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

Obama resigns from controversial church

[cnn-photo-caption image=
caption="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."

Read the full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (336 Responses)
  1. Deborah Calimese

    It is amazing to me CNN that you have covered the fact that Mr. Obama and family has resigned from his church and what that might mean for his political campaign and I have heard strategic moves and so forth.
    But I have heard that a man and wife and children are now CHURCHLESS. This Christian is now without a place to pray, worship, and fellowship. Does that part fit into your headlines? Ask some experts what it means for a person to leave or resign from their church. This move is more than just deciding not to go to IHOP anymore because you don't like the eggs. This resignation is major in a families life. Please CNN cover this is important.
    I pray for this family without a church, a community, a seat at the foot of Jesus Christ.

    May 31, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  2. E. C., Houston, Texas

    if Obama had any REAL CONVICTIONS, he would have RESIGNED TWENTY YEARS AGO.................where is his backbone? He has NONE.

    May 31, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  3. linda hemmingsen

    no one gets on unless they are talking hate about hillary or speaking glowing reports of obama. free speech and the truth is dead in america.

    May 31, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  4. Alex

    Church was getting annoying, good thing. I actually thought about it 2 days ago, he prob made the right decision. You never know like right before nov 4th, church would say something ... and ruin everything.

    May 31, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  5. AJ Edge

    TOO LITTLE TOO LATE. I will never support you Obama especially after this past week with another pastor at that church mocking Hillary. Obama's supporters are hateful and are not good for democracy.

    If not Hillary 2008, then Hillary 2012.

    May 31, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. Christoffel van Vuuren - Montreal - Canada

    Oblah-blah is a joke! Can't the Dems come up with a better Candidate?

    Say, like Hillary?

    May 31, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  7. joe

    How can Obama erace the garbage that this church has put in his and his childrens heads over the years. He is just to raceist to be the president of the U.S.A. As a white person I do not trust him or the people that surround him.

    May 31, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  8. And?

    This is nothing more than a political does not mean that he doesn't still believe what the Church teaches or promotes. Racism, white hating and anti-/american sentiment. He was there for 20+ years...throwing Trintiy under the bus means nothing. Transparent to say the least.

    May 31, 2008 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  9. Tyler

    I think it was a good decision based on the media scrutiny of this church. It should have never come to this because it's not a big deal what someone's pastor says but the media ran with it. Now we can move on.

    May 31, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  10. Daniel FOB Kalsu, Iraq

    This was definately a calculated move by Obama.

    Of course now, he is going to quit his church of 20 years. He has all but clinched the democratic primaries. He now has nothing to lose.

    If he would have distanced himself from the church earlier, he would have faced major backlash from his african-american supporters, which would have spread throughout the national african -american community (who would have branded him as a traitor). That backlash would have given Hillary the edge, and she's be sitting where Obama is now.

    Now, it won't matter. With Obama heading towards the primaries, he is the lesser of two evils, and will most likely become our next president. Still, he's a better choice than McCain, but I do think Hillary would be better.

    May 31, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14