Jamie Freeze Baird
Wright has never been so wrong
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By Jamie Freeze Baird
April 27, 2010

For the past twenty-two years, I have been guided by a man who counseled me, admonished me, corrected me, and led me. This man's influence is clearly seen in my life. That man is my father. For the past twenty years, Barack Obama was guided by a man who counseled him, ministered to him, preached to him, and led him. That man was Reverend Jeremiah Wright. One could easily argue that the influence of a father and a pastor are quite similar. Indeed, they are; those people shape us into the people we are. Guess we have Reverend Wright to thank for Obama.

On April 23, I attended an installation service at New Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia. Reverend William Marcus Small is being installed as the fifth pastor of the church. His mentor, Reverend Jeremiah Wright gave a sermon on the subject of a legacy of faith and looking towards the future an apropos message to deliver to a church who is welcoming a new pastor. The event was publicized in the local media and was free and open to the public, but no press or photographers were permitted.

Admittedly, the sole purpose for my attendance was to see if the hype surrounding Wright was indeed true. The cynic in me takes fifteen-second sound bytes with a grain of salt, but the phrase "God damn America" uttered by Wright in a past sermon stuck with me far past the election. Why? I believe God has blessed America beyond measure. It shocked me to hear that a supposed minister of the gospel would disagree. I googled the full text of Wright's sermon and found that he uttered that phrase after listing a long line of abuses suffered at the hand of America. Some real and some distorted this seems to be a pattern of his. But I digress.

After a lengthy introduction, Rev. Wright took to the pulpit and began to pray in a quiet, modulated, soft voice. Then, he directed the congregation's attention to Joshua 4:1-9. A central point of his sermon included this mantra: "A person cannot cut themselves off from the religion of their group because it cuts them off from everything." He urged the church to teach their children their religion. Then, in a move that left me highly offended, he referenced Malcolm X's famous line: "Why do you let your enemy teach your children who they are?" For the rest of the sermon, Wright continued to reference the "enemy" and alluded several times that the white person was the enemy. As one of only three white people in the entire church, I felt a little unwelcome, to say the least. But Wright was not done.

Declaring the white race the enemy, Wright began to give the congregation his version of Fiction versus Fact that went exactly like this:

  • "Fiction of the Bush administration: Bush was a legal president who took us to war in Iraq under the auspices of the presence of WMDs, a connection between Saddam and Osama, and the need to bring democracy to Iraq.

  • Fact of the Bush administration: Bush was an illegal president who took us to war in Iraq to promote corporate interests and to disgrace the United States. All of this after having Saddam and Osama on the US payroll and after knowing there were no WMDs.

  • Fiction about Ronald Reagan: Reagan was the Great Communicator.

  • Fact about Ronald Reagan: Reagan set black people back 100 years [Wright never explained how this was true, and for full disclosure, this is when I wanted to shout, "YOU LIE!" since I have a mild, okay severe, hero fascination with Reagan].

  • Fiction about Obama: We now live in a post-racial society.

  • Fact about Obama: Nothing has changed for the ordinary black person.

  • Fiction about Gaza/Palestine: The settlements constitute peaceful Jewish actions.

  • Fact about Gaza/Palestine: The settlements are illegal, the wall is akin to apartheid, and the Jews are engaging in murder and ethnic cleansing.

  • Fiction about Africans: They were polytheists.

  • Fact about Africans: They were Christians before the Europeans were.

  • Fiction that America cares about Africa: The US promised AIDS help.

  • Fact that America raped Africa: The US ignored genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, etc. and instead of providing AIDS help, the US promoted abstinence."

I was never quite sure how his Fiction versus Fact illustrated a legacy of faith, but then again, I am not the "homiletic genius" that Wright is (according to his printed bio in the church bulletin). However, his Fiction versus Fact illustrated his deep-seated animosity towards conservatives and whites. Instead of promoting unity, he used the occasion to promote division and an "us vs. them" mentality. This coupled with the fact that he quoted the Associated of Black Psychologists more than he quoted his Bible, led me to the conclusion that Wright had it all wrong when it came to the preaching of God's Word.

However, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every now and then. In the last ten minutes of his sermon, Wright must have had an epiphany. He began urging the congregation to "move from the material to the spiritual and care less about where a man lives and more about how he lives." He reminded us that "we got here because of God." He ended with words that surprised me: "We need more than scholarship we need a relationship with God." I could not argue with that, but as I told a friend who accompanied me to the event, if Wright had spoken more about a relationship with God than liberal politics, Obama might have been saved during those 20 years! Of course, I do not presume to know Obama's spiritual condition, but the Bible does say, "by their fruits ye shall know them." Wright did a grand job of missing the big picture!

The tragedy of the evening was not that Wright spouted off false liberal hype (although it was tragic for me to suffer through it). The tragedy was that he is leading congregations to hell because he is more concerned about his liberal revisionist agenda than the souls of his congregation. Condemning the Bush administration and calling white people the "enemy" is nothing more than tickling the ears of his listeners. Wright, and ministers like him, need to care more about rightly dividing the Word of Truth than paying lip service to God with soft platitudes. They need to care more about standing on the fundamentals of the faith instead of pleasing men. Their lack of care is leading a nation to hell in a hand basket.

© Jamie Freeze Baird

 

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Jamie Freeze Baird

Jamie Baird received battlefield experience in the war of ideology while attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, she served as Vice President of the College Republicans and was the lone conservative opinion columnist for The Carolinian, UNCG's student newspaper. After surviving college without becoming a liberal, she graduated in 2009. Jamie received her Master of Arts in Government, with certification in Law and Public Policy from Regent University in 2011, where she was also active in the College Republicans. You can contact Jamie at jamiebaird12@gmail.com with questions, comments, rants, and snide remarks.

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