Keep pastor’s remarks out of presidential race
Barack Obama has denounced his former pastor for extreme remarks he made recently.
Repetition of outrageous statements by Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor belatedly have prompted an angry denunciation by the presidential candidate. Public attention to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's self-infatuation has more than run its course and should be discarded once and for all.
In sermons that Obama said he had not heard, Wright suggested that the U.S. government invented HIV as genocide against minorities, denounced U.S. policy in the Middle East and characterized 9/11 as a response to U.S. terrorism and declared, "God damn America."
In public appearances in the past week, Wright stood by his extreme statements and praised the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, as "one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century." He suggested his congregation agreed with him and that Obama's public disagreement was "based on electability, based on sound bites, based on polls."
In his 1995 autobiography, "Dreams from My Father," which includes his years at Punahou School, Obama quoted extensively from an inspirational sermon by Wright in 1988. Obama used the sermon's title, "The Audacity of Hope," as the title of his next book.
Obama denounced Wright's assertions in a March 18 speech in Philadelphia but declined to disown the preacher who "helped introduce me to my Christian faith" and "has been like family to me." Finally, Obama said this week that Wright "has done great damage. I do not see that relationship being the same."
That should put the matter to rest. Wright's inflammatory rhetoric spews from his out-of-control ego and should not be elevated to an issue of importance in this year's presidential campaign.
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