty consciences calling the people they've offended or attacked racists. How does flipping logic, history, and reality on it's head work??? maybe I need get a ouija board and contact the late GOP strategist and Willie Horton race baiter Lee Atwood to ask how this works. He'd say always blame the victim and express fake outrage publically. Who does this on here...... liberty anyone.....

beatrice 6 years, 2 months ago

At least Obama stepped away from Wright, but Limbaugh -- the true preacher for the Right -- says far worse and Romney won't say anything against him. Wonder why that is?

I wonder if Wright would be against contraception and want to control women's wombs the way the GOP wants to do?

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

My point is the one you completely ignore with your failed conservative strategy of conceding a small bit that you're wrong and then making up malarkey with salmon runs in Alaska. This is not the American exceptionalism versus victim of racism malarkey that people like you sell in your disjointed mentality. Example #1 the lynching of Black men on the square in Jopiln, Missouri on April 16, 1903, in an effort to drive Black people from that town that pretty much succeeded....Example

2 Elmer Jackson and two other Black men lynched in St. Duluth,

Minnesota, on June 15 1920. That one hits home because I regularly drove under the Elmer Jackson Memorial Bridge over Shunga Creek at 17th Street and Branner Trafficway in Topeka, Kansas and June 15 is my birthday. Beyond that some dimwit that probably agrees with you graffitied the bridge with the slur "Dead N&$$#R" bridge while I lived there. #3 the lynching of two Black men at Duck Hill, Mississippi in 1937. You use the get over it bit because you are fighting a loosing battle with history and reality and like most conservatives you try to put a change the subject face on it. Blaming the victim....the act of cowardace...

voevoda 6 years, 2 months ago

For all of you in the extreme right wing who condemn Obama because he associated with Rev. Wright: what about Rick Santorum's approval of Rev. Dennis Terry, who says that there is no place in America for people who worship Allah or Buddha? Or Sarah Palin's pastor, who endorses the Jews for Jesus--a group dedicated to the disappearance of Judaism as a religion? At least Obama decided that he didn't want to excuse Rev. Wright's statements, even though he knew that they were atypical. Neither Palin nor Santorum has distanced her/himself from their preachers.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 2 months ago

If there is one standard that is sacred on the religious right, it's the double one, doubly.

Charlie Bannister 6 years, 2 months ago

I could write several paragraphs but will just exercise brevity and say the following. To try and defend the so called REVEREND Wright is laughable. He is an anti semitic America hater, plain and simple. I have heard the audio many times. I quote----"Not God Bless America, G--D America! America's chickens come home to roost!" He said it with vigor and enthusiasm describing our 9-11 catastrophe. I guess the Obama Administration would call it a "man made disaster." Sensible people call it Islamo Fascist Terrorism of the worst magnitude. Obama has surrounded himself with Socialists and extreme people who are the enemy of America as founded and look upon the precious Constitution as an impediment to achieving their leftist agenda. The media never has TO THIS DAY vetted Obama in any kind of a serious way. So Ms. Mortenson you may have your REVEREND Wright if you so desire. As for me and my family we will continue to call him exactly what he is.

notaubermime 6 years, 2 months ago

"I have heard the audio many times. I quote----'Not God Bless America, G--D America! America's chickens come home to roost!'"

Apparently, you did not listen to the audio enough to know that the sermon which featured the G--D America quote is a different sermon from the America's chickens have come home to roost quote. In fact, those two sermons took place years apart.

But hey, why let facts get in the way of opinion?

notaubermime 6 years, 2 months ago

Your proclivity towards viewing things as polar opposites makes it unlikely that you are capable of grasping how I actually perceive reality.

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

changing the subject and repeating nonsense.....is conservative intelligence like the old oxymoron military intelligence......playing dumb to troll....no american would do that.... not even a born again one......why is it that almost facist like quasi patriotism gives people with little or no knowledge of this country and it's sins of institutionalized racism the ability to flip reality on it's head and blame the victim....I already ssked this twice and I guess I'm dealing with the mississippians from bill maher....admit it....you can't get it out of your system....the south losing...a central government, minority rights, women's rights, environmental rights....you've lost and the best you can do is blame the victim.... pathetic.....

tbaker 6 years, 2 months ago

It occurs to me that "changing the subject and repeating nonsense" is an expression of bitterness that at it's root lies considerable guilt and shame of some origin. I see the tragic expression of an unmet need here and a feeble mind lashing out in frustration lacking the faculty to be effective. People of little understanding are most apt to be angry when their sense is called into question.

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

The feeble minds is yours. Too bad you play the straw man bitterness card. Don't know much about history do you? that's what makes you such picking for the GOP. Lazy americans who buy the white washed history hook line and sinker. You probably watched Mel Gibson's Patriot and had no idea the person whom Mel Gibson portrayed was Francis Marion who was a land thief and kidnapper of Cherokee people whom he sold into slavery in the Carolinas in the 18th century. Why let a historical lie get in the way of a good colonial feelgood conservative approved farce of reality?

Mike Ford 6 years, 2 months ago

yes your diagnosis was confirmed....now deny....

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