Senator Obama Resigns His Membership at Trinity Church
UPDATE: Juan Williams reports to Fox News that many black people surrounding him having angry reactions to Obama resigning from Trinity.
UPDATE: Senator Obama has made his statement tonight saying he has resigned from Trinity. The Clinton campaign has refused comment. Likely, after today’s delegates meeting, not to torpedo any chance she may have to be veep. Pundits are spinning Obama as a radical allied with radical elements in our culture. Others are saying he is distancing himself at this late date, hoping media will not scrutinize his past associations. Some are saying Obama’s securing financial grants for Father Pfleger ought be investigated.
Also, until I can put hands on a transcript in full, I’ll not comment on content. But Fox news is hammering on a single phrase that Obama said in answer to a reporter’s leading question, “I’m not denouncing Trinity chuch… it’s not worth denouncing.” As soon as I can verify, I’ll post the actual here.
[Third Update]: what I found as a direct quote from Obama is this this: (see what appears to be his full formal statement here…by Tom Raum in Aberdeen, South Dakota.
“I’m not denouncing the church and I’m not interested in people who want me to denounce the church,” he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and “the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them.”
If Obama said more in answer to a reporter’s question, I have not found that yet.
My two cents worth at this point is Obama has to decide whether to focus on endlessly explaining Trinity Church and his reasons for leaving in the coming days, and stop trying to teach anyone about the many variations to be found in African America churches and what the different groups focus on…
or to focus himself on his considerable vision of resilience and belief in and for others. Speaking about his plans for foreign relations and the specifics of withdrawal from the dual-wars, and what he plans to do to support small banks with an overage of bad loans… would be a plus.
From NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones and NBC’s Mark Hudspeth
ABERDEEN, SD — Barack Obama resigned his membership at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, campaign communications director Robert Gibbs confirmed this afternoon.
The resignation came just more than a month after Obama denounced former Trinity pastor and friend the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and days after another long-time Obama associate, the Rev. Michael Pfleger, had delivered a sermon at the church ridiculing Hillary Clinton. Both men’s comments were captured on video.
You can read too the satire by DrewM at Ace of Spades HQ
There are several ways to see this: depending on whether one is ‘fur or agin’ the candidate Obama, including those who consider the entire situation over-hyped or not their concern.
Myself, I consider the meat of the matters underlying these sermons to be under-investigated and under-reported across the board. The roots of what causes the sermons to pour from this particular aperture have been given slap-daash treatment. But, that’s a deeper, longer story for another time.
Most of all, watching not only Reverend Wright’s sermon clips from Trinity, as well as clips from The National Press Club… and watching the clips of Father Pfleger…. as I mentioned yesterday in my post about Father Pfleger… the people to watch on the clips are the parishioners; their enthusiasm for the words and concepts being performed. It is not overstated to say ‘jubilant enthusiasm.’
Victimology different Than Christian Message which is one of Wholeness
Not saying one group is like another… Amongst my ethnic group, Latinos, I know that memory of past harms against us are important to remember, and to forgive but not forget… in order to move forward, find our places in the world we belong to, make our places in the world, helping build bridges with others, creating a new way never before seen.
Are there Latinos who ascribe to a victimology re the past, the far past included? Yes. But, just my two cent’s worth, to gouge the old generational wounds open over and over in the name of spirit, yet trying to fill the soul with enough jing to go forth in the coming week… righteousness is not the same as rage, as anger, as rant. Righteousness means to have a sense of proportion, to stand for that. Righteousness does not mean right of alienation. Self alienation, cultural alienation, or otherwise.
The word Righteous, as Father Pfleger knows, is related to the Latin word for right proportion, middle way, temperamentum, which means a holy moderation… not a secular or popular or common kind.
Speaking as a Catholic, Father Pfleger also, for all the other and additional good he does in the world, and from what I read about him, his works are considerable… still he knows that righteousness is at least 50% introspicere, meaning self-examination. To speak to people of ills without also asking to self-inquire about how one limits oneself despite chronic obstacles ‘out there,’ is to heal/ help the soul only halfway. It makes no sense to restore one side of the greater psyche and leave the other side crippled.
Some of the sermons we’ve seen at Trinity appear to be old-fashioned theatre, in my opinion, tragi-comedy, theatre-noir… and there is a long tradition in the churches of Passion Plays. But also amongst the followers of Christ, the emphasis is not on being crucified (mortificatio), no matter how many bloody crosses we’re given to carry.
How Christ or how we have been crucified is only 1/3 of the soul’s pathway through. The other two are Christ’s three days of descent into the dark to see, inquire and know (introspicere), and then, the over-riding emphasis is on Christ being Risen from the dead again…. (revivere, is one way to say it, to rise up as whole, no matter who says otherwise, how the culture blathers, how the slings and arrows continue to fly.) The resurrection is the point, not the flogging…
Senator Obama said it well when he called such sermons “backward looking rhetoric.”
For many people religiosity is intricately tied to their good hopes for the entire world at large as well as for themselves and their loved ones… and Senator Obama by resigning from Trinity may have alienated some part of the congregation and/or those resonant with Trinity’s emphasis on some of the content of preaching. But too, there’s a long tradition amongst Christians and amongst minority churches to reconcile as well. Personally in soul, if not politically in substance.
Whether Obama becomes President or not, he has given three words to a little understood force of human nature that too often leaves self-study and rising fully back into life, out of the equation. Some say late, some say better late than never, but Obama has drawn a line. A line I see underlined by his words “backward looking rhetoric.”
It’s another way of saying the time of emphasizing the victimology of crucifixion only, is over.
Over at Poligazette: Michael van der Galien weighs in with his opinion in “Obama Resigns from Trinity Church”
“20 years too late, and at a too convenient / important time to be taken seriously. What has been said in recent days and weeks at that Church isn’t worse than the things that were said at this place for the last 20 years. Obama resigns from it, not because he objects to the strong anti-white, even racist, anti-semitic, sentiments expressed there, he resigns from Trinity because he realizes that the Church is hurting his chances of winning in November…”
Also, read John McCormick and Manya A. Brachear at The Swamp Blog at the Chicago Trib: Obama Leaving His Church
“Dwight Hopkins, a theology professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School, who joined Trinity 12 years ago, expressed shock and regret about the senator’s decision.
“I thought he would stay because of the good works of the church,” Hopkins said, noting Obama’s frequent affirmations about the Trinity community. “He had a baptism and marriage connection. I guess the Pfleger thing took it over the top. Maybe Sen. Obama thought the church should not have provided that platform.”
Hopkins predicted the congregation would initially react to the news with confusion and anger. But he pointed out that Oprah Winfrey’s departure did not have lasting impact on members and predicted that Obama’s resignation would not either.
“They didn’t come there because of Obama,” Hopkins said. “They came there because of the House that Wright that built…
Here too, from Monroe Anderson “Wright-out or Wimp Out?”