There has been much controversy surrounding Barack Obama's affiliation with Trinity United Church in Chicago. Past comments by the out-going minister, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, which recently appeared on YouTube, have stirred rancor, leading Obama to publicly repudiate those comments and Wright to leave his symbolic post in Obama's campaign. I don't want to jump into the specifics of Wright's comments here at this time, but do want to offer some broader context on Obama's faith and his Church...
Before I do that, allow me to make a somewhat obvious point: Hopefully, the silver lining in all of this hoo-ha over Rev. Wright and Trinity United is that it should put to rest once and for all the bogus smear that continues to circulate on the internet and in gossip that Obama is a Muslim. Very clearly he is not and has never been Muslim. Ok? Got it? Good. Tell your friends...
Now that that is out of the way, let me go further and write the while Obama is not a Muslim, but a practicing Christian who believes that Jesus is the son of God, if he were Muslim that should be immaterial to his candidacy. Just like belief in Christianity should not be a prerequisite to elected office, in general, a belief in Islam should not rule any citizen out from running for office or serving his or her country in the political sphere.
Anyway, on to the main reason I am hitting this topic this morning...
First, here is Barack's statement yesterday about Wright's comments and his own faith journey:
Barack Obama, "On My Faith and My Church"
Second, here is a nice YouTube by a white minister who also attends and ministers at Trinity. It is significant that she is white considering the belief out there in the media-ether that Trinity is a black-only church. It is not:
Last, here is an EXCELLENT article on Trinity, situating the church within a broader context of race and faith stretching back to the civil rights/Black Power era. I've posted this one previously, but it is well worth another look:
Jason Byassee, "Africentric Church: A visit to Chicago's Trinity UCC"
So, take a little time to look a little deeper into Trinity's faith community. Do some exploring for yourself and I think you will find that on balance, this is a very positive, inclusive and spirit-filled church that situates social justice at the forefront of their theology.