Monday, April 28, 2008

It keeps going, and going, and going...

So all the talking heads tonight on cable news are still obsessing over Rev. Wright. He spoke this morning at the National Press Club and, much to Sen. Obama's chagrin I'm sure, he did a Q&A following. His prepared remarks were much like his speech to the NAACP, but I admit that during the Q&A he crossed a couple of lines. But I continue to think that the media focuses too much on the content and not the context.

I'm not going to break down every word from this morning. I'd just be repeating myself anyway, just like all the talking heads tonight (and tomorrow, and probably the next night too). But I want to call you attention to some of what's being written on the subject in the blogosphere. Specifically from the links to the right, comments from preachers, writers, and theologians. Opinions that, to me, carry more weights than the "experts" we find on cable news.

First over at the God's Politics blog, Diana Butler Bass, an author with a PhD in church history, relates to Rev. Wright's speech on Sunday. Then the On Faith community lists several blogs from authors, theologians, and preachers putting Rev. Wright's words in perspective. Finally, the Beliefnet God-o-Meter lists several comments questioning the political consequences of Rev. Wright's continued coverage in the press.

I don't have much else to add, but I do want to offer my $0.02 on what Sen. Obama could do to overcome the bad press this is continuing to provide. If I were Sen. Obama (which would also assume that I'm black) I would embrace Rev. Wright's characterization of the African American Church instead of hiding from it. I would adopt Rev. Wright's cadence. And I would begin to preach the social change that frames the context of the worst of Rev. Wright's rhetoric.

Isn't that what we want in the leader of the free world? If his church is condemning American international, racial, and economic policies (note "policies" not the country itself) wouldn't it make sense to project himself as the agent to bring about the change being called for in those sermons? If his hope is in Jesus, shouldn't he have the same ambition as President Reagan to let his little light shine, and desire America to be "a city set upon a hill" instead of the imperialistic hypocrites that much of the world presently views us as?

I don't see it happening. Not with the overriding fear of the ever-present Separation of Church and State. But it would be a refreshing change from what even Rev. Wright recognizes as just "playing politics."

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