Re "Pastor says his critics have political agenda," April 25
Barack Obama's longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., has complained that what he sees as a racist nation would never elect a black president. It is ironic that Wright's actions are helping to ensure that, at least for 2008, he is correct.
Wright could have apologized, attempting to convince the American people that despite its flaws, he loves the country that has given him so much. But Wright is engaged in a campaign to boost himself. He has backed off not a bit from the statements he has made. Wright has also taken a not-so-subtle swat at Obama, stating that Obama is being "political" in condemning Wright's statements.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy is that the man has built and led a huge Chicago church while delivering a message of intolerance. I blame Obama for demonstrating awful judgment in hitching his wagon to a person who divides rather than unites.
Oren M. Spiegler
Upper Saint Clair, Pa.
Journalist Bill Moyers' interview with Wright was the best of journalism and the worst of journalism.
Best, because it contextualized Wright as a product of the 1960s civil rights movement, a prophetic preacher whose historiography is out of date, who naively believes you can shed your culture like a snake sheds its skin. The worst, because Moyers failed to ask Wright what he expected his congregation to do after the "Damn America" sermon ended.
The Old Testament prophets not only accused, they also offered an opportunity for repentance and change of behavior. We heard none of that in the sermon or interview.
Re "Looking for Mr. Wright," Opinion, April 29
Jonah Goldberg is right. Wright is a radical. So what?
Americans are as well-known for their brutal savagery as they are for their compassionate philanthropy. We've butchered probably as many people as we have blessed. Take a count of how many people have been robbed, tortured, raped and/or killed at the hands of Americans and their licensed contractors since we became a nation -- millions.
Why should Wright get blamed for saying so -- and why should Obama get teased for seeing the truth in it? We should admit to our ugliness as much as we take pride in our beauty.
Re "Obama's ex-pastor strides back on stage," April 29
I've read the sermon that got Wright in hot water. I've read the speech he gave to the National Press Club. I've heard from the pundits of the right and left.
What effect does all of this have on my decision on who to vote for as president of the United States? None. I'm interested in what the candidates have to say about the economy, the environment and foreign policy.
I realize that the entertainment industry that passes for news in this country would like to make more out of Wright's remarks, but as far as I'm concerned, it's just a sideshow. Shouldn't The Times be more concerned with issues of substance?
Re "Obama angrily disowns pastor," April 30
Obama's criticism of Wright is welcome.
What is missing is an explanation of how Obama could listen to more than two decades of Wright's sermons and not have some awareness of the good pastor's twisted thinking. Was Obama so inattentive in church that he missed all of Wright's historical tirades? Does his current condemnation represent true outrage, or is it a damage control exercise?
Obama, please tell us the story.