In a fiery sermon taped and available on DVD, Barack Obama’s longtime pastor and spiritual adviser can be seen and heard saying three times: “God damn America.” (Well, most people won't notice that his public rant actually broke 3 laws: Illinios 1983 Code 12-14 Sec 50-67, Sec 50-69 and 720 ILCS 5/26-1. Just like most people won't mind that is calls for support for Obama from the pulpit violate US tax code.)
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., in his taped sermons, also questioned America’s role in the spread of the AIDS virus and suggested that the United States bore some responsibility for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Confronting the content of some of Wright’s sermons, parts of which have been aired this week on FOX News, the Obama campaign is continuing to distance itself from the pastor’s rhetoric. But it is stopping short of a full repudiation.
Wright’s supporters say his Afro-centric sermons accurately portray black America, and they contend his sermons are widely studied by theologians. But critics are now calling attention to some of his words from the pulpit.
The pastor delivered his final sermon last month and retired as leader of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Obama has attended the church for 20 years and calls Wright his spiritual adviser.
Click here to visit the Trinity United Church of Christ’s Web site.
In a fiery sermon in April 2003, Wright said: “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes three-strike laws and wants them to sing God Bless America.
“No! No No!
“God damn America … for killing innocent people.
“God damn America for threatening citizens as less than humans.
“God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and supreme.”
In DVD copies of his sermons available for purchase, Wright can also be seen questioning America’s role in the spreading of the HIV virus that leads to AIDS. In another speech, made in the days after 9/11, he suggested that American foreign policy invited the terror attacks.
“We bombed Hiroshima. We bombed Nagasaki. And we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye,” Wright said.
“We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because of stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own backyard. America is chickens coming home to roost.”
The pastor also said: “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”
Late Thursday, the Obama campaign said it has distanced itself from certain comments made by the pastor. But it did not fully repudiate Wright himself — as some critics have called for.
“Senator Obama has said before that he profoundly disagrees with some of the statements and positions of Reverend Wright, who has preached his last sermon as pastor at the church,” Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said. “Senator Obama deplores divisive statements whether they come from his supporters, the supporters of his opponent, talk radio, or anywhere else.” (Bullshit... only if the statement is made against Obama.)
Obama’s longtime relationship with Wright is continuing to spark controversy.
“This is not just someone that Barack Obama has a casual relationship with,” said Tom Bevan, executive editor of RealClearPolitics.com. He noted that Wright married Barack and Michelle Obama, and Wright’s words were the inspiration for the title of Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope.”
“Barack Obama has not out and out distanced himself from all of these comments … ,” said Patricia Murphy, editor of CitizenJanePolitics.com. “It’s unclear if he rejects all of these statements. I would assume that he does, but I think he is going to be pushed where he needs to come out and fully explain his relationship with his pastor.”
Some of Wright’s statements have raised eyebrows at a time the Internal Revenue Service is scrutinizing tax-exempt religious organizations for alleged violations of rules barring them from participating in political campaigns.
Prior to his retirement last month, Wright delivered commentary from the pulpit in which he praised Obama, as well as remarks focusing on the racial divide between Obama and Clinton.
“There is a man here who can take this country in a new direction,” Wright said during his Jan. 13 sermon.
During a Christmas sermon, Wright tried to compare Obama’s upbringing to Jesus at the hands of the Romans.
“Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright said. “Hillary would never know that.
“Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had a people defined as a non-person.”
In a Jan. 13 sermon, Wright said:
“Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain’t! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty.”
So far the McCain and the Clinton campaigns has been shamefully quiet over Wright’s comments.