Friday, November 26, 2010

Research notes: Rev. J. Wright:

Research notes: Rev. J. Wright:

1959-1961 Virginia Union University, in Richmond, member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated, Zeta Chapter. 1961 - joined the United States Marine Corps - became part of the 2nd Marine Division attaining the rank of private first class. 1963 - joined the United States Navy and entered the Corpsman School at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center - trained as a cardiopulmonary technician at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

President Lyndon B. Johnson - Wright was assigned as part of the medical team charged with his care.

1967-1968 - Howard University in Washington, D.C - Bachelor's degree
1968-1969 - Howard University in Washington, D.C - Master’s degree in English
University of Chicago Divinity School - Master's degree
1972 - Pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago - 250 members - 2008 become the largest church in the mostly white United Church of Christ denomination

June 16, 1987 - documentary "Keeping the Faith" PBS - profiled by correspondent Roger Wilkins in Sherry Jones's

Late 1980s - attended a lecture by Dr Frederick G. Sampson in Richmond, Virginia, on the GF Watts painting Hope. 1990 - inspired the sermon based on the subject of the painting.

"with her clothes in rags, her body scarred and bruised and bleeding, her harp all but destroyed and with only one string left, she had the audacity to make music and praise God ... To take the one string you have left and to have the audacity to hope ... that's the real word God will have us hear from this passage and from Watt's painting." - Rev. J. Wright

*Barack Obama - adapted Wright's phrase "audacity to hope" to "audacity of hope" the title for his 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote address, and the title of his second book.

1990 - United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio - Doctor of Ministry degree - studied under Samuel DeWitt Proctor, a mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr.
1995 - was asked to deliver a prayer during an afternoon session of speeches at the Million Man March in Washington, D.C.

Seven honorary doctorate degrees - Colgate University, Lincoln University of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Valparaiso University, United Theological Seminary, Chicago Theological Seminary, and Starr King School for the Ministry.

Named one of Ebony magazine's top 15 preachers.

January 2008 - awarded the first Carver Medal by Simpson College - "an outstanding individual whose life exemplifies the commitment and vision of the service of George Washington Carver".

Began the "Ministers in Training" program at Trinity United Church of Christ - promoting theological education and the preparation of seminarians.

Professor - Chicago Theological Seminary, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary

Served on the Board of Trustees of Virginia Union University, Chicago Theological Seminary and City Colleges of Chicago.


March 2008 - Wright's sermons - ABC News - excerpted part - contention that the Attacks of September 11, 2001 were proof that "America's chickens are coming home to roost" and "...not God Bless America. God damn America." - Rev. J. Wright

Obama gave a speech titled "A More Perfect Union," in which he denounced Wright's remarks, but did not disown him as a person. Later Obama, saying that he was "outraged" and "saddened" by his behavior, and in May he resigned his membership in the church

June 11, 2009, Wright amended many of his remarks on the radio show Make it Plain -
“Let me say like Hillary, I misspoke. Let me just say: Zionists... I’m not talking about all Jews, all people of the Jewish faith, I’m talking about Zionists." - Rev. J. Wright

Repeated statements later:

"I mis-spoke and I sincerely meant no harm or ill-will to the American Jewish community or the Obama administration... I have great respect for the Jewish faith and the foundational (and central) part of our Judeo-Christian tradition." - Rev. J. Wright

"In other words," Atlantic writer, Jeffrey Goldberg, alleged, "[H]e regrets speaking plainly instead of deploying a euphemism."

The Anti Defamation League released a statement condemning Wright's remarks as "inflammatory and false. The notions of Jewish control of the White House in Reverend Wright's statement express classic anti-Semitism in its most vile form."

PBS, April 25, 2008, interview -

Official channel of Trinity United Church of Christ on YouTube -

Complete ( non cut ) sermon by Wright from which the soundbite "God damn America" came from
Starts around min 3 -
and Transcript of Wright’s 9/11 Sermon “IN Context”

Wright subsequently defended himself in a speech before the NAACP on April 27, 2008, in which he indicated that he was not "divisive" but "descriptive," and that the black church experience, like black culture, was "different" but not "deficient"

In April 2003, Rev. Wright told his congregation that "the United States government has failed the vast majority of our citizens of African descent."

"For every one Oprah, a billionaire, you've got five million blacks who are out of work," he said. "For every one Colin Powell, a millionaire, you've got 10 million blacks who cannot read. For every one Condoskeeza [sic] Rice, you've got one million in prison. For every one Tiger Woods, who needs to get beat, at the Masters, with his cap-blazing hips, playing on a course that discriminates against women. For every one Tiger Woods, we got 10,000 black kids who will never see a golf course." - Rev. J. Wright