This is Sad
by CardBoard, Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 09:16:32 PM EDT
Fox News is carrying a video, which I will not post in order to not further... The video shows Rev. Wright expressing opinions, in his own Church, which are typical of African Theology. I'm asking that if anybody has media contacts they send them to me a BGRANT@Princeton.edu so I can plead with them not to further this story tomorrow. Please MyDD help me not throw a vibrant academic and theological tradition down the drain for the sake of a campaign. To many good people have already payed to much in loss of respect and standing for this campaign. Here is what I would like to send them.
I generally find the commentary fair and informed. A story is coming up about Obama's pastor from Fox News... and as a scholar in religion and politics I implore you not to further it for the following reasons.
A). We cannot hold our political leaders accountable for their spiritual leader's remarks. Just taking a quick glance into History finds the trouble in doing this. Often a person does not choose the church they go to, their spouse does, or it is the church they are raised in. It is not, usually, a political choice. It is of the most personal of choices. That is not right.
B). You and I cannot understand what it means to be a Black Christian in America. This line of thought expressed in Countee Cullen, James Cone, and even in Cornell West's most outspoken moments is terribly important academically. And, I fear if the media blows this up that conversation will be stigmatized... for the sake of a political campaign? That is not right.
C. Jeremiah Wright is no longer pastor of that Church. A Church which is one of the most important Black Churches in America. If it gives you and idea of how important this Church is, it is the Chicago version of N.Y.'s Abyssinian Baptists. And, this Church has been preaching these themes for decades.
I understand the attraction and Responsibility to report the news. But, too much is at stake here. I've written similar defenses toward people's questions on Hillary even being religious. Wright is not on Obama's finance team, or a senior consultant, he is the pastor of what I believe was Michelle's Church. This sermon is likely racists to your ears, and many others ears, but that is really to be ignorant to the conversation Jeremiah Wright is, and has, engaged in. Wright is speaking to a Church steeped chiefly in Cone, Katie Canon, Copeland, and West - where this is acceptable language. He is not being literal in suggesting "Christ was a Black Man," nor is he intending to be exclusive. Your right about the irrelevance about his standing in the Church. The truth us, he is one of the most respected Black Theologians in the country, and widely respected (with and for numerous comments like these) at the leading theological schools in the country. I just suggest before (likely joining the rest of the media ignorance) you read Cone's God of the Oppressed or an article surrounding it. In order that you understand what Wright was saying in the context of a black and womanists theological conversation... if the media blows this up it will blow up (wrongly) a long standing theological conversation - it will destroy Cornell West, Cannon, and others. I ask that you take hold of your actions, even if it means not going along with the rest of media, and not report on what any persons church says. Can you imagine the shame if anybody were called to "reject and denounce" their Church?