Jeremiah Wright, who keeps insisting that politics isn’t part of his job description, keeps on keeping on, this time with the very sympathetic Bill Moyers. Our South Dakota friend Ken Blanchard watched the interview and provides these comments.
I’d add that Rev. Wright’s view of prophecy is a little less far from politics than he’s prepared to admit. And I’d note that prophets are also accountable for actually speaking truth to power. A prophet who gets his facts wrong, who perhaps willfully misrepresents the state of affairs, is a false prophet. I agree that not all of Rev. Wright’s statements are exceptionable, that there are some genuine sins to which he points in his sermons. But there are also some difficult political choices that he’s willing to condemn (on God’s behalf) without further consideration. And there’s a narrative about America that owes its provenance, not to serious theological reflection, but to a leftist political agenda, that he’s (mis)representing as God’s word to his audience.
As I noted above, Rev. Wright says that politics isn’t part of his job description:
"I am not a politician," he said. "I know that fact will surprise many of you because many of the corporate-owned media have made it seem like I have announced I am running for the Oval Office. I am not running for the Oval Office. I’ve been running for Jesus a long, long, long time, and I’m not tired yet."
What’s more, calling a attack on himself an attack on the black church and acceding to a description of his treatment as a crucifixion can’t be intended to pour oil on troubled waters. Yes, the black church in America has a communal and political dimension that seems foreign to some folks. But Rev. Wright can’t have it both ways. If he doesn’t want to be treated politically, he shouldn’t act politically. And he shouldn’t respond to criticism of his politics by calling it criticism of his religion.