Obama’s Church Addresses Controversy
CHICAGO (AP) – The new pastor of Barack Obama’s Chicago church said during Easter Sunday services that recent national scrutiny of the church is a test that will only make the congregation stronger.
“Any time you go through a crucifixion experience … eventually they have to lift you up,” said the Rev. Otis Moss III, who did not shy away from the controversy surrounding his predecessor at Trinity United Church of Christ, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr.
Wright retired from Trinity’s pulpit last month but retains the title of senior pastor. Video from some of his more inflammatory sermons has surfaced online and on television in recent weeks.
Moss said Sunday that Wright’s critics and the news media “are just lifting us up to give us the opportunity to speak love to this situation.”
Obama, a Democratic presidential candidate, has responded to the flap by condemning Wright’s statements but expressing admiration and support for the pastor who officiated at his wedding, baptized his two daughters and inspired the title of his best-selling book, “The Audacity of Hope.”
In a speech last week that took the country’s racial divide head-on, Obama – the son of a white woman from Kansas and a Kenyan father – said black anger persists over injustice in America, and whites shouldn’t be surprised about the way it’s expressed in sermons.
“The fact that so many people are surprised to hear that anger in some of Reverend Wright’s sermons simply reminds us of the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning,” Obama said.
Obama did not attend the Easter Sunday service.
Trinity describes itself as “Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian,” a declaration some consider separatist and even racist. In recent days, a CBS News poll indicated most voters have heard at least something about Wright’s comments.
Trinity United Church of Christ
We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain “true to our native land,” the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.
The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:
- A congregation committed to ADORATION.
- A congregation preaching SALVATION.
- A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
- A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
- A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
- A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
- A congregation committed to the HISTORICAL EDUCATION OF AFRICAN PEOPLE IN DIASPORA.
- A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
- A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
- A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY.
On the Net:
Trinity United Church of Christ: http://www.tucc.org
Trinity on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/trinitychgo
Trinity’s blog: http://truthabouttrinity.blogspot.com
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