Pastor of Hillary's Former Church: Don't Use Wright to Polarize


On Tuesday, Sen. Hillary Clinton re-stoked the flames of the controversy surrounding Sen. Barack Obama's former pastor, saying she would have long ago distanced herself from Rev. Jeremiah Wright if she had attended his church.



"He would not have been my pastor," Clinton told a gathering of the campaign press corps, repeating a line she used earlier in the day on a Pittsburgh radio program. "You don't choose your family, but you choose what church you want to attend."



But the pastor at the church that Clinton did once attend has recently expressed public support for Wright. He's even proclaimed it a "grave injustice" to make a judgment on Wright based off of "two or three sound bites," and criticized those who would "use a few of [Wright's] quotes to polarize."



Last week, Dean Snyder, the senior minister at the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington D.C. -- which the Clintons famously attended while in the White House -- released a little noticed statement offering a sympathetic defense of the totality of Wright's work.



"The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times," Snyder wrote. "He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize."

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