Obama: “I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn”

The statements coming from Obama concerning his former Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s statements have stepped up today as Obama is now condemning Wright’s controversial and, at times, racist statements he’s made from the pulpit.

Here’s a video report on his statements today from MSNBC:

This is certainly much stronger than he came out with yesterday about how his Pastor is like the “crazy uncle” that not everyone agrees with. I am betting we still haven’t heard the last of this issue. Obama has now attempted to disavow all of Wright’s statements and is now actually stating he disagrees and condemns them.

Here’s Obama’s entire statement from Fox News:

The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He’s drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. 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.

Because these particular statements by Rev. Wright are so contrary to my own life and beliefs, a number of people have legitimately raised questions about the nature of my relationship with Rev. Wright and my membership in the church. Let me therefore provide some context.

As I have written about in my books, I first joined Trinity United Church of Christ nearly twenty years ago. I knew Rev. Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago. He also led a diverse congregation that was and still is a pillar of the South Side and the entire city of Chicago. It’s a congregation that does not merely preach social justice but acts it out each day, through ministries ranging from housing the homeless to reaching out to those with HIV/AIDS.

Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he’s been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church.

Let me repeat what I’ve said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country.

With Rev. Wright’s retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright’s statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.

We’ll keep following the story, I’m sure this won’t be the end considering the degree of Pastor Jeremiah Wright’s inflammatory statements.

  • Calista

    Obama is a phony.

  • Don

    Good job Barack.

    Obama ’08!

  • W.K.Randall

    To the misinformed:
    Trinity United Church of Christ is a God-fearing church that
    have and will always made great change in the Lord’s World,not just in the U.S.
    God appoints pastors to rely spiritual insight to his sheep;And yes,we are ALL considered sheep in God’s eyesight.Now it was’nt no false in what Pastor Wright preached about the injustice which prevade our everyday lives as a country. For those that are comfortable with this bondage,we will still pray for you.But as children of God’s World,we are “DEDICATED TO CHANGE”
    But America I have a question for you-What was truly the relations between Bill and George Bush Sr? WAKE UP!!!

  • The Wise One

    Change is always good and rewarding in God’s eyesight.
    Obama 2008-That “CHANGE” we sure as a country can count on.

  • Kendale “ivgenesis) Sturdivent

    I really wish that people would not judge Mr. Obama on the words spoken by another man. I have grown up with many friends, both black and white whom have said some very outlandish things about the opposite raise. Some of my closest friends whom are black have very strong negative feelings towards many white people and I have had and still have white friends whom use the phrase “n*gger lover” and have strong negative feelings towards black people, with both sides knowledge of me being from a black father and white mother.

    I would certainly not wish that people view me or my feelings about the world and it’s people based on the thoughts and/or words of those whom I have called friends, otherwise they should say I have blacks and whites while being of both backgrounds myself JUST AS OBAMA being of both a black and white origin.

    I believe that those who judge Obama simply on his relationship with a black person who may or may not have said things that in your eyes to be pro-black or anti-white or anti-American are naive and/or ignorant. I have not yet heard conservative gals opinion on this statement and have not listening to this past blog talk radio show, which I will listen to now, because i had to work.

    I look forward to hearing both hers and Nates’ opinion on this matter.

    In the end, it saddens me deeply that so many voters are so easily influenced and waved in their opinion and their future voting based on such issues. A slew of attacks at NOT Obama’s views, beliefs, or idea’s for action during his presidency, but on those of other individuals having the power to change voters votes is another reason that when I finish Medical School, I am leaving this place in hopes to find an area that believes in the famous sermon by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. I am sure that since I have said that, people will lash back at rumors and such things that discredit Dr. Kings’ words, and so we continue to circle with bull.

    Wait, one more thing. If we are to condemn Obama for his pastors words and/or actions, let us do the same with other candidates. I, though I have no proof, can assure you that other candidates and former presidents have associated with those who have very negative and positively racists beliefs and possibly done things to others because of their race, I challenge anyone to prove that to be false.

    Kendale (ivgenesis)

  • Babs

    Sure are a lot of preachers out today, and it’s not even Sunday…………

  • Muslims Against Sharia call on Senators McCain and Obama to cut all ties with their racist, Islamophobic, and anti-Semitic supporters.

    McCain: http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/03/mccains-spiritual-guide-destroy-islam.html
    Obama: http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/03/racist-congregation-cheering-racist.html