We were fortunate to have one of our writers, Beckie Supiano, in attendance yesterday to cover Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s speech/Q&A at the National Press Club. Beckie’s article is posted on the DisciplesWorld website today.

Dr. Delores Carpenter, who was also there, called it “vintage Wright.” Like him or not, you’ve got to respect him for just going there and being himself, which it sounds like he did.

I haven’t had a chance to talk with Beckie yet, but I’m interested in hearing what her impressions were. Not just of Wright, but of the kinds of questions journalists asked him. From some of the reports I’ve read, it almost seems like they’ve got their collective minds made up about Wright. But we’ll see what Beckie thinks.

The big debate in what I’ve read outside the religious press seems to be “What should Obama do?”  Salon.com compiled an article from its staff today along those lines. I usually respect Salon’s approach but most of their staff reports just struck me as off-point. The question of what Obama should do is not the right one, in my opinion. Wright is his own man. As is Obama. One’s a preacher, the other, a politician. 

The best suggestions I heard from Salon’s staff were that Obama, with all eyes on him now, needs to stop this train-wreck-in-the-making and remind people of what’s going on while we’re all uncritically following this non-crisis: war, poverty, food crisis, destruction of the earth…stuff like that. 

By the way, Beckie said only a couple of journalists stuck around for the REST of the day’s events which included a teach-in at Shiloh Baptist Church, and a worship service. The whole event, including the National Press Club breakfast, was part of a two-day symposium on the prophetic witness of the African American Church, sponsored by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference.  Yeah, I know, they had deadlines to meet and stories to file. Too bad though – they might have learned that there’s more to this whole “prophetic witness” thing than they can contain inside a set of quotation marks.

Brings to mind a great line from another prophet, Bob Dylan: “I’ll know my song well, before I start singin’…”

As the rest of the song goes, “…it’s a hard rain’s gonna fall.” 

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