April 28th, 2008
12:15 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama's ex-pastor speaks out

 Wright gave a speech at the National Press Club Monday morning.

Wright gave a speech at the National Press Club Monday morning.

(CNN) - Barack Obama’s former pastor on Monday said it was not him, but the black church that has been the subject of recent attacks.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, speaking before an audience of 300 at the National Press Club, sought to explain the black religious experience. He said the theology of the black church is a “theology of liberation, it is a theology of transformation and it is ultimately a theology of reconciliation.”

Wright said the black religious tradition, despite its long history, is in some ways “invisible to the dominant culture.”

His remarks came one day after he addressed an audience of 10,000 at the NAACP dinner in Detroit.

Reiterating some of the same points from that dinner, Wright on Monday said “being different does not mean one is deficient – it simply means one is different, like snow flakes.”

Wright said reconciliation means “we embrace our individual rich histories.”

He said this means rooting out “any teaching of superiority, inferiority, hatred or prejudice” and recognizing that each person “is one of God’s children ... no better, no worse.”

“Only then will liberation, transformation and reconciliation become realities and cease being ever-elusive ideals,” he said.

Wright is a retired pastor from the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, where Obama worships.

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Earlier: Obama's ex-pastor gives fiery speech to NAACP

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