AP Covers for Obama by Avoiding Church's, and Pastor's, Essence

Now playing defense for Team Obama: Karen Hawkins and Christopher Wills of the Associated Press, as carried in the Washington Post ("Obama Found a Home in His Church") on Thursday.

Call it a Wright-wash -- Hawkins and Wills managed to avoid any mention of the main tenets of "Black Liberation Theology" (details after the jump) that form the foundation of the belief system of the Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC). Until recently (though TUCC's Pastoral Staff page at its web site still does not reflect the supposed change), TUCC was headed by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose preaching moved presidential candidate Barack Obama to join the congregation 20 years.

The AP pair also managed to avoid any mention of often inflammatory items in weekly bulletin articles published by the Church.

Nowhere in the story's 1,200-plus words was there any mention of the Church's belief system, which was outlined by McClatchy's Margaret Tavel on March 20:

Obama’s church pushes controversial doctrines

Jesus is black. Merging Marxism with Christian Gospel may show the way to a better tomorrow. The white church in America is the Antichrist because it supported slavery and segregation.

Those are some of the more provocative doctrines that animate the theology at the core of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Barack Obama’s church.

….. Wright has said that a basis for Trinity’s philosophies is the work of James Cone, who founded the modern black liberation theology movement out of the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Particularly influential was Cone’s seminal 1969 book, “Black Theology & Black Power.”

Cone wrote that the United States was a white racist nation and the white church was the Antichrist for having supported slavery and segregation.

To cover up the theology, the AP writers made TUCC seem typical:

Trinity is a predominantly black congregation in a mainline, mostly white denomination _ the United Church of Christ. Its 8,000 members include politicians, doctors, lawyers and other leaders on Chicago's South Side.

It would be interesting to take a poll of this mainline denomination's members about Marxist "theology" and whether the "white church" is the Antichrist.

Now to the bulletins.

In the July 22 bulletin, in the "Pastor's Page" section, the Rev. Wright gave two pages of space to a colunmn by Hamas terrorist Mousa Abu Marzook. The column originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times, which came under heavy criticism for running it. Among Marzook's many whoppers:

A number of political parties today control blocs in the Israeli Knesset, while advocating for the expulsion of Arab citizens from Israel and the rest of Palestine, envisioning a single Jewish state from the Jordan to the sea.

CAMERA.org wrote at the time that "that no Israeli parties in government advocate the 'expulsion' of Arabs; one calls for voluntary transfer."

A June 10 bulletin article, also in the "Pastor's Page" section, was written by terrorist sympathizer Ali Baghdadi. Among other things, Baghdadi wrote (bolds are mine):

I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the White Supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs.

The KKK, on its worst day, never accused the ethnic groups it hated of attempting to concoct a "white bomb."

The Rev. Wright not only allowed these hate-filled diatribes to appear in TUCC's bulletins, he was -- and presumably, in the absence of any expressed remorse, still is -- supportive of them, as indicated by what he wrote in the July 8 bulletin:

WrightOnProgrMuslims070807

Putting "state" in quotes when describing Israel is a standard tactic of those who do not wish to see that nation survive. Rev. Wright surely knows that. Also note that the Rev. Wright put "war on terror" in quotes. So not only does he feel that we deserved to be attacked on September 11, as seen in the infamous "chickens coming home to roost" video, he apparently believes that our response to the attacks is either illegitimate and/or should not be taking place.

Barack Obama has denied reading TUCC bulletins, but was seen taking notes by a New Republic writer during one of the Rev. Wright's sermons in March 2007. The default option for where Obama would have been recording his notes would be the "Sermon Notes" section of each week's ..... church bulletin.

AP writers Hawkins and Wills made no mention of the bulletins or their content. No words relating to Israel, Hamas, or the Palestinians appeared in their article.

Instead, readers were fed pablum such as this:

People familiar with Trinity compare its emphasis on African culture to the way some Catholic churches play up Irish or Italian roots.

..... (Wright is) a serious biblical scholar who thinks carefully about issues.

..... Wright's sermons, even when they included strong critiques of racism and inequality in America, were always grounded in the Bible, church members said. Wright sometimes used harsh, painful language, his supporters acknowledge, but mostly he was well within a black tradition of emotional, social commentary.

Very little in the AP story would have caused readers to question Obama's continued association with the Rev. Wright and TUCC. That is the fundamental reason why the Rev. Wright issue continues to resonate, while Old Media obfuscates.

NewsBusters poster Matthew Balan reported on Friday afternoon that CNN portrayed TUCC sympathetically as "under siege." On Wednesday, NB poster Mark Finkelstein caught Good Morning America's David Wright (no relation) positing that bringing up Rev. Wright any further may be unfairly "raising the race issue" to hit "below the belt."

As long as Old Media reporting on Obama-Rev. Wright continues to be as disgraceful as the AP article covered here, my two-word response to David Wright is: No. Way.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.