May 31, 2008

Breaking: Obama Quits Trinity United Church of Christ (UPDATE: But Is ‘Not Denouncing’)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:15 pm

Note: For the purposes of this post, I saved certain of the Associated Press’s reports on this event at my web host. This was done for fair use and discussion purposes.


11:59 p.m. — The takeaway (11:56 PM AP report saved to host; transcript of Obama opening statement is here; transcript of the Q&A part of Obama’s news conference is here):

“I’m not denouncing the church and I’m not interested in people who want me to denounce the church,” he said, adding that the new pastor at Trinity and “the church have been suffering from the attention my campaign has focused on them.”

Translation: “I’m not denouncing Black Liberation theology or the doctrines of America being all about ‘white supremacy‘ taught at TUCC (“We [in the USA] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God.”), I’m just leaving it.”

He has learned nothing, and nothing has changed.

Here’s another howler:

“This was a pretty personal decision and I was not trying to make political theater out of it,” he added.

Oh, stop it. Everything about this matter has been political theater because he has shifted positions so many times, feigned ignorance when there is no conceivable plausible deniability, and tried to have it both ways since the controversy broke open nationally way back in March — and he STILL wants it both ways. He wants credit for leaving, but doesn’t want to denounce TUCC’s radicalism. Sorry, pal — no sale.

This is reflective of the mindset we would see an Obama Administration. It’s totally unacceptable, and shows, once again, that he is objectively unfit to hold public office, let alone the presidency.


(Begin original post)

Just off the wires (backup link at host):

Obama quits Chicago church after long controversy


Barack Obama has resigned his 20 year membership in the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in the aftermath of inflammatory remarks by his longtime pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and more recent fiery remarks at the church by another minister.

Obama campaign communications director Robert Gibbs said Obama had submitted a letter of resignation to the church and would discuss his decision in a session with reporters later Saturday.

It happened “over the last few days,” Gibbs said.

….. Obama has condemned comments by both Wright and Pfleger, but the controversy has persisted.

For months, Obama has been hamstrung by the rhetoric of Wright, whose sermons blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks and calls of “God damn America” for its racism became fixtures on the Internet and cable news networks.

Here is the interesting part: No mention of Michelle. (but see 11:59 p.m. item that now opens this post)

Read the whole thing. In case the original report changes, I have the report by the AP’s Tom Raum as of 6:51 PM EDT save at my host. The AP photo is by Nam Y Huh.


UPDATE: Fox News is concentrating on the “Why now?” angle and the timing in the context of the Dems’ review of Florida and Michigan. Great point.

UPDATE 2: These four paragraphs added in the 7:07 PM update (as saved to host) by AP’s Raum –

Republican John McCain also has had his woes with religious leaders.

Earlier this month, McCain rejected endorsements from two influential but controversial televangelists, saying there is no place for their incendiary criticisms of other faiths.

McCain spurned the months-old endorsement of Texas preacher John Hagee after an audio recording surfaced in which the preacher said God sent Adolf Hitler to help Jews reach the promised land. McCain called the comment “crazy and unacceptable.”

He later repudiated the support of Rod Parsley, an Ohio preacher who has sharply criticized Islam and called the religion inherently violent.

Raum is a bleeping jerk.

UPDATE 3: Bizarre — the next two AP updates have been cut down to 4-6 paragraphs from the original 20 or so. Zheesh.

UPDATE 4: The first commenter at the Chicago Trib story nails it (except for the last sentence, which is not below –

What message is he trying to send??Obama can leave the church but his ideals and teachings and raving sermons stay in his head and heart….Sorry. Not impressed…20 years too late…..

Another commenter

Are kidding me??? This is the great uniter, the candidate of change, the prince of hope??

Barack Obama is leaving his spiritual home after 20 years. Is this really the man who is going to sit with people – who really hate us (Iran, Cuba, Venezuela) and broker the peace? He is effectively showing his first exit stratedgy after the line…”if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”. Why/how could he not even get his friends/church family to respect him and act in accord?

Truly sad.

UPDATE 5 — Obama, according to the Fox highlights, says that he discussed leaving the church with his family some time ago. Uh-huh.

UPDATE 6: The theory among the Truth in Blogging radio corps is that Barack is afraid that there is an explosive video of Michelle Obama going off from TUCC’s pulpit, and that his “resignation” (which, by the way, according to the latest AP report as of 9:10 p.m. (stored here at host is NOT a denunciation), ), is partially an attempt to prevent that from happening.

UPDATE 7: Notice how the Obama pic wen’t from a downer to a favorable one –


UPDATE 8, June 1: The AP’s Raum, in his 5:16 a.m. report (saved to host), makes it look as if the things Wright said at the National Press Club on April 29 were his first such utterances. That is utter nonsense. More on this aspect later, in a new post.

UPDATE 9, June 2: Sweetness & Light has the text of Obama’s resignation letter to Trinity (I cleaned up typos and punctuation errors) –

Dear. Rev. Moss:

We are writing to make official our decision to end our membership at Trinity.

We make this decision with sadness. Trinity was where I found Christ, where we were married and where our children were baptized. We have many friends among the 8,000 congregants who attend there and we are proud of the extraordinary good works the church continues to perform throughout the community to help the hungry, the homeless and people in need of medical care. We also have come to appreciate your ministry and both think you have been, and will be, a wonderful pastor for years to come.

But as you know, our relations with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Rev. Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views. Our larger concern is that because of my candidacy and membership at trinity, these controversies have served as an unfortunate distraction for other Trinity members who seek to worship in peace, and have placed you in an untenable position as you establish your own ministry under very difficult circumstances.

Our faith remains strong and we will find another church home for our family. But we also know that faith and prayer are not merely exercises to be discharged for two hours on Sunday. They are and always will be a bulwark for us in our daily lives.

We are grateful for our years as part of the Trinity community, and wish you all the best as you lead the congregation into the future. You, your family and the entire Trinity family will be in thoughts and prayers.


Michelle Obama
Barack Obama


1 Comment

  1. Gotta love the news media tresting Hagee and Wright as equals. If McCain went to Hagee’s church and had one of his children baptized by Hagee, he’d be half as tied to Hagee as Obama is to Wright.

    This move by Obama just shows that he is another craven pol because it is, actually, rather meaningless. Think about it: how many Sundays is he going to be spending in the South Side of Chicago the next 6 months? And if he wins, he’ll be spending most Sundays over a thousand miles away in DC.

    This makes as much sense as me announcing I am quitting my high school two weeks after graduation.

    Comment by Kevin — May 31, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

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