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Obama's Faith: A Civil and Social Gospel
Trinity United Church Bulletin ^ | 6-10-2008 | Robert M. Franklin

Posted on 04/30/2008 1:28:30 PM PDT by SJackson

One by one, Senator Barack Obama is passing the necessary tests for national leadership. Probing questions have been raised about his experience, race, early education, parents, voting record, statesmanship, and more. He has answered those questions with poise and respect. But when attention turns to Senator Obama’s faith, I get worried.

As Martin Marty noted in a recent column (“Keeping the Faith at Trinity United Church of Christ,” April 2, 2007), some media hounds have focused on Obama’s home church of choice. Trinity United Church of Christ on Chicago’s south side is one of the nation’s most progressive African American mega-churches. Led for thirty-five years by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., the church fuses into its core Christian identity a set of cultural strains that are vibrant in contemporary Black life, including liberation theology, Afrocentrism, and progressive politics.

The church has appealed especially to baby boomers who came of age during the cultural revolution of the 1960s. Dr. Wright has managed to bring together the disciples of Martin Luther King, Jr. with the Black Nationalist disciples of Malcolm X, and to put them all in the service of promoting more equitable policies for the least advantaged members of our society. Indeed, he is often credited with making it possible for many disaffected Black separatists to return to the church and to seek change within the system.

Unfortunately, uninformed pundits (a deliberate oxymoron) from Fox TV recently weighed in on a congregation and a community about which they know very little. Their purpose is to embarrass Obama by insinuating that he is a closeted Black separatist or worse. But they fail to appreciate something distinctive about American religion and public life. The best of American political tradition permits — and perhaps requires — candidates both to acknowledge their ethnic and regional particularity, and to transcend that particularity in loyalty to the general human condition. John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mario Cuomo, and Barbara Jordan all illustrated this noble tradition.

In 2006, at a speech to Jim Wallis’s Sojourners conference, Obama elaborated on his understanding of how faith should appear in the public square. It was a rational, balanced, thoughtful articulation of a socially responsible Christian faith, something rarely heard or said by politicians in our political culture. His words were especially assuring to people who feel that President Bush has abused religious language and personal faith to justify a horrific war and tax cuts for America’s wealthiest citizens.

Obama’s inner life appears to be driven by a civil and social gospel that America desperately needs at this hour. And that inner life has been nurtured by a congregation that loves God and celebrates the beauty and power of the Black experience in America. Why is this a cause for alarm? At a time when there is so much of what Martin Marty calls “wishy-washy, waning religion,” it is exciting to see a congregation committed to improving the lives of people who have been the victims of bad public policy and public neglect.

The fact that churches like Trinity remain in the city and serve people on the margins of society suggests that they may be closer to the mission of Jesus than some of our finest cathedrals and suburban sanctuaries. And while I imagine that Fourth Presbyterian Church in downtown Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood would love to have the Senator and his family as members, the working poor and those who have yet to enjoy the American dream need him more.

I, for one, hope that Obama continues to undertake his ministry of inspiring hope among people who feared they might never dream again, while reconciling tensions within the Black political culture. If he can do these things while appealing to a large and diverse American public, then he will have passed the ultimate test of leadership: reminding us that we are better, wiser, stronger, and safer when we transcend our fears and work together rather than apart.

Robert M. Franklin is Presidential Distinguished Professor of Social Ethics at Emory University, Atlanta, and the author of Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (Fortress Press, 2007).

TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; issues; obama; obamaandgod
Also that Sunday, hear about Israel and her ethnic bomb which kills Arabs and blacks--Letter to Oprah on Her Visit to Palestine

Obama wasn't in Church that day, and doesn't read the Church bulletin. Neither does Michelle.

1 posted on 04/30/2008 1:28:30 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

The Social Gospel is not Christianity. Doesn’t mean it is necessarily not a good thing, but it is not Christianity.

2 posted on 04/30/2008 1:30:10 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: SJackson

Barf alert???

3 posted on 04/30/2008 1:32:07 PM PDT by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: SJackson

uninformed pundits (a deliberate oxymoron)

Ah, I think they mean a deliberate redundancy but I could be wrong. Maybe oxymoron means something different to black brains.

4 posted on 04/30/2008 1:33:01 PM PDT by DManA
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To: SJackson
it is exciting to see a congregation committed to improving the lives of people who have been the victims of bad public policy and public neglect.

They aren't really victims of "bad public policy and public neglect". They are victims of fools like Wright who try to prosper off the backs of people by convincing them they are victims of things like "bad public policy" or "public neglect".

Wright isn't part of the solution. Wright is part of the problem.

5 posted on 04/30/2008 1:33:27 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: SJackson
6 posted on 04/30/2008 1:33:34 PM PDT by xuberalles ("Barack Obama: Change Is A Dime Bag!" (
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To: SJackson

Seems to be a church adrift without a true faith to anchor it. More of a social club and debating society than a church.

7 posted on 04/30/2008 1:36:51 PM PDT by ladtx ( "Never miss a good chance to shut up." - - Will Rogers)
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To: chesley

Michelle Obama says:
We must be prepared to sacrifice a great deal for the common good.

8 posted on 04/30/2008 1:37:06 PM PDT by griswold3 (Al queda is guilty of hirabah (war against society) Penalty is death.)
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To: SJackson
Obama wasn't in Church that day, and doesn't read the Church bulletin. Neither does Michelle.

Neither do I. But then, that's not the Church I belong to. I do read my Church's bulletin, however. Even in weeks I don't attend. You see, my membership in my church is important to me. It's a part of who I am.

9 posted on 04/30/2008 1:37:18 PM PDT by bcsco (To heck with a third party. We need a second one....)
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To: SJackson
I think the Child Protective Service of Cook County, IL should be contacted. By bringing their children to Rev. Wright's sermons all these years, and exposing them to Racism and Hate, it is obvious that Obambi And Michelle have been engaged in child abuse.

The chilrun should be removed from the Obama household immediately! :0)

10 posted on 04/30/2008 1:39:31 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Illegals : Why spend the money to educate them if its against the law to employ them?)
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To: DManA

“Maybe oxymoron means something different to black brains.”Perhaps it was too subtle sarcasm, but I’m left-brain impared so I could be wrong (or wright).

11 posted on 04/30/2008 1:49:45 PM PDT by Pietro
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To: SJackson
There should be a barf alert. This "social gospel", and Black Liberation Theology have nothing to do with traditional Christianity, irrespective of how these apologists want to spin it.

One need not research to far to find that the man Reverend Jeremiah Wright regularly points to as the wellspring for his own theological ministrations in this regard, James Hal Cone, who also happens to be the recognized founder of Black Liberation Theology, to understand the truth of the first stament. Here are several quotes from James Hal Cone himself that define Black Liberation Theology:

"Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love."

"There is no use for a God who loves white oppressors the same as oppressed blacks. We have had too much of white love, the love that tells blacks to turn the other cheek and go the second mile."

"Black hatred is the black man's strong aversion to white society. No black man living in white America can escape it... While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism. "
When you understand the context of their theology, which is not a theology at all as much as it is an ideology, and a marxist one at that, that has added a religious construct to try and make it more tasteful to the masses, it is easy to see why it is filled with such hate and anti-Christian sentiment.

The entire thing then uses those thesis and constructs to change the Truth of God about Jesus Christ, into a lie to meet their own stated aims. Thus Jesus Christ becomes a poor, black man in Judea who is oppressed by whitey (the Romans) and who rebels against them and is as much about social revolution as he is about spiritual salvation.

In changing the Christ of love, compassion, mercy, atonement, and redemption, into a God of hate, retribution, anger, and violence, they actually paint a picture of Christ that is much closer to what the fundamental Islamic world teches about Jesus than what traditional Christianity teaches aboutHim, the light, life, and Savior of the world.




12 posted on 04/30/2008 1:50:48 PM PDT by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (
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To: SJackson

Yes, I am religious. However, I’m beginning to doubt the ability of any “preacher” to use logic any more. This guy is a loon. Not a mega loon like Wright, but a loon nonetheless. I used to wretch when the ACLU fights to separate church and state. Now, thinking about Wright-megaloon, this loon, or (arghh) ANY Muslim, I am now converted. The Brit pastors used to represent the highest of the educated classes. What happened here?

13 posted on 04/30/2008 2:02:21 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: SJackson
From "45 Communist Goals":
27. Infiltrate the churches and replace revealed religion with "social" religion.

Obama's Church: Gospel of Hate
Kathy Shaidle,
Monday, April 07, 2008

In March of 2007, FOX News host Sean Hannity had engaged Obama’s pastor in a heated interview about his Church’s teachings. For many viewers, the ensuing shouting match was their first exposure to "Black Liberation Theology"...

Like the pro-communist Liberation Theology that swept Central America in the 1980s and was repeatedly condemned by Pope John Paul II, Black Liberation Theology combines warmed-over 1960s vintage Marxism with carefully distorted biblical passages. However, in contrast to traditional Marxism, it emphasizes race rather than class. The Christian notion of "salvation" in the afterlife is superseded by "liberation" on earth, courtesy of the establishment of a socialist utopia.

Louis Farrakhan, at the annual Saviours' Day celebration in Chicago, Feb. 25, 2008: "This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better"..."If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."

Louis Farrakhan, at the Millions More Movement rally in DC, Oct 15, 2005: "...what Mao Tse Tung did was, he went to the cultural community, and they [Farrakhan spreads his arms beneficently] accepted his idea."..."Mao Tse Tung ... had a billion people whose lives he had to transform."..."the idea of Mao Tse Tung became the idea of a billion people, and China became a world power on the base of the culture and the arts community. If we had a ministry of art and culture in every city we'd create this movement
[in the U.S.]."

Louis Farrakhan, Santiago de Cuba, February, 1998: "There is not a member of the black masses in the United States who is not proud of the example set by Cuba and its revolution, with Comandante Fidel at its head"

14 posted on 04/30/2008 2:04:58 PM PDT by Eye On The Left
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To: SJackson
Obama's Faith: A Civil and Social Gospel

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

15 posted on 04/30/2008 2:10:21 PM PDT by OB1kNOb ("We like Mr. Obama and we hope he will win the election." - Ahmed Yousef, Hamas PM advisor)
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To: griswold3

Bet she’s planning on whitey doing the sacrificing, and the Obamas not.

16 posted on 04/30/2008 2:38:50 PM PDT by chesley (Where's the omelet? -- Orwell)
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To: SJackson

There are no Black Christian Churches, there are no White Christian Churches the Christian Churches belong to God and the Savior and are lent to man by divine Grace. Not to be sullied by words of hatred and separatism.

17 posted on 04/30/2008 2:43:03 PM PDT by Mike Darancette (Obama: America is the greatest country on the earth, Help me bring change.)
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To: SJackson
"Led for thirty-five years by the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., the church fuses into its core Christian identity a set of cultural strains that are vibrant in contemporary Black life, including liberation theology, Afrocentrism, and progressive politics."

That - is exactly the problem...

Those of us who can comprehend the English language - understand all that "code" black racist rhetoric and mumbo jumbo as bullsquat...

Their Black Liberation Theology sounds more like a black gang's thug culture.
It even calls for the murder of God - if he isn't "wearing their colors"..
If you doubt me, Google Black Liberation Theology - and READ about it. It's there CLEARLY stated for those who can read.
Their "Christianity" is no longer recognizable as Christian.
"Progressive" has become the camouflage term for Marxism/Communism..
All concepts - that are foreign and should remain foreign to America.

It long past time for the Afro-centrists in America to decide if they wish to live and prosper in America or get their black racist a$$es the hell out of here and to somewhere more acceptable to them...

If that offends any of you "Afro-centrists" or "Black Liberation Theology" practitioners out there - then you may have some idea of how damned offended I am to be constantly bombarded by all this black racist, society destroying bull feces.

18 posted on 04/30/2008 2:49:33 PM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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To: SJackson

I was listening to O’Reilly and for once agree with him in part.
Basically it was the fact that since College, Obama has been part of the Far left wing of politics in Chicago. The left wing is so far left in this area and add to that the corruption in politics in Illinois is much worse than the rest of the nation. When all you do is hang out with radicals you begin to think that you are almost conservative.

He really can’t believe that most Americans don’t think the way he does. He really didn’t think that what Rev Rong was saying was all that bad. It wasn’t until people told him that he started to understand.
Regardless of the reasons we don’t need this radical and his evil wife in the White House.

19 posted on 04/30/2008 3:05:58 PM PDT by ODDITHER
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To: Mike Darancette


20 posted on 04/30/2008 3:06:16 PM PDT by Millie
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