Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of Barack Obama’s Chicago church who infamously ranted “God d— America,” now is teaching theology “from the black perspective” at a Pennsylvania seminary run by his longtime denomination, the United Church of Christ.
Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, announced it was offering this week a “one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take a Master Class from Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, pastor emeritus, Trinity United Church of Christ Chicago.”
The week-long class focuses on “a survey and analysis of the many different theologies preached and practiced by the black churches in the diaspora from the days of the European enslavement of Africans through the 21st century, comparing and contrasting the broad range of theologies found in Christian congregations and denominations in Africa with black Christian churches in the diaspora.”
It emphasizes the “four black Americas” that Eugene Robinson describes, according to NPR, as “a mainstream middle-class majority with a full ownership stake in American society, a large, abandoned minority with less hope of escaping poverty and dysfunction than at any time since Reconstruction’s crushing end, a small transcendent elite with such enormous wealth, power, and influence that eve white folks have to genuflect, [and] two newly emergent groups – individuals of mixed-race heritage and communities of recent black immigrants – that make us wonder what ‘black’ is even supposed to mean.”
The cost for the Wright class at Lancaster was listed at $250 per person plus the costs of textbooks, and three credits were being offered to enrolled students at the seminary. But it was keeping the privacy level high, with a note, “Auditing the academic course is not permitted.”
The seminary described Wright as “homiletic genius, theological scholar, the pastor’s pastor” and noted his service at Trinity United in Chicago without mentioning it was the church President Obama attended.
Wright emerged as a personality during Obama’s first campaign for the presidency when it was revealed Obama sat under his teaching for two decades but didn’t recall any of Wright’s controversial statements.
In 2003, for example, Wright said from the pulpit: “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. 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.”
According to an ABC News investigation at the time, 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.
“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.
WND also reported Wright, who married the Obamas and baptized their daughters, said at a Howard University speech: “America is still the No. 1 killer in the world. … We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional killers.”
And at the school’s Washington, D.C., chapel, he said: “We started the AIDS virus. … We are only able to maintain our level of living by making sure that Third World people live in grinding poverty.”
He also said: “The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied.”
See Wright’s rant:
Obama eventually had to respond, acknowledging the “firestorm” over the statements by Wright and insisting that he was not in attendance when Wright made any of the statements and never heard such talk in private conversations.
“I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it’s on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue.”
The four black Americas described by Robinson and expounded upon by Wright at the seminar, according to the NPR report, focus on the breakup of black society in America.
Robinson wrote: “Barack Obama’s stunning election as the first African American president seemed to come out of nowhere, but it was the result of a transformation that has been unfolding for decades. With implications both hopeful and dispiriting, black America as undergone a process of disintegration. It’s right there, documented in census data, economic reports, housing patterns, and a wealth of other evidence just begging for honest analysis.”
Wright, in his emeritus status, has been on the speech-making trail, including an appearance at St. James United Methodist Church in Kansas City a year ago.
A report at KansasCity.com said he was at St. Paul School of Theology to discuss “the culture in which we live has Eurocentric roots of imperialism.”
“It continues to create a ‘distorted sense in which we view others,” he said.
The report cited Wright decrying a “racist theology created the world in which we see others as inferior.”
“We are normal, and they are abnormal,” Wright said. “History books. literature, the media and pop culture view colonists as good and Native Americans as savages.”
Wright also spoke at Lancaster seminary in early 2013.
And a book titled “The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.” has been released by author Susan Smith.
The only listed review at Amazon said: “I gave it 4 and not 5 because it seemed repetitive. An interesting approach comparing the Jeremiahs – Wright and Prophet and the role of prophesy.”
Amazon noted that customers frequently also bought “Stokely: A Life” about black activist Stokely Carmichael. He famously called for “black power” in a Mississippi speech in the 1960s.
After Obama took office, Wright was captured on video blasting the president.
In a speech, he talked about the Tuesday “kill lists” in which Obama would discuss the alleged terrorists he wanted removed.
“That’s not the man of peace you just talked about. That’s a man controlled by the government, a government based on militarism and racism,” Wright said.