Efforts to portray the Chicago church of which Senator Barack Obama is a member as racist and anti-American are “absurd, mean-spirited and politically motivated,” said John Thomas, head of the United Church of Christ.
Thomas, the denomination’s general minister and president, said that since Obama won the Iowa caucuses on January 3, “countless e-mails . . . meant to undermine the integrity of Trinity UCC” have flooded the UCC’s national offices in Cleveland.
Obama, a leading Democratic candidate for president, joined Trinity 20 years ago. He has praised the church’s commitment to God and the black community and its commitment to the black work ethic.
Trinity and its senior pastor, Jeremiah A. Wright, have been criticized by conservatives who disparage their commitment to Africa and to black empowerment. The church’s motto is “Unashamedly Black, Unapologetically Christian.”