If you were to visit Trinity United Church of Christ, a predominantly African-American congregation on the Chicago’s South Side, you would be warmly welcomed. You’d experience spirited singing that comes deep from the soul.
Richard Lischer, professor of preaching, Duke Divinity School: “It’s been 40 years since we have heard redemptive language in the political arena. Like Martin Luther King Jr., Obama did not flinch from addressing the lingering pain and anger of racism in America. Like King, Obama understands how questions of race are bound up with religion.
Two politically attuned professors in the South called the sharp rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright understandable in the context of an inner-city, largely black church, and both experts marveled at how political opponents seized upon the former pastor’s relationship to Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama.
When Senator Barack Obama faced the cameras in a nationally televised speech in mid-March, he was caught between his roles as politician and parishioner, forced to condemn his pastor’s words as he tried to advance his own campaign for president.
As a delegate and organizer at six Democratic national conventions (those that nominated George McGovern, Jimmy Carter [twice], Bill Clinton [twice] and Al Gore), I offer this advice to the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: settle the nominating business before you go to Denver. Convention floor fights delight the media but damage the nominee.
The Internal Revenue Service has notified the United Church of Christ that it has opened an investigation into possible “political activities” connected with Senator Barack Obama’s speech at the denomination’s national convention last year.
Christian Churches Together in the USA—the nation’s broadest and newest group devoted to ecumenism—says it will stay out of the presidential campaigns but hopes to convey its top concern—combating domestic poverty—to the president-elect before his or her inauguration.
The nation’s largest Lutheran denomination has issued election-year guidelines for congregations and outlined seven issues, from hunger to health care, that reflect the church’s emphasis on social justice.
A. M. Stroud III, a former prosecutor in Louisiana, expresses regret for the role he played in sending Glenn Ford to death row in 1984. “I was 33 years old. I was arrogant, judgmental, narcissistic and very full of myself. I was not as interested in justice as I was in winning.” Stroud says he presented dubious evidence from a forensic pathologist, precluded black jurors from the trial (Ford, since exonerated, is black), and ignored the fact that the appointed defense attorney had never before tried a criminal or capital case. “I . . . hope that providence will have more mercy for me than I showed Glenn Ford,” Stroud said in a letter to the editor of the Times of Shreveport. “But, I’m also sobered by the realization that I certainly am not deserving of it” (ABA Journal, March 25).