Obama Discusses the ‘Provocative’ Rev. Wright Sermons He’s Attended

Apr 27, 2008 10:19am

ABC News’ Tahman Bradley reports: Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has admitted, in the past, attending church when Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, has made controversial comments, but he has never explained what he heard.

Until now.

Obama, in an interview broadcast on "Fox News Sunday," said he’s been on hand for worship services that included "provocative" messages delivered by Wright that have touched on race and issues plaguing the black community.

"He will talk about the failure of fathers to look after their children in ways that, sometimes, people might be taken aback by. He can use street vernacular in his sermons in ways that people wouldn’t expect to hear," Obama said.

Obama continued, "He has certainly preached in the past, when I was there, about the history of race in this country in very blunt terms, talking about slavery and talking about Jim Crow. The problem -– and I’ve pointed this out in my speech in Philadelphia -– was, where often times he would error, I think, is in only cataloging the bad of America and not doing enough to lift up the good. And that’s probably where he and I have the biggest difference."

Careful to point out that he does not endorse all of Wright’s sermons or the way in which they were delivered, Obama said, "I go to church not to worship a pastor but to worship God." Obama also said his vision for the country is much more hopeful than some of the black elders who grew up in a more racially charged America.

Wright has been in the news after a weekend of high profile events, including an interview with PBS’s Bill Moyers.

Obama expressed regret that the man who married him and his wife Michelle, and the church he’s called home for more than 20 years, have been the subject of close press scrutiny.

"That church family that’s been built there does outstanding work, has been, I think, applauded for it’s outreach to the poor — he (Wright) built that ministry and I think that people need to take a look at the whole church and the whole man in making these assessments."

Watch Obama’s comments on the "This Week Sunday Sound" webcast.

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