Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Defenses of Wright Pour In

In addition to the myriad posts in defense of Rev. Wright that have appeared on blogs around the country, a few more high profile defenses have shown up in the last few days. The theme running through them is the revelation of Wright in broader context, while in no way excusing the tone or incendiary nature of the remarks that have found a home on the cable news channels. This is laudable, but not likely to sway the opinion of most blue-collar whites, who would benefit most from the perspective - primarily because their choice of news outlets can generally be narrowed to those which can be digested without too much effort, i.e., while sofa surfing. Saying that these news outlets do them a disservice is to state the obvious.

The most notable treatments of Wright of late have been from Martin Marty and Rev. Dean Snyder. Marty is a Professor of Religious History at the University of Chicago. He was one of Wright's instructors, a periodic attendee at Trinity UCC, and calls Wright a friend. His defense is, well, fair and balanced. The other supporting words, whose timing couldn't be better, are from the Dean Snyder, pastor of the church Hillary and Bill Clinton attended for their eight years in the White House. Rev. Snyder describes Wright as "an outstanding church leader" to whom we do an injustice if we "evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites." I doubt that Rev. Snyder cleared this comment with Sen. Clinton or her campaign advisers before issuing it, but then again, maybe that's how its supposed to work in a democracy with a functioning separation of church and state.

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