You’ve probably seen a raving, ranting black preacher talking about racism and “God damn America” with a fiery anger on just about every TV channel. The news media found some video clips of sermons given by Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, the pastor of potential presidential candidate Barack Obama. The news media found the most incendiary examples and played them ad nauseam with no context. People began accusing Wright of all kinds of things, including being anti-American, anti-gay and an anti-Semite (based on the context I’ve seen, I concluded he’s none of those things).
But Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright aren’t my focus today. My focus is what Trinity United Church of Christ, Wright’s church, has done in response.
The church’s web site itself is void of any kind of response. Oops.
But the church does have its own YouTube channel. It was set up last summer and had about a dozen clips posted in 2007. But the remaining 37 clips were posted in the last two weeks. They’re posting full-context clips of Wright’s sermons (as much as can be managed under YouTube’s 10-minute limit), and letting people make up their own minds.
There’s also a Blogspot blog, The Truth About Trinity, set up by a member that gives inside stories from Trinity.
Both of these efforts are allowing the church to tell their story, to give their side of the facts. It’s interesting to note that both are free services, one of which was already in place when the attacks began. It’s too early to tell if this will help restore the church’s image, but it does go along way.
Is your church prepared to handle these kinds of attacks?