The Spectacle Blog

UCC Split Over Response to Wright Anti-Semitism?

By on 6.16.09 | 12:54PM

The United Church of Christ's Blogger-in-Chief did a good thing the other day, and it should be noted. Upon hearing the news that UCC minister Jeremiah Wright, the ex-pastor of President Obama, had blamed "them Jews" in the White House for his inability to speak with the man he calls "a son" to him, Currie immediately posted this:

These remarks today from Rev. Wright are despicable and anti-Semitic. I would sincerely hope that the national officers of the United Church of Christ will condemn Rev. Wright's words in the strongest possible language.…I can say safely that Rev. Wright's words do not reflect the feelings of the people of the United Church of Christ.

Rev. Currie is correct. The words of Jeremiah Wright, and the quite obvious gut-level sentiments behind those words, most assuredly do not represent the UCC grassroots. As someone who is a lifelong member of the faith descended from the Pilgrims, as well as a local and Penn Central Conference Board member, I can say emphatically that Currie is correct.

The problem here is that this is precisely the kind of thing that should have come from the denomination president, the Rev. John Thomas. Instead, the UCC website seems only to have a statement of Thomas thoughts issued after Wright's words that expresses mush like this:

"The General Synod of the United Church of Christ has consistently called on its members to speak and act in ways that honor God's enduring covenant with the Jewish people..." Etc, etc. etc. Yada, yada, yada. Moral courage this is not.

There is nary a mention of Wright by Thomas, much less the explicit condemnation Currie has put forward. Currie even felt compelled to say that his views "do not reflect any position taken by the national offices of the United Church of Christ."

That is correct. And shameful. Apparently the "drum major for justice" at the top of the UCC decided to muffle the drum. Kudos to Currie for doing the right thing on Wright.

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