Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Church Charade

Reporter Judson Berger went to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago Sunday morning. That is where Jeremiah Wright gave his now-infamous "God Damn America" speech. And that is where Senator Barack Obama has placed his membership for years.

According to Mr. Berger: The minister, Otis Moss III [...used Sunday’s Easter sermons to compare media focus on Jeremiah Wright to the Romans’ persecution and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.]

The last thing I, Ruthie Rader, would ever do is compare Jeremiah Wright to Jesus!

What a pathetic chicken-scratch for immortality.

Mr. Berger went on to write:

[A media liaison greeted me and asked that I make sure I didn’t have any recording devices. I didn’t, and jokingly told her, "You can frisk me."

She did.

She found my BlackBerry and cell phone — neither of which can record a sermon — and made me remove the batteries and put them back in my pocket.]

Well, isn't that just special?

Never in my life have I ever been frisked before sitting down and listening to a sermon!

And I have attended worship services in 22 States. And my cell phone CAN record at the push of a button.

Did they honestly think it would make a difference if the world didn't hear the sermon when God heard every word?

Mr. Berger then wrote:[After attending the 6 a.m. service, I hovered outside waiting for the next service to start. Here and there, I asked a congregant if I could speak to them to find out what the church’s followers feel about Wright’s inflammatory statements and the media coverage of them.

The answer every time was "No."

We were granted one carefully controlled interview with a prominent member of the congregation, Dr. Linda Thomas, who teaches theology and anthropology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. During the session, we were not allowed to leave the room without notifying one of the ushers.]

Not allowed to leave without notification?!

What did they want, a Holy Moses permission pass?

What were they afraid that Mr. Berger was going to find between the sanctuary and the front door?

Why wouldn't the congregation talk about their so-called "Reverend" Wright?

Mr. Berger then wrote: [Thomas said the church will not distance itself from Wright, and the pastors keep an empty chair in the pulpit in his honor.

"He is our pastor," she said.]

Well, thank God he's not mine!

Mr. Berger further added that the church [...bookstore also carries writings about and by Malcolm X and black liberation.]

So I don't suppose there's a big, yellow smiley face sign above the exit that includes the words "God bless you, have a nice day."

Heaven forbid! Of course not!

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