The Reverend Jeremiah Wright was in Connecticut last night to discuss religion, race and American history. Wright is Barack Obama’s controversial former pastor.
Reverend Wright’s incendiary language and fierce criticism of American domestic and foreign policy sparked a firestorm earlier this year. Critics of Barack Obama tried to link the President-elect to sound bites lifted from his former pastor’s sermons..Sound bites like this one:
"And then waltz up to sing God Bless America..no no no..Not God Bless America. God Damn America. That’s in the Bible. You’re killing innocent people. That’s in the Bible. God damn America."
Obama responded with a speech on race, in which he tried to explain Wright’s comments from an historical and sociological perspective. The President-elect eventually severed his ties to Reverend Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago where he’d worshipped for 20 years. Reverend Wright spoke last night to nearly 1500 people at Kingdom Life Church in Milford, Connecticut. When asked about the political controversy, Wright blamed the media.
"They couldn’t care less about what I preached. Their intention was to use me as a weapon of mass destruction to destroy that man’s candidacy."
Wright warned that despite the personal achievements of many famous African Americans, the underlying problems connected to race in America… still exist.
"Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, their successes individually should not lull to sleep..to think that now its all over..everything is solved. There are some serious structural problems that keep people locked into poverty. There are many issues that have to be addressed."
Outside the church, a handful of protestors held up an American flag. Veteran William Bolton.
"If he wants to preach about hating America maybe he should fight on the front lines like everybody else. Then he’s got the right to say something. When you’re up there watching your brethren die for this flag right here, you ain’t got the right to say anything if you’ve never been there."
This note: In fact, Rev Wright left college to sign up for the marine corps...after his duty ended he transferred to the Navy and served three more years. Jeremiah Wright shared the stage with Reverend John Rankin as part of the Mars Hill Forum series. The event was sponsored by the Theological Education Institute of Hartford