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L. Neil Smith's
Number 466, May 4, 2008

"LP Abandons Libertarianism"

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I Like Reverend Jeremiah Wright
by James Glaser

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

No, it isn't because the Reverend Wright is a former Marine, and it sure isn't because I think he is such a great speaker. I believe what makes me like the Jeremiah Wright is that he speaks the truth, he helps the homeless, and he feeds the poor. Reverend Wright started his church, Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago almost four decades ago, and has devoted his life to that ministry.

If you would take the time to go the church's web page and take a look at the "Ministries" section and then look at Scholarships and Youth Updates, you too will be impressed with what this man has accomplished. Reverend Wright is proud of the fact that his congregation has sent 35 men and women through accredited seminaries to earn a masters of divinity, and right now they have another 40 currently enrolled.

The church has built two senior citizen housing complexes and runs two child care programs for the poor. The church also feeds 5,000 homeless families every year.

Everything about Reverend Wright's life's work is a testament to the goodness of this man, but the American media has searched high and low looking for a few minutes of sound bites to pummel this man as a means of getting at Barrack Obama, a member of Reverend Wright's congregation, who is running for president.

Now they have driven a wedge between the two men, and while Jeremiah Wright is out telling the nation what he believes, Barrack Obama is looking for any way he can distance himself from the minister — the one who 26 years ago brought Obama to Christ, has been his pastor and by his own admission been his confidant, married him and his wife, and baptized his children.

Do I believe everything Reverend Wright believes? No, I don't. However, maybe if I had been born black and was raised hearing about our government's Syphilis Experiments on black men at the Tuskegee Institute, I just might believe what Pastor Wright believes..

This week I did something I bet few of the political pundits and news reporters have done — I listened to Reverend Wright give his speech to the NAAACP in Detroit, and I listened to part of his speech and read the transcript from his talk at the National Press Club. I have to say, the man impresses me. He impresses me a lot more that Barrack Obama ever has.

Jeremiah Wright speaks with a clarity that lets you know where he stands, but, as he admits, he is not running for office. So unlike Obama, he doesn't have to say what people want to hear. Almost every news outlet has tried to paint Reverend Wright as anti-American, but read the following quote from his Press Club Speech and see what you think:

Our congregation has sent dozens of boys and girls to fight in the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War, and the present two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. My goddaughter's unit just arrived in Iraq this week, while those who call me unpatriotic have used their positions of privilege to avoid military service, while sending — (APPLAUSE) — while sending over 4,000 American boys and girls of every race to die over a lie.

Here is another quick quote that says it all:

I served six years in the military. Does that make me patriotic? How many years did Cheney serve?

Here is a short summery of Wright's military service and his education from Wikipedia:

From 1959 to 1961, Wright attended Virginia Union University, [1] in Richmond. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's 1961 challenge to "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," Wright gave up his student deferment, left college and joined the United States Marine Corps and became part of the 2nd Marine Division with the rank of private first class. In 1963, after two years of service, Wright then transferred to the United States Navy and entered the Corpsman School at the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where he graduated as valedictorian.[10][6] Having excelled in corpsman school, Wright was then trained as a cardiopulmonary technician at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland where he graduated as salutatorian.[6] Wright was assigned as part of the medical team charged with care of President Lyndon B. Johnson (see photo of Wright caring for Johnson after his 1966 surgery). Before leaving the position in 1967, the White House awarded Wright three letters of commendation.[11][12][13]

In 1967 Wright enrolled at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1968 and a master’s degree in English in 1969. He also earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School.[6] Wright holds a Doctor of Ministry degree (1990) from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, where he studied under Samuel DeWitt Proctor, a mentor to Martin Luther King.[14]

Try looking up what our President, Vice-president, most of the Bush Administration, and what most of Congress has done for this country in the way of service, and you will quickly see that Reverend Wright has given more time and service than most in Washington. If that isn't enough, here are some personal honors Reverend Wright received:

Wright has received a Rockefeller Fellowship and seven honorary doctorate degrees, including from Colgate University, Valparaiso University, United Theological Seminary and Chicago Theological Seminary.[6] Wright was named one of Ebony magazine's top fifteen preachers.[12] He was also awarded the first Carver Medal by Simpson College in January 2008, to recognize Wright as "an outstanding individual whose life exemplifies the commitment and vision of the service of George Washington Carver".[49][50]

Yes, some black ministers get all riled up in the delevery of their message, and to white Americans, this can sound as Wright says it, "Bombastic." Any way you call it, it is different than going to your white Sunday service, so those sound bites can shock most of America. Like I said, I listened to Reverend Wright this past week, and the man sounds like a fine man to me. I am white, so I don't look at the world the way a black man or a black minister does, but I believe Jeremiah Wright is getting a bad rap from the press and much of America.

Long story short: Jeremiah Wright has given his life to the Lord and has led his church and served mankind for almost forty years. A member of Reverend Wright's congregation, Barrak Obama, decided to run for president. Those who want to stop Obama from making it to the top of the ticket have cherry-picked out a few provocative remarks made by Reverend Wright from his almost 2,000 sermons, as a way to tarnish Barrack Obama. Reverend Wright has been put in the spotlight by an arrogant and narrow minded hoard of news decision makers. He didn't seek it out. He was put in it. and because he won't back down like a coward, but chooses to stand his ground for what he truly believes in, the media wants to crucify him.

I have to say again, I like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

First published on James Glaser's web page April 30, 2008.


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