Here's the gist of Time's defense of Obama, a distillation of Stengel's statements and Time articles by Amy Sullivan and Joe Klein:
- An important aspect of the problem is that white Americans are incredibly ignorant about black churches in America.
- In fact, Rev. Wright's church isn't that radical as black churches go.
- It was understandable for Obama to have joined Wright's church. At the time he was a 27-year old bi-racial man trying to figure out his identity as the son of an atheist father and skeptic mother and needed a church "he could learn from."
- It's understandable that Obama didn't leave the church: it's like reading a book--you don't necessarily agree with the author.
- Obama's speech was a "triumph," and Americans will be thinking "small" if they make the Wright thing a big issue in the campaign.
View the video here.