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Local Preachers Speak About Wright

Presidential politics and the story of Jesus shared the spotlight in at least some African American churches on this Easter weekend in the Maryland suburbs, as preachers addressed the controversy involving remarks made by Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, the Reb. Jeremiah Wright.

During Good Friday services at the First Baptist Church of Highland Park in Landover, one minister joked about the widely seen videos of Wright as he preached about Jesus' final words on the cross. (For a video look at Good Friday services at

"I hope this isn't on YouTube," said the Rev. Anthony G. Maclin, pastor of the Sanctuary at Kingdom Square in Landover.

"We have always been opinionated," Maclin said following the service. "It is our responsibility on behalf of God, especially during this time. It has not been officially declared but we know that in our neighborhoods, people are struggling, we have to give people hope."

The Rev. Henry P. Davis, pastor of the Landover church, said he also doesn't plan to change his own style.

"It important for us to hear the good news about Jesus, especially in terms of all of the things that you are hearing about the black church experience today," Davis said. "There was no bitterness, just us lifting up Christ. We are looking forward to positive days in America.

"What I would say to Dr. Wright is to encourage him to continue to be prophetic. You can't take a snippet of a message and get the total picture," Davis said. "Jeremiah has been one to address very challenging issues that all of America needs to look at whether we want to hear it or not. We can't ignore that. What has happened in the past few weeks is essential because there is no way that an African American like Barack Obama and run for President and there not be a discussion around race."

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Anne Bartlett  |  March 24, 2008; 12:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

Be that as it may, Pastor Wright has given un-American racist sermons many times. To defend him is to absolutely incredible to me - the man is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Why can't these people get their heads on straight?

Posted by: Liz | March 24, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

One of the Reverend's more "controversial" statements follows...

-"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strikes law and then wants us to sing, 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible, for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."

Honestly, I see absolutely nothing wrong with Wright's message...
His delivery may be a little strong, but anybody familiar with most Black preachers already knows that's their oratory style.

And content wise, Wright is dead on...
America has been and to a certain extent still is a breeding ground for a cesspool wherein racism, sexism, and classism, run rampant. That can not be denied.

The disparities in income between races and sexes is more than proof of the lingering effects of a society whose founding precepts demanded better.

But you know what?
People don't like to hear that...

People don't like to hear that maybe, just mayyyybeeee...there's a reason why much of the world hates us. Maybe, just mayyyybeeee...our actions, both abroad and domestic, have rendered us as a class of individuals who talk a big game (the declaration of independence and such...) but who in many instances have failed to live up to its promise.

Am I saying that America "deserved" 9/11?
No...
I mourn the deaths of those thousands along with everyone else...
Just as Barack Obama and Rev. Wright do.

But...I am saying, as are many others in this country, that is past due time for America to look at its own tattered history and realize that for far too long we as American citizens have thought that we are the supreme leaders of the universe.

One of the biggest problems I have about this whole fiasco is that the media has taken little buzzwords like "God damn America" and used them to describe Wright...without realizing that when taken in context, the Reverend's statements are some of the most patriotic things out there.

But of course, the proverbial other side won't see it that way...

As Mark Twain said..."The nation is divided, half patriots and half traitors, and no man can tell which from which."

I hope that we eventually get over this division and move towards a "more perfect union," as Obama so eloquently put it.

Posted by: Lol at | March 24, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

In light of fairness, how come no one has pointed out that that the words of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others have been just as divisive and inflaming to Democratic sensibilites? And have had to be endured longer on American consciences Unlike the Rev Wright, those opposing views have been espoused on their own networks over the last three decades. He has not built a political agenda
ie., presidential candidacies, Moral Majority- etc) around this message nor has he leveraged the country's future, and promoted gentle subterfuge and a psuedo- theocracy for the last half of the 20th century and the first 8 of this one
Rev Wright has preached in the tradition of Sojourner Truth, Martin L. King, Ralph Abernathy, Dorothy Height, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. I dare include the words of Ben Chavis, Farrakhan and Malcom X. These essential messages and messengers have pricked the conscieountess of America to do right! As an African American I cannot expect to gain freedom from a dominant thought/ culture who does not understand that there are still challenges, especially if that dominant thought does not acknowledge them. In light of Senator Obama's campaign, I find it interesting, that we have to talk about his pastoral association, as opposed to the issues, or the historicity of his campaign, or even his policies. No mention is made of the fact that the sermons in question are years old, nor has anyone talked about how the efforts of Wright have transformed communities around his church and the country. What I do know for sure is that you have given Wright more preaching material.

Posted by: K | March 25, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

In light of fairness, how come no one has pointed out that that the words of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others have been just as divisive and inflaming to Democratic sensibilites? And have had to be endured longer on American consciences Unlike the Rev Wright, those opposing views have been espoused on their own networks over the last three decades. He has not built a political agenda
ie., presidential candidacies, Moral Majority- etc) around this message nor has he leveraged the country's future, and promoted gentle subterfuge and a psuedo- theocracy for the last half of the 20th century and the first 8 of this one
Rev Wright has preached in the tradition of Sojourner Truth, Martin L. King, Ralph Abernathy, Dorothy Height, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton. I dare include the words of Ben Chavis, Farrakhan and Malcom X. These essential messages and messengers have pricked the conscieountess of America to do right! As an African American I cannot expect to gain freedom from a dominant thought/ culture who does not understand that there are still challenges, especially if that dominant thought does not acknowledge them. In light of Senator Obama's campaign, I find it interesting, that we have to talk about his pastoral association, as opposed to the issues, or the historicity of his campaign, or even his policies. No mention is made of the fact that the sermons in question are years old, nor has anyone talked about how the efforts of Wright have transformed communities around his church and the country. What I do know for sure is that you have given Wright more preaching material.

Posted by: K | March 25, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Preach it like you feel it!!!!

Posted by: Largo | March 27, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Preach it like you feel it!!!!

Posted by: Largo | March 27, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Preach it like you feel it!!!!

Posted by: Largo | March 27, 2008 1:20 AM | Report abuse

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