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Chicago Trib: Over 36 years, J Wright built up a congregation of 8,500 from a mere 87 in 1972

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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:10 PM
Original message
Chicago Trib: Over 36 years, J Wright built up a congregation of 8,500 from a mere 87 in 1972
a mere 87 in 1972. He established over 80 ministries to meet community needs. And he picked a successor and retired voluntarily before 2007, before his friend Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President.

From http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/custom/religion/chi-... :

"REV. JEREMIAH A. WRIGHT, JR.: Pastor inspires Obama's 'audacity'

By Manya A. Brachear, Tribune religion reporter; January 21, 2007

Wright, 65, is a straight-talking pragmatist who arrived in Chicago as an outsider and became an institution. He has built a congregation of 8,500, including the likes of Oprah Winfrey and hip-hop artist Common, by offering an alternative to socially conservative black churches that are, Wright believes, too closely tied to Chicago's political dynasties. ...

Wright was hired by Trinity United {in 1972) when he could find no Baptist church to take him. The congregation on 95th Street, then numbering just 87, had recently adopted the motto "Unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian." They did not mind his fiery red Afro and black power agenda. Wright has continued on an independent path ever since, often questioning the common sense of Scripture, objecting to mandatory prayer in schools and clashing with clergy who preach prosperity theology, a popular notion among black pastors that God will bestow wealth and success on believers. In the process, he built a spiritual empire. The modest brown brick building that housed the church in the 1970s was converted into a day-care center when Trinity opened its new sanctuary in 1995 ... Members run more than 80 ministries....

Obama has said he is particularly inspired by Wright's ability to draw followers from all walks of life--celebrities and welfare recipients, PhDs and GEDs. It is a gift the senator aspires to emulate. Wright again bucked convention by announcing plans to retire in May 2008 and tapping Rev. Otis Moss III as his successor. Many black pastors do not surrender their pulpit even when they become too feeble to serve, said Rev. Dwight Hopkins, a professor at the University of Chicago Divinity School who met Wright in the 1980s. Wright's willingness to "surrender leadership" demonstrates a humility that sets him apart, Hopkins said. "The black church is probably the only space in America where black men can have unquestioned authority," he said. "It's hard to give that up for a lot of black male pastors.""
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
1. Fine. But he still says some crazy-ass things. nt
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Are you having any second thoughts about being so quick to jump onto Sean Hannity's train?
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #3
10. I've never heard him or seen his show. Just the facts 'm'am'. nt
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NJSecularist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:23 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Those are distortions and cherrypicking of the facts
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. It AMAZES me how quick many Democrats are to believe ANYTHING HORRIBLE said about
someone they don't know anything about. I also find it incredible how poorly the mainstream media have researched the man in question. Have you seen on TV this week anything remotely like the 14-month-old profile in the OP? How could Jeremiah Wright have lasted 36 years and increased his congregation by 9700 peercent if the extreme moments cherry-picked from hsi sermons by Sean Hannity were representative?

Evidently, many lazy reporters and many on this board must place implicit trust in Fox "News" to be "fair and balanced". I do not. I try to find out for myself whether what most people are saying makes sense. IMO what most people are saying about Jeremiah Wright does not make much sense.

What do YOU think?
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flyarm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. all we have to do is listen to him..have you heard the tapes?
No one has to listen to anyone but the man himself..hell he sold his own tapes..

no one has to listen to anyone..the man has enough hate coming out of his own mouth and in his own words.

Osama has a big following as well..seems hate sells pretty well...among some people.



the line i feel is personally appalling..is this one..

OBAMAS PASTOR: 9/11 IS A WAKE-UP CALL FOR WHITE AMERICA

and calling those who died on 9/11 as being ..the chickens have come home to roost..

well Malcom X said that first..and it was not acceptedwhen he said it..so why is it accepted about the deaths of my co-workers?????????

no one has to plant anything in this mans mouth..he says it very proudly and very loudly!


take a listen..see i don't have to say anything horrible about this man..he is saying it all himself!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=617eK2XIaLk&eurl=http://...


Watch throughout. Among the never-seen-before videos, included in the clips above, are Wrights comments about Israel. Fox News aired those new videos on Friday, March 14, 2008. Now, heres yestedays interview of Barack Obama by Fox News reporter Major Garrett, who is assigned to the Obama campaign:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT-z9q6E_3k&eurl=http://...

BELOW: The video of Jeremiah Wrights ONLY interview on a U.S. network, in 2007 on Hannity & Colmes on Fox News. (On March 14 yesterday Hannity & Colmes replayed this 2007 interview in full.)

Read Obamas Church: Cauldron of Division. A snippet:

continues to attend a controversial Chicago church whose pastor routinely refers to white arrogance and the United States of White America.

In fact, Obama was in attendance at the church when these statements were made on July 22.


<>

A visit to Wrights Trinity United is anything but Oprah-style friendly.

As I approached the entrance of the church before a recent Sunday service, a large young man in an expensive suit stepped out to block the doorway.

What are you doing here? he asked.

I came to hear Dr. Wright, I replied.

After an uncomfortable pause, the gentleman stepped aside.

On this particular July Sabbath morning, only a handful of white men aside from a few members of Obamas Secret Service detail were present among a congregation of approximately 2,500 people.

The floral arrangements were extravagant. Wright, his associate pastors, choir members, and many of the gentlemen in the congregation were attired in traditional African dashiki robes. African drums accompanied the organist. Read the rest of Obamas Church: Cauldron of Division.

HERE is the 2007 interview of Jeremiah Wright the only interview of Wright on any network posted in March 2007 at YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNTGRL0OJWQ&eurl=http://...

Here is the earlier interview of Erik Rush that angered Rev. Wright:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZXeNk7H3u4&eurl=http://...



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaNBzU6iryo&eurl=http://...






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krawhitham Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. Most of what he said was true
And this is coming from a white guy in Ohio
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #6
16. "you are fighting the wrong enemy"
He says this when talking about black on black crime.

What would the remedy be for this mistake?

Religion is the iron stove in the wooden building of civilization, and this one's red-hot.
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. That's all bottom-feeder Hannity wants you know about the Pastor.
Believe it or not, he has delivered a few non-confrontational...even inspirational...sermons over the years.

Check out "Audacity to Hope," the title of which inspired Obama's book --->

PART 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFZROa0rlMU

PART 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_LQKlLSBo&feature=user
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. I have not seen anything but what Sean Hannity cherry-picked and put "out there"
But I surmise that these few minutes CANNOT be representative of what Wright's successor said were 3500 HOURS of sermons over 36 years.

As I understand it, there IS a market for Wright's sermons on audio tape and DVD, because he is regarded as one of the most inspiring sermonizers of his generation. Seminary students buy Wright's tapes to LEARN how to preach.

So I'm level-headed enough to doubt that what Sean Hannity cherry-picked is anything near representative of what Wright's 8,500 congregants (including Obama) were likely to hear any given Sunday.

Don't you have the least bit of doubt that you are not being "played" by Sean Hannity and company? IMO, without realizing it, you well may have become part of Sheriff Barney Fife's "posse".
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ekwhite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
14. Why are you posting videos from Faux News?
Hannity and Colmes, no less. They cherry picked speeches and ran the same speeches over and over. This is apparently all they could get out of 20 years of speeches. Guess what? He wasn't saying anything that Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal haven't said.
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PurityOfEssence Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-16-08 12:53 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Probably the same reason that Alan Cranston published Mein Kampf in English out of his own pocket
Edited on Sun Mar-16-08 12:53 AM by PurityOfEssence
It's true: long before he was a Senator from California, Cranston, a young journalist, was aghast when the official English translation of Mein Kampf came out without some of the more ugly antisemitism in it, so he published a direct translation himself. Hitler's lawyers successfully sued him and sales were halted. Cranston wanted the world to see the truth. This poster wanted us to see the truth. The truth is this: whatever one does or says in public can be used against one or one's associates.

It's one thing to dislike Fox News, but it's a bit harder to quibble with clips of the Good Reverend himself: those are his words, his sweeping gestures, his working of the room and whipping up the fervor. Those images are deadly. Some of those words are scary and violent. "God Damn America" is sort of hard to explain away, even if it's only said once, which it wasn't.

It's a great service to have these brought out now. Perhaps Obama can overcome this dangerous association, but he'd better get at it. This will be a serious test of his ability at damage control, and that's good: the president needs to have the chops for the gig.

As for using reactionary sources, that's always questionable, but only a fool doesn't at least read and watch them from time to time. The phrase that jumps to the mind here is "know the enemy."

(edited for grammar...)
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krawhitham Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
5. 80 ministries
so it is very possible Obama did not see Wright's more charged sermons, he could have been in any one of 79 churches where Wright was not on any given Sunday

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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. The Trib quote in the OP says, "MEMBERS RUN more than 80 ministries..."
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. The ministries...
are outreach and support services. THAT is what we should focus on when we "judge" Pastor Wright. His sermons are one thing...it's what he's done for the poor that is so outstanding.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 10:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. here are the ministries in question
http://www.ucc.org/news/chicagos-trinity-ucc-is.html

Located in the heart of Chicago's impoverished Southside, Trinity UCC's vast array of ministries include career development and college placement, tutorial and computer services, health care and support groups, domestic violence programs, pastoral care and counseling, bereavement services, drug and alcohol recovery, prison ministry, financial counseling and credit union, housing and economic development, dozens of choral, instrumental and dance groups, and diverse programming for all ages, including youth and senior citizens.
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ProgressiveEconomist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-15-08 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Thanks for the link. For those who missed them, you had some other good ones at URL
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... , for those who might have missed them.

IMO, Sean Hannity picked the wrong minister to Swiftboat, and "truth will out" in fairly short order. Fellow clergy will see to that, if they value their own hides and remember their Reinhold Niebuhr (sp?)
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