Doug Lerner reports from Tokyo and St. Louis, and points beyond…

I was reading an online column by Larry Elder, a conservative columnist, who posed a question to Barack Obama which frankly surprised me. He asked:

“Sen. Obama, the church you attend, according to its Web site, pursues an Afrocentric agenda. Your church rejects, as part of their “Black Value System,” “middleclassness” as “classic methodology” of white “captors” to “control … subjugated” black “captives.” Your pastor, Jeremiah Wright, recently called the Nation of Islam’s Minister Louis Farrakhan — a man many consider anti-Semitic —a person of “integrity and honesty.” What would happen to a Republican candidate who attended a Caucasian-centric church, and who praised David Duke as a man of “integrity and honesty”?”

 

Not knowing what to make of this, or of which church he was speaking, I visited the Barack Obama web site, where in his “Meet the Obamas” profile at http://www.barackobama.com/learn/meet.php it says:

 

“Barack Obama continues to speak out on the issues that will define America in the 21st century. But above all his accomplishments and experiences, he is most proud and grateful for his family. His wife, Michelle, and his two daughters, Malia, 9, and Sasha, 6, live on Chicago’s South Side where they attend Trinity United Church of Christ.”  

 

The Trinity United Church of Christ web site is at http://www.tucc.org/home.htm.From their “About Us” page at http://www.tucc.org/about.htm it says: 

“We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian… Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain “true to our native land,” the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.”

 

I really don’t know what to make of this. But I find it as disturbing as if somebody were to belong to a white church. I thought, if nothing else, that Obama’s message was something that was supposed to cross the racial divide. Up until now I never thought anything else and despised those weird emails roaming around the Internet falsely claiming Obama was a Muslim and so on just to stir up religious hatred. My gripe with Obama has been about things like issues and experience, where I feel he falls short compared to Hillary Clinton, not about race or religion.
 But I find this Trinity United Church of Christ information disturbing. It seems like just the sort of racially divisive institution that I assumed, honestly assumed, that if nothing else, Obama would never tolerate or be a part of.
I am just really surprised… 
doug

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