"The more things change the more things stay the same."
"What goes around comes around."
And it is STILL only the tip of the iceberg.
If you are so led, I would greatly appreciate if you could send this around. As a black Baptist Preacher over the past 20 years, I learned first hand how dangerous the black church really is. However, too many white officials and black lawyers and officials, too, have looked the other way and still do. Many parishioners who don't like what they are seeing and hearing in the church, do get up and leave to go elsewhere. But, they just won't speak out to do anything about it to hold the leadership accountable.
I know first-hand that black Preachers could have people investigated by FBI parishioners (and have done so). And, in my case, nothing happens in our community (MD), except that it first goes past the desk of the black Preacher. Why and how so? Because of the political influence of the Pastor and other church affiliations, many parishioners are also county and state employees who are privvy to personal information about the citizens in the community, especially the parishioners.
TV channels and radio stations are all abuzz trying to figure out why Barack Obama (I call him, "BARAMA") has stayed in the same church for over 20 years. I know that it had to do with the religious and political influence and mentorship of Rev. Jeremiah Wright (Chicago, IL.). And it was a deliberate move on Obama's part to garner black votes, when he (Obama) decided to make his move to campaign for political office. During his speech on race, he threw his grandmother under the bus. And, if given more time to explore what he tries to keep hidden from public view, we'll find out there's more to prove why he would not be acceptable to become President of the U.S. And that has nothing to do with his race.
I began to speak out about the same kinds of rhetoric that the press now holds over Obama's Pastor, as though it was something new. Not so.
I stood up and spoke out against that same kind of hate-filled speech over 20 years ago. I was all alone and I was ignored, except that my pastor had me arrested falsely inside of the church for privately rejecting his sermons and for publicly exposing those kinds of double standards within the black community churches all across this nation. Therefore, I know that, being a black Baptist preacher, if I could stand up and speak out against it, then why couldn't Obama have done the same thing 20 years ago (i.e., speak out against his Pastor)? It was because he did not want to lose his place in his Pastor's good graces and miss out on "just such a time as this." But he has done just that.
By speaking out publicly about the black Baptist church rhetoric and the NAACP, they made me outcast. In other words, I believe I am the only one alive today who can speak directly to the race issues today exactly as they were 20 years ago, at the time Obama said he first joined Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Church (Chicago, IL.) And anything else reported by pundits and others is mere conjecture, speculation, supposition, and a mixture of everything else but context.
I spoke out against it and, at that time, I also witnessed men and women coming into the church where I ministered (in Columbia, MD), because they knew that the Pastor, Rev. John L. Wright, had religious and political influence. Not only that, but if the newspapers would conduct research, they would find (in my case) that the Senators and Representatives from Maryland are closely linked with Rev. John L. Wright in this county and the entire state.
Newspaper reports contain, and I am an eyewitness to confirm, just how those politicians came into the church to get Wright's influence to pick up black votes. In fact, an attorney in this county (one of Rev. John L. Wright's cronies) is quoted in one news article as saying that nobody can get in office unless they stop by that church. And Wright, himself, said in a publication interview that, "Nobody bothers me (Wright), because they know -- they know I have people and all I want to know is if you're ready." That was in 1992, after he had falsely accused me and had me arrested inside the church.
The press does not really want to know the bombshell I am sitting on about the black Baptist church and black preachers, in particular. The race question will remain a troubling concern as long as the ones who are in positions of authority refuse to acknowledge and consider valid complaints.
Here is the link to my story, which remains unknown. Other links are included on the site. http://www.clergywomen.org/dowell_sundaysun.html
/s/ Rev. L. Dowell, Five-Fold Minister
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Subject: Reply to NY Times article by Jeremiah Wright
Date: Sun, 24 Feb 2008 03:35:48 +0000
Thank you for engaging in one of the biggest misrepresentations of the truth I have ever seen in sixty-five years.
You sat and shared with me for two hours. You told me you were doing a "Spiritual Biography" of Senator Barack Obama. For two hours, I shared with you how I thought he was the most principled individual in public service that I have ever met.
For two hours, I talked with you about how idealistic he was. For two hours I shared with you what a genuine human being he was. I told you how incredible he was as a man who was an African American in public service, and as a man who refused to announce his candidacy for President until Carol Moseley Braun indicated one way or the other whether or not she was going to run. I told you what a dreamer he was. I told you how idealistic he was.
We talked about how refreshing it would be for someone who knew about Islam to be in the Oval Office.
Your own question to me was, Didn't I think it would be incredible to have somebody in the Oval Office who not only knew about Muslims, but had living and breathing Muslims in his own family?
I told you how important it would be to have a man who not only knew the difference between Shiites and Sunnis prior to 9/11/01 in the Oval Office, but also how important it would be to have a man who knew what Sufism was; a man who understood that there were different branches of Judaism; a man who knew the difference between Hasidic Jews, Orthodox Jews, Conservative Jews and Reformed Jews; and a man who was a devout Christian, but who did not prejudge other s because they believed something other than what he believed.
I talked about how rare it was to meet a man whose Christianity was not just "in word only."
I talked about Barack being a person who lived his faith and did not argue his faith. I talked about Barack as a person who did not draw doctrinal lines in the sand nor consign other people to hell if they did not believe what he believed.
Out of a two-hour conversation with you about Barack's spiritual journey and my protesting to you that I had not shaped him nor formed him, that I had not mentored him or made him the man he was, even though I would love to take that credit, you did not print any of that. When I told you, using one of your own Jewish stories from the Hebrew Bible as to how God asked Moses, "What is that in your hand?," that Barack was like that when I met him.
Barack had it "in his hand." Barack had in his grasp a uniqueness in terms of his spiritual development t hat one is hard put to find in the 21st century, and you did not print that.
As I was just starting to say a moment ago, Jodi, out of two hours of conversation I spent approximately five to seven minutes on...
... Barack's taking advice from one of his trusted campaign people and deeming it unwise to make me the media spotlight on the day of his announcing his candidacy for the Presidency and what do you print?
You and your editor proceeded to present to the general public a snippet, a printed "sound byte" and a titillating and tantalizing article about his disinviting me to the Invocation on the day of his announcing his candidacy.
I have never been exposed to that kind of duplicitous behavior before, and I want to write you publicly to let you know that I do not approve of it and will not be party to any further smearing of the name, the reputation, the integrity or the character of perhaps this nation's first (and maybe even only) honest candidate offering himself for public service as the person to occupy the Oval Office.
Your editor is a sensationalist. For you to even mention that makes me doubt your credibility, and I am looking forward to see how you are going to butcher what else I had to say concerning Senator Obama's "Spiritual Biography."
Our Conference Minister, the Reverend Jane Fisler Hoffman, a white woman who belongs to a Black church that Hannity of "Hannity and Colmes" is trying to trash, set the record straight for you in terms of who I am and in terms of who we are as the church to which Barack has belonged for over twenty years.
The president of our denomination, the Reverend John Thomas, has offered to try to help you clarify in your confused head what Trinity Church is even though you spent the entire weekend with us setting me up to interview me for what turned out to be a smear of the Senator; and yet The New York Times continues to roll on making the truth what it wants to be the truth.
I do not remember reading in your article that Barack had apologized for listening to that bad information and bad advice. Did I miss it? Or did your editor cut it out? Either way, you do not have to worry about hearing anything else from me for you to edit or "spin" because you are more interested in journalism than in truth.
Forgive me for having a momentary lapse. I forgot that The New York Times was leading the bandwagon in trumpeting why it is we should have gone into an illegal war. The New York Times became George Bush and the Republican Party's national "blog." The New York Times played a role in the outing of Valerie Plame. I do not know why I thought The New York Times had actually repented and was going to exhibit a different kind of behavior. Maybe it was my faith in the Jewish Holy Day of Roshashana. Maybe it was my being caught up in the euphoria of the Season of Lent; but whatever it is or was, I was sadly mistaken. There is no repentance on the part of The New York Times.
There is no integrity when it comes to The Times. You should do well with that paper, Jodi. You looked me straight in my face and told me a lie!
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.,
Trinity United Church of Christ