Barack Obama announced tonight at a press conference that he is leaving Trinity United Church of Christ. Apparently Rev. Pfleger was the last straw. Obama’s explanation was characteristically self-pitying and evasive:
It’s clear that now that I am a candidate for president, every time something is said in the church by anyone associated with Trinity, including guest pastors, the remarks will be imputed to me, even if they totally conflict with my long-held views, statements and principles.
Maybe it’s just me, but I wouldn’t choose to attend a church where sermons are constantly preached that not only “totally conflict with my long-held views,” but rightly offend many millions of people. The question that is still left hanging, of course, is why they didn’t offend Obama until they appeared on YouTube.
The national media have already twice hailed Obama for skillfully handling the Trinity “distraction” and putting it behind him. Obviously the voters saw it differently. Even our mainstream reporters may have a hard time congratulating Obama on his third new position on the issue in, what, 60 days? So press reaction is likely to be muted.
Pundits often talk about whether a candidate has put an issue behind him, but I’m not sure whether this ever really happens. The Rev. Wright fiasco has done permanent damage to Obama. The most he can expect to gain from his disavowal tonight is that the next time some fruitcake gives an offensive sermon at Trinity, he won’t have to answer questions about it.
Voters will continue to wonder, however, what Obama was doing there for twenty years, and what his embrace of the theology of hate that was so often on display at Trinity tells us about him.
PAUL adds: Obama left Trinity Church for the same reason he joined it — political opportunism. The theology was always something he could take or leave. Both phenomena, the opportunism and the fact that he could take Rev. Wright’s brand of black liberation theology, reflect very poorly on Obama.
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