In trying to explain how he could remain a member of his church given Jeremiah Wright’s hate-filled sermons, Obama explained to Major Garrett:
But most of the time, when I’m in church, he’s talking about Jesus, God, faith, values, caring for the poor, those — family, those were the messages that I was hearing.
And so you know, I think that the statements that have been strung together are compiled out of hundred of sermons that he delivered over the course of his lifetime. But, obviously, they are ones that are, from my perspective, completely unacceptable and inexcusable.
But just a few months ago, Obama was quoted in a speech about faith saying:
“But somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together,” Mr. Obama said. “Faith started being used to drive us apart. Faith got hijacked.”
He attributed this partly to “the so-called leaders of the Christian right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us.”
But the controversial statements from prominent Christian conservative pastors that gain so much media attention are no doubt cherry-picked out of sermons delivered by the pastors over long careers, while most of their sermons focus on “Jesus, God, faith, values,” etc. Is Obama proposing a new standard by which we judge religious leaders by their whole body of work rather than a few selected inflammatory statements? If so, he owes an apology to “the so-called leaders of the Christian right.”
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