A cheap political move at its best. The only question is, what took him so long?
Sen. Barack Obama is leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, his longtime religious home in Chicago and a place that has triggered repeated controversies during his presidential bid.
“This is not a decision that I come to lightly, and frankly it’s one that I made with some sadness,” Obama told reporters in Aberdeen, S.D. “Trinity was where I found Jesus Christ, where we were married, where our children were baptized. We have many friends among the 8,000 congregants.”
Obama said he felt he had no choice but to leave the church.
“It’s clear that now that I am a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, including guest pastors, the remarks will be imputed to me, even if they totally conflict with my long-held views, statements and principles,” he said.
In a statement released this evening, the church said: “Trinity United Church of Christ was informed today that Senator Barack Obama and his family will no longer be members of our church. Though we are saddened by the news, we understand that it is a personal decision. We will continue to lift them in prayer and wish them the best as former members of our Trinity community.”
Here’s video of his press conference:
The line about how things said at Trinity are in conflict with his long-held views and principles is such B.S. He sat in that church for twenty years — twenty years! — and only now sees the conflict, conveniently enough when he’s running for President? Of course, the most telling part of that statement is “now that I’m a candidate for President”.
He also says it wasn’t a decision he came to lightly. Why not? If the crap being spouted at that church is so against what he believes in, then why did he stay for twenty years? Why was it a tough decision? If the race-baiting, hate-filled, anti-Semitic shit being spewed from that church on a regular basis really did repulse him, then shouldn’t it have been an easy decision?
Drew at Ace of Spades says:
Remember, “I could no more distance myself from Pastor Wright than I could from my white grandmother”?
I guess grandma is on notice.
I don’t see how this helps, and it could hurt in two different ways. First, it confirms that the church is not in the mainstream, which once again calls his judgment into question. Wright and Pfleger gave these kinds of sermons there the entire time, not just over the last few weeks. The big problem is that the Obamas sat in that church for 20 years listening to these sermons and finding nothing objectionably about them until they got disseminated to the nation.
Second, and potentially more damaging, it shows Obama’s willingness to throw anyone over the side when the boat starts sinking. That won’t go over very well with his core supporters who have admired his loyalty to TUCC, who excused Wright by pointing out that he had retired, and who bought Obama’s explanation of the “wonderful community” and great works of TUCC. Is that now nothing more than a convenient lie?
He’s not quitting Trinity because he disagrees with the radical views that are mainstream there. He’s quitting because he’s finally realized how much his association with Rev. Wright & Co. is hurting his bid for the Presidency. Had this association never come to light, Obama never would have left. He’s leaving the church all right, but he’s going out of his way to let it be known that he isn’t denouncing the church.
Political posturing at its
Hat Tip: Stop the ACLU