First he praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, giving him a humanitarian award and traveling with him to Libya to meet Moammar Gadhafi.
Then he turned his Trinity United Church of Christ into an institution that had all the earmarkings of a black separatist congregation.
And now he, it turns out, he has damned America in God’s name and blamed the U.S. for provoking the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by dropping nuclear weapons on Japan in World War II and supporting Israel since 1947.
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama’s pastor for the last 20 years, the man who married he and his wife, Michelle, and baptized their two daughters and is credited with providing the title of Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope,” has a long history of “inflammatory rhetoric.”
But those discovered by an ABC News investigation may be the toppers.
ABC News reviewed dozens of Wright’s sermons, finding repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.
“The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God d— America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,” he said in a 2003 sermon. “God d— America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d— America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.”
In addition to damning America, he told his congregation on the Sunday after Sept. 11, 2001 that the U.S. had brought on al-Qaida’s attacks because of its own terrorism, ABC News reports.
“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye,” Wright said in a sermon Sept. 16, 2001. “We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards. America’s chickens are coming home to roost,” he told his congregation.
Obama declined to comment on Wright’s denunciations of the U.S., but a campaign religious adviser, Shaun Casey, appearing on “Good Morning America” today, said Obama “had repudiated” those comments.
In a statement to ABC News, Obama’s press spokesman Bill Burton said, “Sen. Obama has said repeatedly that personal attacks such as this have no place in this campaign or our politics, whether they’re offered from a platform at a rally or the pulpit of a church. Sen. Obama does not think of the pastor of his church in political terms. Like a member of his family, there are things he says with which Sen. Obama deeply disagrees. But now that he is retired, that doesn’t detract from Sen. Obama’s affection for Rev. Wright or his appreciation for the good works he has done.”
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