The New Yorker did an interesting (LONG) piece about how Jeremiah Wright’s style of ministry is part of a lineage of black liberation and deliverance. Here’s a lil taste. You should read the whole thing…it’s 6 pages online – http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/07
As millions of people with no particular interest in African-American religious institutions now know, Trinity is home to the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. Since March 13th, when “Good Morning America” broadcast clips of Wright at his most incendiary, he has been an unlikely political celebrity, half of an American odd couple: the fiery, noisy, sixties-influenced spiritual adviser to a Presidential candidate who is supposed to be cool, quiet, and new. Wright’s greatest hits found a home on the Internet and on cable news. There are those seven words he uttered, days after September 11th: “America’s chickens? Are coming home! To roost.” And there’s the way he rewrote a classic Irving Berlin lyric: “Not ‘God bless America.’ ‘God damn America!’ ” But by the time the scandal broke Wright was already gone. He had announced his retirement at the age of sixty-six, preaching his last sermon at Trinity on February 10th, and he kept out of sight while the controversy deepened.
On Good Friday, the church held its annual “Seven Last Words of Christ” service, featuring seven sermons from as many guest preachers. Trinity calls itself “unashamedly black and unapologetically Christian,” but the preacher who was marvelling at all those white people was himself white: Father Michael Pfleger, the leader of the Faith Community of St. Sabina, also on Chicago’s South Side, which proclaims itself to be an “African-American Catholic church.” For one of the historic African-American churches, such a proclamation would be gratuitous, but Pfleger’s church, like Wright’s, belongs to a denomination in which African-Americans are a small minority. The insistence on race is, in part, an assertion of self-determination, a declaration that no church is culturally neutral… Continue reading