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.
I got a particular kick out of this exchange between Stengel and guest panelist Tucker Calrson. Classic white guilt covering for black extremism. It came after a discussion of the quote from the article about Trinity not being a particularly radical black church.
TUCKER CARLSON: So this isn't a radical church, in context? There are more radical churches in Chicago?
RICK STENGELL: Well, I mean, one of the things in Amy's story that she writes about is the incredible ignorance of white Americans about what goes on in black churches. And so, she talks also a little bit about black liberation theology which was, which was in the, the, you know, which people believed in back in those days, which influenced their Christianity. I mean, I just, you know, a church in some ways to me, it's like a buffet. You choose what you want here and there. I think that's probably what he was doing.
"Back in those days"? You mean like way back this past December when Wright used the n-word to draw an invidious comparison between Obama and Hillary? And do you remain in a church when the main course on that buffet is a radical, hateful theology?