All Things Considered yesterday provided a great deal of analysis of the latest remarks by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the former pastor of Barack Obama who was at the center of a controversy about his remarks in a sermon that included the phrase, “God damn America.” The report shared the following:
He [Wright] said he was quoting an ambassador to Iraq in that sermon, although he did not give the ambassador’s name.
“Jesus said, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'” Wright added. “You cannot do terrorism on other people and expect it never to come back on you. Those are biblical principles, not Jeremiah Wright bombastic, divisive principles.”
Wright said the comment captured on YouTube — in which he says, “Not God bless America, but God damn America” — was taken out of context.
“God doesn’t bless everything,” he said. “God damns some practices, and there’s no excuse for the things that the government — not the American people — have done. That doesn’t make me not like America or unpatriotic.”
Also key to his defense, Wright spoke of black theology and preaching as different, not hostile or bombastic (See Time Magazine as well)
After this report NPR provided some analysis by two senators, one who supported Obama and one who supported Clinton. Curiously they both initially remarked that this controversy has gone on for too long and lamented the way the media has handled it.
I couldn’t agree more. While our candidates should be scrutinized carefully, I think it goes too far to overanalyze a sound byte from a sermon that Obama didn’t even hear. Also, we can’t drop everything Wright says into Obama’s mouth. We can question him about it and be concerned about his beliefs in relation to his pastor, but everything has been blown out of proportion.
There are plenty of things we can scrutinize about Obama without digging into his pastor’s sermons. Let’s look at what he himself has said. I know I don’t agree with every single thing my own pastor has said, and I know that even if I agree with my pastor, there are times when he may say things differently than I would have said them.
Both campaigns recognize this has been blown out of proportion, when will the media catch on?