Jeremiah Wright appeared at the National Press Club today to give a formal speech on black liberation theology and to field questions. The text of his speech and the question-and-answer session is available here. Here is a highlight from the question-and-answer session:
MODERATOR: What is your relationship with Louis Farrakhan? Do you agree with and respect his views, including his most racially divisive views?
WRIGHT: As I said on the Bill Moyers show, one of our news channels keeps playing a news clip from 20 years ago when Louis said 20 years ago that Zionism, not Judaism, was a gutter religion.
And he was talking about the same thing United Nations resolutions say, the same thing now that President Carter is being vilified for, and Bishop Tutu is being vilified for. And everybody wants to paint me as if Im anti-Semitic because of what Louis Farrakhan said 20 years ago.
I believe that people of all faiths have to work together in this country if were going to build a future for our children, whether those people are just as Michelle and Barack dont agree on everything, Raymond and I dont agree on everything, Louis and I dont agree on everything, most of you all dont agree you get two people in the same room, youve got three opinions.
Now, I am not going to put down Louis Farrakhan anymore than Mandela would put down Fidel Castro. Do you remember that Ted Koppel show, where Ted wanted Mandela to put down Castro because Castro was our enemy? And he said, You dont tell me who my enemies are. You dont tell me who my friends are.
Louis Farrakhan is not my enemy. He did not put me in chains. He did not put me in slavery. And he didnt make me this color.
I won’t bother to unpack the last quoted sentence, apparently referring to Reverend Wright’s mixed racial heritage. I just note that I’m sure this all comes as a great shock to Senator Obama.
JOHN adds: I’ve always thought “liberation theology” was nonsense, but I confess that I hadn’t studied it enough to realize how pernicious it is until Jeremiah Wright made the news. There is a deep irony here: genuine Christianity, not Wright’s hateful perversion of the Gospel, really is a liberation theology. Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” No one is liberated by being fed lies of the sort peddled by Wright, e.g., that the federal government invented the AIDS virus. To believe such foolishness is to have one’s freedom stunted and one’s prospects in life limited. Wright is a thoroughly despicable character, and one wonders how long Barack Obama can go without confronting the cancer on his candidacy that Wright represents.