Rev. Otis Moss (Courtesy Cleveland Plan Dealer)
JERUSALEM – More pastor problems for Sen. Barack Obama?
The man slated to become chief pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ has called blacks “lepers” with a “skin disease,” claimed U.S. entertainment corporations operate with “disdain” for black people, and in a fiery sermon claimed retired pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright was “lynched” by the media and compared the embattled pastor to Jesus.
Otis Moss III, lauded this week by Obama as a “wonderful young pastor,”
also recently refused to deny claims by Wright that the U.S. government was involved in distributing illegal drugs to minorities or spreading the AIDS virus to blacks.
The 37-year-old Moss, nicknamed the “hip-hop pastor” by congregants, will become the head of Trinity Christ in June, taking over for Wright, whose controversial remarks landed Obama in hot water.
Following a series of national media interviews given by Wright last week, Obama strongly denounced some of Wright’s statements as “divisive and destructive.”
Wright had defended his views that the U.S. was to blame for the 9-11 attacks and referred to Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan as “one of the most important voices in the 20th and 21st century.” Wright also quoted controversial Farrakhan remarks, such as his calling “Zionism” a “gutter religion.”
While slamming Wright this week, Obama told the New York Times he will continue his membership in Trinity. He referred to Moss as “wonderful.”
“Well, you know, the new pastor – the young pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, is a wonderful young pastor. And as I said, I still very much value the Trinity community.”
In what was labeled his first national broadcast interview, Moss spoke last month to National Public Radio amid national media controversy surrounding some of Wright’s views.
NPR interviewer Michelle Noris asked about Wright’s statements regarding the spread of drugs and AIDS:
“As part of a member of this new generation is that a concept that you embrace? That the government was involved in the distribution of drugs or in the spread of HIV and AIDS?” asked Noris.
Moss replied: “Well, I think in terms of that particular narrative, I think we need to be very, very honest in terms of that our government has the ability to place a Hubble Telescope in the sky but yet we haven’t had the political will to shut down drugs coming into our community. And from that perspective I think that’s something we can look at in terms of policy. That we just have lacked the political will.”
Like Wright, Moss has a trail of fiery sermons posted on YouTube.
“You see they still are lepers. They still have a skin disease. They had a skin disease. They had a skin disease. Based on their skin condition, they were considered to be second-class citizens. They had a skin issue. They had a skin disease.
“And the lepers lived in a leper project. The lepers had bad health care. The lepers were disrespected. They had funny names for lepers. The lepers were considered inferior. They had an inferior school system. The lepers lived in a ghetto leper colony. The lepers were segregated from everybody else,” he continued.
Moss went on to imply those who segregated blacks are the “enemy.”
“But they (blacks) refused to give up. They decided to leave the city. They said that’s not going to stop me from my destiny. Once they left the particular area, they then find out God has cooked things up. The camp of the enemy…nobody is there. So they go into the enemy’s camp. They find food. They find shelter. They find gold. They find silver. They even find some drink. In the enemy’s camp. They find gin and juice. In the enemy’s camp.”
“The one who wanted to destroy them ends up being the one who blesses them. Every once in a while God will use your enemies to end up blessing you,” said Moss.
In his Easter sermon last month, Moss said Wright was “lynched” by the international media.
“No one should start a ministry with lynching, no one should end their ministry with lynching,” Moss said.
“The lynching was national news. The RNN, the Roman News Network, was reporting it and NPR, National Publican Radio had it on the radio. The Jerusalem Post and the Palestine Times all wanted exclusives, they searched out the young ministers, showed up unannounced at their houses, tried to talk with their families, called up their friends, wanted to get a quote on how do you feel about the lynching?” he stated.
He went on to compare Wright to Jesus:
“The people gathered around Jesus, they knew better. But they kept repeating sound bytes from his ministry. They kept saying, you know, things like the last shall be first and didn’t say the first shall be last.”
“They just kept quoting things. Did not talk about his parables. Did not talk about his work. Just there he is on the cross being lynched. No rabbis came to the aid of Jesus during his lynching.”
Moss served under Wright as an assistant pastor for two years. He graduated from Yale Divinity School and is the son of a preacher and former adviser to Martin Luther King Jr.
Under Wright, Moss wrote in the Trinity church newsletter that American entertainment companies operate with contempt for the black community.
“Currently, there are about eight companies controlling 90% of everything we hear, read, watch on television or view in the movie theater. These companies operate with contempt and disdain for the Black community,” Moss wrote.
He was introducing an article featured in the newsletter about the music industry and blacks.
That same church newsletter was widely featured in the media after it was reported the bulletin reprinted an opinion piece by a top Hamas official that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist and compared the terror group’s official charter – which calls for the murder of Jews – to America’s Declaration of Independence.
The Hamas piece was published on Wright’s “Pastor’s Page,” which later printed an open letter by a pro-Palestinian activist that labeled Israel an “apartheid” regime and claimed the Jewish state worked on an “ethnic bomb” that kills “blacks and Arabs.”
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