Friday, April 04, 2008

The Wright Stuff

I've been looking for this for a long time, and have finally found it. You know those 15-30 second clips of Rev. Jeremiah Wright that have been played endlessly? It's been bothering me, not just for the obvious reason, but because I know from long experience that you can take a section of something and make it sound bad.

What exactly was Rev. Wright saying? What was the sermon about? Was it typical of his messages?

At last I can get the answer, and I encourage you to do the same. The San Francisco Chronicle has uploaded an mp3 of his full sermon. I won't tell you what to think about it, but I'd urge you to give it a listen before you criticize based on what you've heard so far.

Thanks to the Chronicle for making this available. Frankly, the whole experience has been one of the most disturbing spectacles I've seen out of the media. No matter how many times I've been disappointed, I continue to hope that our papers, radios, and televisions will be used to educate and inform us. A national media should bind us as a nation, help us learn about our neighbors and their circumstances.

In the twenty-first century, it is still true that Sunday morning is the most segregated time in America. Even among "people of faith," there is a huge chasm between churches, a chasm born of culture and language as much as theology and doctrine. There is too much estrangement between us, and I fear that the whole Rev. Wright episode has served to exacerbate the situation. It would be good for our nation to understand itself better, but instead we are being exploited for a twisted, sensationalized caricature of preaching.

This isn't an Obama thing, though obviously I'm a fan. It's a disturbing sign of where our culture is at, and how far we have to go. I'll keep trying to find primary sources, because I cannot depend on my media to explain what is really going on.

Except, apparently, the San Francisco Chronicle.

(All right, all right: for the record, I disagree with a lot of what Rev. Wright says in the sermon. Still, now I actually know what he was saying, and can look at him as a human being who is bright and makes some erroneous statements.)

1 comment:

  1. I only know there was something about an angry preacher from two episodes of the Colbert Report, which I started to watch recently, where he made jokes about the story. I'm not plugged into the right channels I guess. You're shown great journalistic integrity in tracking down the source material, though!