The Spectacle Blog

Obama’s Pastor Problem

By on 3.13.08 | 1:05PM

He may have denounced and rejected Louis Farrakhan, but Barack Obama is really going to have to create some more daylight between himself and his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, or it's going to be a major problem for him.

At first, criticism of Wright centered on his praising the "greatness" of Farrakhan, but now more attention is being given to Wright's own sermons, which reveal virulent anti-Americanism.

For instance:

An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright's sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people," he said in a 2003 sermon. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

There is also video of a racially-tinged rant against Hillary Clinton.

It was easy enough for Obama to distance himself from Farrakhan's comments, because he never solicited or formally accepted Farrakhan's endorsement. But with Wright, Obama has a tougher task. The pastor married Obama and baptized his two daughters, and provided Obama with the title of his book, The Audacity of Hope, which more or less launched his presidential bid. Wright also serves on Obama's African American Religious Leadership Committee.

The hate-filled rhetoric that Wright spews is completely at odds with Obama's own promise to bring people together, and his comparison of Wright to "an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with" is not going to cut it. Now that the media are looking into Wright, I'm sure even worse statements will emerge. It's a fair bet that anybody who is fond of Farrakhan has said some pretty rotten stuff in his day.

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