Sunday, May 4, 2008

Oprah, Obama & Wright

Newsweek has a great story:
For any spiritually minded, up-wardly mobile African-American living in Chicago in the mid-1980s, the Trinity United Church of Christ was -- and still is -- the place to be. That's what drew Oprah Winfrey, a recent Chicago transplant, to the church in 1984. She was eager to bond with the movers and shakers in her new hometown's black community. . . . Winfrey was a member of Trinity United from 1984 to 1986, and she continued to attend off and on into the early to the mid-1990s. But then she stopped. A major reason . . . was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. . . .
Winfrey was never comfortable with the tone of Wright's more incendiary sermons, which she knew had the power to damage her standing as America's favorite daytime talk-show host.
Very interesting. Oprah saw the potential for trouble, but Harvard-educated Obama didn't. On the other hand:

Winfrey, who has endorsed Obama and campaigned on his behalf, had long understood the perils of a close association with Wright . . . [but] was blindsided by the pastor's personal assault on Obama.
Surprising, yes, but not all that much. It's obvious Wright resents Obama's attempt to distance himself. If you want an insight on Wright's character, ask his wife's ex-husband:
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's loose cannon of a spiritual adviser, stole the wife of a parishioner - after the man sought Wright's help in saving his troubled marriage, the former husband told friends.
Delmer Reed, 59, confided to pals that he believed the minister moved in on his wife while Wright was counseling the couple at his Chicago church in the early 1980s, The Post has learned. "That's exactly how he said it," Reed's divorce lawyer, Roosevelt Thomas, told The Post.
"It looks like Delmer might have been right," he said, because after Delmer and Ramah Reed were divorced, she got remarried - to Wright. "Either that or this was the biggest coincidence in the world."
Asked about the relationship between Wright and his ex-wife, Reed told The Post, "Oh, the things I could tell you."
Initially, he didn't believe the rumors.
"People were telling me that my extremely attractive wife was seen with the pastor," Reed said. "But I didn't believe it. I thought, 'So what?' "
Was he wrong in the end?
"Well, yeah," he said.
If the pastor treats his congregation like that, his vengeful behavior toward Obama is not surprising.

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