Friday, May 2, 2008

Obama responds to Rev. Wright

Rev. Wright has finally exceeded the boundaries of Sen. Obama's tolerance.

Kudos to Obama for standing up to intolerance...even when it comes from a man who served as something of a father figure to Obama --- a man to whom Obama tried very hard to remain loyal over the past few months.

Tolerance is a wonderful thing. But tolerance of intolerance is something else altogether.

More clips on this topic here.


"I want to use this press conference to make people absolutely clear that obviously whatever relationship I had with Rev. Wright has changed, he said. "I don't think he showed much concern for me ...and what we are trying to do in this campaign." "My reaction has more to do with what I want this campaign to be about.... in some ways, what Rev. Wright said yesterday directly contradicts everything that I've done during my life. It contradicts how i was raise and the setting in which I was raised; it contradicts my decision to pursue a career of public service. It contradicts the issues that I've worked on politically.

I'm outraged by the comments that were made and saddened by the spectacle that we saw yesterday. I have been a member of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1992 and have known Jeremiah Wright for almost 22 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago. His comments were not only divisive and destructive, but they also give comfort to those that prey on hate and I believe they do not accurately portray the perspective of the black church. They certainly do not accurately portray my values and beliefs. If Reverend Wright thinks that is political posturing on my part, he does not know me very well.

I have already denounced those comments that have come out of these previous sermons. I gave him the benefit of the doubt in my speech in Philadelphia, explaining that he has done enormous good in the church, has built a wonderful conversation. They are a wonderful people and what attracted me has always been the ministries reach beyond church walls. But when he states and then amplifies such ridiculous propositions, that the U.S. government is involved in AIDS, when he suggests that Louis Farrakhan represents one of the greatest voices of the 21st century, when he equates the United States' wartime effort with terrorism, then there are no excuses. They offend me, they rightfully offend all Americans, and they should be denounced. That is what I am doing very clearly and unequivocally here today.

I have spent my entire adult life trying to bridge the gap between different kinds of people. That's in my DNA, trying to promote mutual understanding to insist that we all share common hopes and common dreams as Americans and as human beings. That's who I am, that's what I believe, and that's what this campaign has been about."

UPDATE, 5/2/08

E.J. Dionne, noted commentator, had this to say about "false prophets".

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