May 31st, 2008
06:22 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama resigns from controversial church

Sen. Obama resigned from his controversial church, according to his campaign.
Sen. Obama resigned from his controversial church, according to his campaign.

(CNN) - Barack Obama resigned Saturday from his Chicago church - where controversial sermons by his former pastor and other ministers had created repeated political headaches for the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination - his campaign confirmed.

The resignation comes days after the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a visiting Catholic priest, mocked Obama's Democratic rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, for crying in New Hampshire during the runup to the primary there.

Previously, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright - former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ and Obama's minister for about 20 years - drew unwanted attention for the campaign when videos of several of his fiery sermons surfaced.

In them, Wright suggested the U.S. government may be responsible for the spread of AIDS in the black community and equated some American wartime activities to terrorism.

Obama has said he was not present for the controversial sermons by Wright or Pfleger and had condemned both - most recently saying he was "deeply disappointed" by Pfleger's "divisive, backward-looking rhetoric."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. John F

    Could these pastors be martars for Obama, Talk nasty, uproot opion, and then take the heat to make Obama look like the inlightened soul who would forgo this upbrining? I have no pre-reservations of any of the canidates but this has gone to far. With all the in-fighting with dems. Good Luck.

    May 31, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  2. Angela

    The wisest choice for all concerned.

    May 31, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  3. Ron

    A shame that we can not kept the seperation between church and state

    May 31, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  4. syl

    If Obama cannot change his godly church members at Trintiy from their hate and bigotry, how could he change America. Is he not heralding himself a man of change for the last many months? He is running away from the problem...shows lack of experience and skills.

    May 31, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  5. Brian

    One more thing id like to add.... Im sure we will see alot of hate blogs here. I just hope that people will be mature and see it for what it really is and the democratic party start to uniteas one and lets beat McCain in the fall! We all know we got to move ahead.....not backwards.

    May 31, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  6. Terry in Fl

    So he resigns to save his campaign. Want to bet he still purchases the DVD's of the sermons? Spotted leopards can't change their spots.

    May 31, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  7. rene'

    The Obama family shouldn't have had to leave the church, but i understand why they did. In the eyes of america (unfortunately some of us are like impressionable 4 year olds and buy into any and everything) the words spoken by father p were the words and belief of obama, when in fact it's actually the truth about what hillary did. yes it was distasteful, but it's a truth. i understand the need to distance but i think it's wrong that everytime someone says something he's held accountable for it.

    you can clearly see it's a racial thing because mccain didn't receive flack over hagee and parsley for the ill things they've spoken over the pulpit for decades. nobody questions hillary about her affiliations, but barack gets kicked in the shins each and everytime someone says something.

    May 31, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  8. TunnelVision

    Good move

    May 31, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  9. Marj,Paso Robles, Cal

    Only took 20 years, right barry? You should be ashamed. Your rascist church and your affiliation to it will never be forgotten.

    May 31, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  10. BO is to be trusted

    BO, finally you made a good judgment. You did not make a good judgment for the 20 years. Shame on you! Your supports are racists!
    As Asian and independent, I'm very disappointed with you. your campaign is the one who is so divisive and playing the race card.

    I'll cast my vote Hillary. I was thikning voting for you in the NOv. but you are liar and have excuses for everyhting. Thank GOD! I see your true colors!

    If you win the Nominiation, I'll vote for MCCAIN!

    May 31, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  11. Breaking News:

    There is no words to express what I am feeling about this church. As a 39yrs old Black woman I can say that I am so disappointed with some of the recent conduct of individuals within this church.

    The bible says "upon this rock I shall build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail" Trinity and some of its presentatives (not all) are in the hands of the Lord now.

    I have worked with different people for well over 20yrs and I understand jealousy, envy, back biting and so forth. What I know for sure is "revenge is mines, sayth the LORD"

    I believe this is personal against Barack and not God inspired. I believe these sermons were not spirit lead. I believe God shall set all this in order according to his devine Will. I will pray that any malice intentions brings forth repentance.

    Sen. Barack Obama I pray your strength and protection.

    The time is for saints to uplift the Obama family and campaign staff.

    Helen
    Charlotte, NC

    May 31, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. BO is t not o be trusted

    BO, finally you made a good judgment. You did not make a good judgment for the 20 years. Shame on you! Your supports are racists!
    As Asian and independent, I'm very disappointed with you. your campaign is the one who is so divisive and playing the race card.
    I'll cast my vote Hillary. I was thikning voting for you in the NOv. but you are liar and have excuses for everyhting. Thank GOD! I see your true colors!
    If you win the Nominiation, I'll vote for MCCAIN!

    SHAME ON YOU!! i AM not PROUD OF YOU AND YOUR CAMPAIGN!

    May 31, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Pamma

    It is about time !!!

    May 31, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  14. sallu deen

    The right thing to do, may god bless obama and his family

    May 31, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. lol

    obama is leaving the church, now that the public is aware of how racist and hateful it is. he chose to stay there for over 2 decades, because obviously he shares the racist, hateful views. when is he going to throw billayers the domestic terrorist, rezko, the criminal, and rashid khalidi, the anti semite, under the bus. he is "friendly with all of them?

    May 31, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. Tina

    Good. Now maybe Senator Obama will stop being blamed for words that come from OTHER peoples mouths.

    Obama 08.

    May 31, 2008 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  17. Rena Taylor

    Shame shame Obama has to denounce his church because of words said by others. I and probably others agree with Rev Pffleger it was a joke , made any where else would have been considered funny. She is a whiner. I cannot believe she is acting this way, even saying the media is mistreating her, all of you are bending over backwards to please her. The remarks she made about Ted Kenedy was much worse. But she just misspoke, again. and you let it go. She said it! !anybody from Obama`s church that says anything it is his fault. I just wish the democrats would end this mess. bugsy

    May 31, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  18. Dem1

    I cant believe this! Barack has NO control over what other people say! It's hard to believe that a nation of such intetlligence appears so stupid. I will be so happy once Barack clinches the nomination so wew can MOVE ON!

    May 31, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  19. Boston Guy

    Wright and Pfleger are only trying to be like Jackson and Sharpton. All a bunch of trouble makers. I'm sure if Obama get in the White House they will all spend plenty of nights there.

    May 31, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  20. stephanie- Washingon

    It's too late to resign from this church. Why he didn't leave this church 20 years ago? If no video shown about Wright and Pfleger's on internet, I don't think he resigns.. He is a fraud candidate and every time he gets a problem , he tries to have the speech. I really don't trust him anymore. I don't know whatelse he is hiding now.

    May 31, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  21. oldwhiteguy

    Barack,
    My wife and I are sorry you had to disown your church. Our hearts go out to you, Michelle and your children. This must be very painful.
    The 'good news' tho is there are some nice churches in D.C.
    Welcome home, Mr. President...

    May 31, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  22. Gerry

    I couldn't believe republicans were going to this church each service to try to have something to use against Obama. How low can you go.

    May 31, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  23. K

    Political posturing at its best. I will be voting McCain because the Democrats are too stupid to run this country. The DNC is a joke. CNN is also a biased joke.

    May 31, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  24. AMN

    Now will people leave him alone? no, they are going to try to find something else to nitpick about.

    May 31, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  25. Ex-Ohio Dem

    Ehhh, this was about say, 20 years too late. Nobody cares.

    May 31, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
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