A reader writes:
I checked out Hewitt 12 hours after your last post, and he keeps posting more and more "Pastor's Pages" from Trinity United. I actually hope he keeps it up. Thanks to Hewitt, I can see that there was a lot to commend the church to ordinary non-radical believers like Obama. The week-to-week business of the church, as suggested in the Hewitt excerpts, was to carry out the best of the Christian tradition: encouraging kidney donations, praising college students who, instead of partying during spring break, helped rebuild New Orleans; shining a light on Darfur; alerting the poor members of the congregation to the earned income tax credit or the new Medicare prescription drug program; giving shout-outs and encouraging "high fives" to the members of the congregation achieving advanced degrees; and so forth. The emphasis is on praising those who shun hedonism in favor of less materially rewarding work. The personal attributes of congregants singled out for praise by Wright are essentially little "c" conservative virtues.
The Hewitt posts, intentionally or not, seem to corroborate Obama's claims (which to many seemed a bit implausible) that, on a week to week basis, Wright was not serving up loopy views or radical anti-Americanism, but was encouraging personal responsibility and the relatively typical forms of social activism that many churches and synagogues encourage. Hewitt's readers are getting upset with the postings, because they find them boring and because they understand that the postings strongly disprove the contention that Wright was such a monomaniacal radical that no congregant of moderate political beliefs attending the church or reading the bulletin could have possibly maintained his membership.
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