Eleanor Clift: Wright Had 'Prophetic Theology', Rick Warren 'Extremely Ignorant and Offensive'

Rev. Jeremiah Wright was a voice crying in the wilderness that the mainstream media and middle class America weren't quite ready for and megachurch pastor Rick Warren is an ignorant evangelical rube who isn't totally without hope, given his awareness of AIDS and other favored liberal causes.

That's essentially what Eleanor Clift preached to her choir in her December 19 "Capitol Letter" column, "Choosing a Church: Obama's next big decision -- and its implications."

Wrote Sister Eleanor (emphasis mine):

Black religious leaders did not stand up for Wright even as they understood and sympathized with the prophetic theology he was steeped in. He had jeopardized Obama's candidacy and so he disappeared, but the internal fight, much of it generational, continues. Wright has since eased himself back into Trinity Church in Chicago, alongside his successor, Otis Moss III, a voice of the future. The rise of Obama highlighted a cadre of black professionals who, like Obama, were not shaped by the civil-rights battles of the '60s, or steeped in family memories of slavery and Jim Crow.


Obama campaigned as the candidate who could bring the various strains of American life together, ideologically and spiritually. His choice of conservative Christian evangelist Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Inauguration is an attempt to build on the inroads he made during the campaign with evangelicals. According to data presented at the Pew conference, Obama won 24 percent of their votes, compared with Kerry's 21 percent. That may not sound like much, but elections are won or lost on the margins, and younger evangelicals in particular are more progressive on issues like gay marriage and the environment than their elders. Warren has said extremely ignorant and offensive things about gay people, and the gay community is understandably upset that Obama has given him this prestigious forum. At the same time, Warren has moved his followers away from a singular focus on social issues to embrace other areas of concern: climate change, global poverty, AIDS and genocide in Darfur. His book "The Purpose-Driven Life" has sold 30 million copies.

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