WISCONSINREPORT.COM (04/28/08) - The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows John McCain and Barack Obama once again tied, with each attracting 46 percent of the vote. However, some people who have witnessed what the last two days have brought into the political process by Reverand Jeremiah Wright of Chicago, wonder if Obama can weather the storm long enough to run against McCain. Wright tried to explain where he was coming from when he spoke before a large group Sunday, and the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Monday morning.
Reverand Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., senior pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, discussed the role of faith in the public square in a presentation entitled “The African American Religious Experience; Theology & Practice” at the National Press Club breakfast.
Wright rose to national prominence rapidly, recently, as Sen. Barack Obama’s pastor after segments of his sermons were aired in the context of the 2008 presidential campaign. Many of his comments, made during video recorded sermons that ended up on the internet, have drawn many a critique that have not been kindly toward Barack Obama, by association.
During the presentation in front of the Press Club, Reverand Wright was more subdued than he was during a more electrifying performance before the larger group the evening before. Even so, some are still looking on the Press Club speech, and Q and A session afterwards, also, as a "performance".
Reverand Wright was animated to a smaller degree, yet very elequent, in his explanation of a history that, in his opinion, causes sermons in "black" churches to be different than those in "white" churches.
The "different" followed along with his explanation that some people feel that other points of view which don't follow there own, are devient, which he says is not so. Different is just that, "different", which is not necessarily a bad thing, just a different way of looking at situations and issues.
During the Question and Answer session following Rev. Wright’s speech, he fielded questions about his faith, the idea of racial reconciliation and politics.
A packed house of press, church groups and the public listened attentively, with some audience members expressing their support for Rev. Wright with words of encouragement during his speech at the National Press Club breakfast.
Reverand Wright has now spent several days being in the limelight again, and Obama supporters are concerned that the attention is being taken away from their candidate. They are concerned that the possible good intentions of Reverand Wright, will continue to confuse people about voting for Barack Obama during the close Democratic Presidential Primary that still has not been decided.
Bill Moyers had a conversation with Reverand Wright on Public Television about the controversy surrounding Wright's word choices during the sermon "snippets" that have caused the uproar since they hit the internet. Much of Wright's explanations in answer to Moyers questions was enlightening.
Even though Reverand Wright has been attributed by his critics with such things as "possibly not being a patriot", "a black militant-like figure", etc., most of his attempts at placing himself, his sermons, and the criticism he and those comments have received, in perspective, did just that.
These same critics comments on television, radio, and, in print, have likely, caused many an eyebrow to raise when concidering who to vote for in the Democratic Presidential Primary. Obama supporters are worried that the, possibly, unjust, and unkindly, criticisms, may have lost some votes for Obama in the Pennsylvania primary, and might do so in upcoming North Carolina and Indiana contests.
Reverand Wright pointed out that Barack Obama is a politician who wants to be the next President of the United States. While, he, Reverand Wright, serves the Lord. Obama sees what needs to be done to lead the country to a better place, politically, while Wright sees things through the eyes of someone who is a minister of God's Word.
According to his comments, Wright ministers to a congregation that, largely, has a "different" perspective, because of the combined "history" that has treated their ancestors, and, in some cases, themselves, "differently". Because of his personal experiences, and the "history" of his people, he too, sees things "differently" and, that, sometimes causes him to deliver sermons that may seem "devient" to some, but, they are just, "different".
All in all, Reverand Wright seems to have kept his sense of humor. He quipped at one point that he has no political aspirations, but, he might consider the job of Vice President. It was likely intended to be only a joke. But, in the minds of some political pundits, the possibility, and the prospect, may be reason for them to add more fuel to the fire.