Obama's church angry over sermon controversy

March 17, 2008 7:56:33 AM PDT
For the first time since their retired pastor came under attack for a sermon, members of Trinity United Church of Christ gathered for a Sunday service. The congregation is outraged that a controversial sermon related to the 9/11 attacks by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright is soiling the reputation of a man poised to become the nation's first black president. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama attends the church.

Most church members heading to service Sunday morning at trinity united church had little to say about controversial statements made by Senator Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

"It ain't even worth talking about," said Nate Bailey, church member.

On Sunday, the Reverend Otis Moss, a pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, told the congregation the controversy was an attack on now retired Pastor Wright and his legacy, as well as an affront to the black church.

Over the years, the Rev. Wright preached that America is partially to blame for the terrorist attacks on September 11th. He also questioned presidential hopeful Senator Hillary Clinton's ability to understand black people.

Senator Obama denounced Wright's comments and referred to Wright as his former pastor.

"No one talks about our two senior housing units- just the sound bite. No one talks about our HIV ministry, one of the finest in the country. Just the sound bite," said Pastor Otis Moss, Trinity United Churchof Christ

"That's his pastor. That's his pastor's words. We need to judge Barack Obama by what he has to say," said Paul Oats, church member.

Obama has been busy with damage control. This week he spoke extensively with the editorial boards of both the Chicago Sun Times and the Chicago Tribune about his relationship with Tony Rezko, admitting the indicted political fundraiser raised around $250,000 for him, which is more money for him than he previously reported.

Meanwhile, Obama is still dueling with rival Clinton for party support. Political analysts say Obama may take some hits, but it most likely won't cost him the democratic nomination.

"I think he will be more aggressive in drawing these things out since he has started throwing all this other stuff at him," said Don Rose, political analyst

Rose said Clinton has her own issues with fundraising and her relationship with Norman Shoo, as well as questions about if and when she'll release her income tax returns. Some political analysts also add these issues could continue to come up as the campaign becomes increasingly negative.


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