Archive for the ‘Jeremiah Wright’ Category

In and Out of Step With Jesus

April 29, 2008

The title of an opinion column in the Birmingham News certainly caught my eye this morning. “Modern Christianity out of step with Jesus’ teachings.”

Ok, many of us have recognized this for years. Many of us have been driven away from churches or denominations for this reason. Many of us are appalled at the modern “church’s” influence on society and politics. Many of us have found Jesus’ teachings to be inspirational, along with the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and have learned to use them to guide our lives without the need to be controlled by a man pretending to be God (whether that is what many pastors and priests claim or not).

So this column by Leonard Pitts Jr. was a must read.

Pitts starts out by quoting Rev. Hayes Wicker of (no surprise) First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, who called same sex marriage a “tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.” Who is more insulted there? American blacks for whom our history is tainted with their sweat and blood, and without whom this country would never have reached the status that it did, or gays whose inequality is championed as being even worse?

Pitts says that remark is in step with much of modern Christianity, and I agree. One does not have to look far to find a preacher demonizing gays; local television one Sunday morning recently had a local church broadcast where a black pastor was sending gays to hell right and left.

Pitts quotes James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights movement, who supports gay rights, “The human rights issue is not a single issue. It is about all humankind. And all humankind has been endowed with certain inalienable rights.” Responding to the Wicker quote, Lawson said “Obviously he does not know anything about 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery as the nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and its consequences…And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus.”

I will continue to quote Lawson. “Much of Christianity in the United States has been more influenced by violence and sexism and racism and greed than by the teachings of Jesus.”

Amen.

Pitts closes with “Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Thank God someone is.”

OK. But Lawson is not getting the headlines, Jeremiah Wright is. Gee, if we study the teachings of Jesus and begin to apply them to America, we might just realize that Wright’s sermons irritate us not because they are so radically anti-American, but because they expose the truth. America is embarrassed by much of its history (as well it should be) and we have a strong desire to ignore that which pains or embarrasses us.

I for one am glad Rev. Wright has begun to explain his statements. Listen and learn, America.

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>In and Out of Step With Jesus

April 29, 2008

>The title of an opinion column in the Birmingham News certainly caught my eye this morning. “Modern Christianity out of step with Jesus’ teachings.”

Ok, many of us have recognized this for years. Many of us have been driven away from churches or denominations for this reason. Many of us are appalled at the modern “church’s” influence on society and politics. Many of us have found Jesus’ teachings to be inspirational, along with the teachings of other spiritual leaders, and have learned to use them to guide our lives without the need to be controlled by a man pretending to be God (whether that is what many pastors and priests claim or not).

So this column by Leonard Pitts Jr. was a must read.

Pitts starts out by quoting Rev. Hayes Wicker of (no surprise) First Baptist Church of Naples, Florida, who called same sex marriage a “tremendous social crisis, greater even than the issue of slavery.” Who is more insulted there? American blacks for whom our history is tainted with their sweat and blood, and without whom this country would never have reached the status that it did, or gays whose inequality is championed as being even worse?

Pitts says that remark is in step with much of modern Christianity, and I agree. One does not have to look far to find a preacher demonizing gays; local television one Sunday morning recently had a local church broadcast where a black pastor was sending gays to hell right and left.

Pitts quotes James Lawson, an icon of the civil rights movement, who supports gay rights, “The human rights issue is not a single issue. It is about all humankind. And all humankind has been endowed with certain inalienable rights.” Responding to the Wicker quote, Lawson said “Obviously he does not know anything about 250 years of slavery or the 143 years since slavery as the nation has largely failed to deal with the issue of slavery and its consequences…And he knows even less about the gospel of Jesus.”

I will continue to quote Lawson. “Much of Christianity in the United States has been more influenced by violence and sexism and racism and greed than by the teachings of Jesus.”

Amen.

Pitts closes with “Lawson is out of step with modern Christianity. Thank God someone is.”

OK. But Lawson is not getting the headlines, Jeremiah Wright is. Gee, if we study the teachings of Jesus and begin to apply them to America, we might just realize that Wright’s sermons irritate us not because they are so radically anti-American, but because they expose the truth. America is embarrassed by much of its history (as well it should be) and we have a strong desire to ignore that which pains or embarrasses us.

I for one am glad Rev. Wright has begun to explain his statements. Listen and learn, America.

Religious Wright

March 19, 2008

There is certainly no way to predict how this presidential election cycle will turn. Each week, there is another attempt by some in the media and many in the Republican party to destroy to fabric that holds the Democratic party together.

While ignoring the same issues in the Repubican party.

However, John McCain will not be able to capitalize on this because he can’t keep his facts straight on the issue he is supposed to be strongest on: Iraq.

He said yesterday that is is “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al-Qaida is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran; that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

Trouble is, Iran is training insurgents that have nothing to do with Al-Qaida. Just like Bush, he doesn’t seem to know the difference between Al-Qaida and other extremists, or the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Of course, Republocrat Joe Lieberman was there to prop the presumptive nominee up. Watch:

But that is not the issue of the day (especially since the media is letting it slide).

The issue is Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his anti American tirades and Obama’s response to the hoopla. The issue is also how the media jumps on this, because it is about a black man and race, yet igonores McCain’s association with right wing hucksters like John Hagee who calls the Catholic Church the “Great Whore”. We heard Wright’s “God damn America” a hundred or more times on TV over the last few days, how many times have you seen this person:

I am not a fan of the Catholic church or the pope, but I am just pointing out that this divisive message has not been shown across America.

McCain also has as his “spiritual advisor” Rod Parsley, who gave us these gems:

  • called hate crimes legislation a “deceptive ploy of [the] liberal, homosexual agenda.”
  • advocated criminal prosecution of adulterers.
  • compared Planned Parenthood to the Nazis.
  • declared “I came to incite a riot! Man your battle stations! Ready your weapons! Lock and load!” at a “War on Christians” conference.
  • urged voters to “let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” at a political rally.

Brent Childer’s of Faith in America has written an excellent article in which he points out that if Americans are asked to consider what Obama heard coming from the pulpit, it should also “consider how many times the Religious Right, from its pulpits, has stated that America is damned because of policies aimed at protecting gay and lesbian Americans from hate crimes and discrimination? How long have Americans, former presidential contenders and presidents sat in front of that pulpit?” Read Brent’s article here.

He also questions “A nation where corporate greed holds sway over hard-working Americans? A nation that goes to war under false pretense? A nation in which political forces cater to prejudice and racial division? A nation in which gay and lesbian teenagers are being sacrificed on the alter of religion-based bigotry.”

Rev. Wright is no more hateful or divisive than the preachers that millions of Americans sit before (in the sanctuary or in front of the flat screen) and soak in every week. The white guys can say whatever they want and condemn whoever they choose, and nobody seems to care.

It is not the religious Wright that is the problem, it’s the religious right.

>Religious Wright

March 19, 2008

>There is certainly no way to predict how this presidential election cycle will turn. Each week, there is another attempt by some in the media and many in the Republican party to destroy to fabric that holds the Democratic party together.

While ignoring the same issues in the Repubican party.

However, John McCain will not be able to capitalize on this because he can’t keep his facts straight on the issue he is supposed to be strongest on: Iraq.

He said yesterday that is is “common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al-Qaida is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran; that’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

Trouble is, Iran is training insurgents that have nothing to do with Al-Qaida. Just like Bush, he doesn’t seem to know the difference between Al-Qaida and other extremists, or the difference between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Of course, Republocrat Joe Lieberman was there to prop the presumptive nominee up. Watch:

But that is not the issue of the day (especially since the media is letting it slide).

The issue is Reverend Jeremiah Wright and his anti American tirades and Obama’s response to the hoopla. The issue is also how the media jumps on this, because it is about a black man and race, yet igonores McCain’s association with right wing hucksters like John Hagee who calls the Catholic Church the “Great Whore”. We heard Wright’s “God damn America” a hundred or more times on TV over the last few days, how many times have you seen this person:

I am not a fan of the Catholic church or the pope, but I am just pointing out that this divisive message has not been shown across America.

McCain also has as his “spiritual advisor” Rod Parsley, who gave us these gems:

  • called hate crimes legislation a “deceptive ploy of [the] liberal, homosexual agenda.”
  • advocated criminal prosecution of adulterers.
  • compared Planned Parenthood to the Nazis.
  • declared “I came to incite a riot! Man your battle stations! Ready your weapons! Lock and load!” at a “War on Christians” conference.
  • urged voters to “let the Reformation begin! Shout it like you’re going to carry the blood-stained banner of the cross of Christ the length and breadth of the Buckeye State!” at a political rally.

Brent Childer’s of Faith in America has written an excellent article in which he points out that if Americans are asked to consider what Obama heard coming from the pulpit, it should also “consider how many times the Religious Right, from its pulpits, has stated that America is damned because of policies aimed at protecting gay and lesbian Americans from hate crimes and discrimination? How long have Americans, former presidential contenders and presidents sat in front of that pulpit?” Read Brent’s article here.

He also questions “A nation where corporate greed holds sway over hard-working Americans? A nation that goes to war under false pretense? A nation in which political forces cater to prejudice and racial division? A nation in which gay and lesbian teenagers are being sacrificed on the alter of religion-based bigotry.”

Rev. Wright is no more hateful or divisive than the preachers that millions of Americans sit before (in the sanctuary or in front of the flat screen) and soak in every week. The white guys can say whatever they want and condemn whoever they choose, and nobody seems to care.

It is not the religious Wright that is the problem, it’s the religious right.