Monday, May 12, 2008

Defending Jeremiah Wright

The media's obsession with Jeremiah Wright has unfairly torn down a good man, and I don't mean Barack Obama.

My latest Dartmouth Free Press article (and my first since last July) defends Rev. Wright, best known as Obama's former pastor. The article, "Wright was Right: The Words of Obama's Pastor," looks at Wright's military service, outreach ministries, and social justice accomplishments, and attempts to debunk some of his critics.

"Had the media acted responsibly, this could have been the perfect opportunity for whites to learn more about our black brothers and sisters, to better understand their community as well as a compelling theology. But no, the press instead reduces, simplifies, and mocks, creating a caricature where a man once stood."

I initially included a quick defense of liberation theology, but that's not quite the same thing as black liberation theology, so I cut it for space constraints. I did look at five of Wright's most controversial quotes (including "God damn America") and explain why each one is not as bad as the media made it out to be, and in some cases, even true. One such quote was

"The Western arrogance of feeling that it has everything to teach others and nothing to learn from them is not just. A true revolution of values will lay hands on the world order and say of war: ‘This way of settling differences is not just.’ This business… of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

Oh, wait, I'm sorry - that's not a Jeremiah Wright quote. It's a Martin Luther King quote. You know, the fellow who died just after writing a sermon called "Why America May Go To Hell"? What an unpatriotic twit he must have been!

I hope you have time to thumb through my article, but if not, at least read these Candorville strips from last week. (Sorry they're so small; click to enlarge.)

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