The Wright Post 9/11 Sermon

The full text. The video is here. This is what the Internet can be for. I still do not find it appropriate, and still do not agree with it. But it is not what Hannity and Ingraham and the other talk show thugs of the far right have been saying. They won't air the whole thing. I can. Read it and make your own mind up:

"Every public service of worship I have heard about so far in the wake of the American tragedy has had in its prayers and in its preachments, sympathy and compassion for those who were killed and for their families, and God's guidance upon the selected Presidents and upon our war machine, as they do what they do and what they gotta do -- paybacks.

There's a move in Psalm 137 from thoughts of paying tithes to thoughts of paying back, A move, if you will from worship to war, a move in other words from the worship of th God of creation to war against those whom God Created.  And I want you to notice very carefully this next move.  One of the reasons this Psalm is rarely read, in its entirety, because it is a move that spotlights the insanity of the cycle of violence and the cycle of hatred.

Look at the verse; Look at the verse; Look at verse nine:  [rising voice] "Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rocks."[lower voice]  The people of faith are the rivers of Babylon.  How shall we sing the Lord's song?  If I forget the order ... The people of faith,  have moved from the hatred of armed enemies [rising voice]--these soldiers who captured the king; those soldiers who slaughtered his son, that put his eyes out; those soldiers who sacked the city, burned, burned the towns, the burned the temple,  burned the towers, they have moved from the hatred of [loudest voice] armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocents -- [low voice] the babies, the babies.

Blessed are they who dash your baby’s brains against a rock.  And that,  my beloved,  is a dangerous place to be, yet that is where the people of faith are in the 551BC, and that is where far too many people of faith are in 2001 AD.  We have moved from the hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocents.  We want revenge, we want paybacks, and we don't care who gets hurt in the process.

Now I asked the Lord, what should our response be in light of such an unthinkable act, but before I share with you what the Lord shared with me I want to give you one of my little faith footnotes.

Visitors, I often give little faith footnotes, so that our members don't lose sight of the big picture, let me give you a faith footnote. Turn to your neighbor and say, "Faith footnote."  [Voices: "Faith footnote"]

[Begin faith footnote]

I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday.  Did anybody else see him or hear him, he was on Fox News. This is a white man, and he was upsetting the Fox News commentators to no end.   He pointed out, (Did you see him, John?) --a white man-- he pointed out-- an ambassador-- that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Mohammad was in fact true, America's chickens are coming home to roost.

We took this country, by terror, away from the Sioux, the Apache, the Arrowak (phonetic) the Comanche, the Arapajo, the Navajo.  Terrorism--we took Africans from their country to build our way of ease and kept them enslaved and living in fear.  Terrorism.  We bombed Grenada and killed innocent civilians -- babies, non-military personnel.  We bombed the black civilian community of Panama with Stealth Bombers and killed unarmed teenagers, and toddlers, pregnant mothers  and hard working father.  [fullest voice]  We bombed Khadafi, his home and killed his child.  Blessed be they who bash your children's head agains the rocks.

[fullest voice]  We bombed Iraq, we killed unarmed civilians trying to make a living.  We bombed the plant in Sudan to payback for the attack on our embassy -- killed hundreds of hard working people --mothers and fathers, who left home to go that day, not knowing they'd never get back home.  [Even fuller voice] We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon and we never batted an eye.  Kids playing in the playground, mothers picking up children after school -- civilians not soldiers.  People just trying to make it day by day.  We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and South Africa and now we are indignant?  Because the stuff we have done overseas is brought back into our own front yard.

America's chickens are coming home, to roost.  Violence begets violence.  Hatred begets hatred, and terrorism begets terrorism.

[lower voice] A White ambassador said that, y'all, not a black militant.  Not a Reverend who preaches about racism, an ambassador whose eyes are wide open, and whose trying to get us to wake up, and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised.  The ambassador said that the people we have wounded don't have the military capability we have, but they do have individuals who are willing to die and take thousands with them, and we need to come to grips with that.

Let me stop my faith footnote right there, and ask you to think about that over the next few weeks if God grants us that many days.  Turn back to your neighbor, and say, "Footnote is over."  [Voices:  "Footnote is over."]

[End Faith Footnote]

[Gentle voice]  Now, now.  C'mon back to my question to the Lord, "What should our response be right now. In light of such an unthinkable act.  I asked the Lord that question Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

I was stuck in Newark, New Jersey.  No flights were leaving La Guardia, JFK, or Newark Airport.  On the day tht the FAA opened up the airports to bring into the destinations of cities those flights that had been diverted because of the hijacking, a scare in New York close all three regional airports and I couldn't even get her for Mr. Radford's father's funeral.  And I asked God, "What should our response be?

I saw pictures of the incredible.  People jumping from the 110th floor; people jumping from the roof because the stair wells and elevators above the 89th floor were gone-- no more.  Black people, jumping to a certain death; people holding hands jumping; people on fire jumping.  [plaintiff high voice]  And I asked the Lord, "What should our response be?" I read what the people of faith felt in 551BC.  But this is a different time, this is a different enemy, a different world,  a different terror.   This is a different reality.  What should our response be, and the Lord showed me three things.  Let me share them with you quickly and I'm gonna leave you alone to think about the faith footnote.

Number one:  The Lord showed me that this is a time for self-examination. [cheers] As I sat 900 miles away from my family and my community of faith, two months after my own father's death, God showed me that this  was a time for me to examine my relationship with God.  MY own relationship with God-- personal relationship with God. 

I submit to you that it is the same for you. Folk flocked to the church in New Jersey last week, you know that foxhole-religion syndrome kicked in, that emergency chord religion, you know that little red box you pull in emergency?  It showed up in full force.  Folk who aint thought about coming to church in years, were in church last week.  I heard that mid-week prayer services all over this country which are poorly attended fifty-one week a year were jam packed all over the nation the week of the hijacking the 52nd week.  [inaudible]

But the Lord said, this aint the time for you to be examining other folks relationship this is a time of self examination.  But the Lord said, "How is "our" relationship doing Jeremiah?  How often do you talked to me personally, how often do you let me talk to you privately?  How much time do you spend trying to get right with me, or do you spend all your time trying to get other folk right?

This is a time for me to examine my own relationship with God.   Is it real or is it fake?  Is it forever or is it for show?  Is is something that you do for the sake of the public or is it something that you do  for the sake of eternity?  [voice rising]  This is a time for me to examine my own, and a time for you to examine your own relationship with God -- self examination.