This Jeremiah Wright thing just gets weirder and weirder. Today I was listening to NPR and heard a story about Barack Obama trying to raise support in Pennsylvania. Reporter Joel Rose interviewed one person who said they wouldn’t be voting for Obama because of his ties to Jeremiah Wright:
“That actually really upset me, being a gay man and hearing like anti-gay and anti-all kinds of things … it disappointed me that he didn’t get up and go, ‘You know what, I just don’t want to be a part of this.'”
At the time I thought, “Wright is anti-gay on top of everything else? Wow, this is nuts.” But then I started doing some more research on Jeremiah Wright. And I found the opposite.
One pro-gay blog said this:
“Rev. Wright has an inclusive, gay-friendly ministry and Trinity is one of the few black megachurches to actively encourage LGBT outreach. Several of my gay friends in Chicago attend the church, and, one of the assistant pastors is openly gay.”
And if another blog isn’t a good enough source for you, the “Award-winning LGBT news site,” The Advocate, noted that:
“In truth, Rev. Wright has preached gay-inclusive sermons.”
So let’s focus on the facts people. Wright isn’t anti-gay. Obama isn’t a Muslim either (I’ve received that e-mail and had to point some people to Snopes). I’m actually a bit disappointed that NPR didn’t correct the accusation that Wright is anti-gay. That’s what we rely on news organizations for—to point out the facts.
In other Jeremiah Wright news, I stumbled across a couple posts on the Huffington Post blog (not a blog I usually read) that backed Obama and Wright and took Fox News to task for showing the clips out of context. One article written by a former member of Wright’s church linked to an in-context clip on YouTube, the other embedded two clips and explained some of the context.
Seeing Jeremiah Wright’s statements in context makes a world of difference for me. He actually sounds like a normal preacher in the ‘chickens have come home to roost’ sermon, which I actually enjoyed. It’s interesting to note that he’s basically speaking out against violence and hatred. The next line after the chickens line, which most new organizations left out is:
“Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred. Terrorism begets terrorism.”
Wright then goes on to encourage self-reflection before we decide to enact vengeance. Makes the raving preacher man sound a lot more sane.
I also like Tim’s theory that Obama appreciates Wright as a dissenting voice. Obama may not agree with everything Wright says, but it’s intellectually healthy to have a counter-point to what you think. I’ve had plenty of that in the past week with 15 comments on one post and 13 on another (so far—it’s sure to go up), and I think it’s been helpful to hear some dissenting voices and think hard about what I believe.