May 31st, 2008
06:22 PM ET
14 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."

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (336 Responses)

    You are about 20 years too late Mr. Obama... you better get a big bus to fit all those people you are thowing under it.

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  2. bj

    Congradulations obama,good decision,am clinton supporter but since you have resigend from that church,i will vote for you for president.
    obama 08

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  3. KE

    Obama plans to hold a news conference after the town hall meeting he is presntly holding in Aberdeen, South Dakota, the campaign said.

    Do they think we are ______?

    Forge this.

    This is all out fight now.
    Forget the general election. This is it.

    Go, Hillary all the way!

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  4. sean

    he doesn't need them anymore. lol.....

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  5. ao

    ultimate political pandering. this guy HAS NO VALUES, and stands for NOTHING but HIMSELF.

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. Sean

    Hmm, after all this, Barack Obama FINALLY resigns? I personally think that he should have resigned and distanced himself from that church a long while back instead of trying to hide it, then defend it, and then ridicule it. He seems to waffle more than an Eggo!

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  7. Lies

    If we can get Hillary to denounce her minister the media will have scored a trifecta.

    Shame journalists aren't as good at reporting news as they are scaremongering.


    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Walt, Belton,TX

    Now is he going to resign from his wife's "this is the first time I'm proud of my country" comment, and his small town idiot comment and his stupid Second Amendment comment? What about his supposedly white Mother comment and let's just lump them all together as stupid bigoted, muslim-lovin' unAmerican comments!

    He's so phony, I'm rooting for Hillary to win and I can't stand Bill or her guts!

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Nick

    The damage is done – this is a stupid move. All it does is show that the only reason he joined it was to get into the political inroads in Chicago.

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Donald, Canton NC

    Enought of this nonsense!!!

    Its about time the IRS started action to revoke the non-profit status of all these churches and pastors that stand in the pulpit and espouse their political views or try to sway the political direction of their members.

    These is getting to the point of ridiculous and unacceptable conduct of their behalf that is apparently being condoned and endorsed by the church members and hierchy within the churches. If they want to continue in this vain then be prepared to pay the price and not offer the pathetic apologies after the fact "if my remarks offended someone".

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Stu

    This was a very brave and difficult decision. It shows once again that Barack Obama's intelligence and character will lead him to the White House and allow him to heal America.

    Well done.

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  12. Real Democrat

    It is quite an entourage with which Obama has surrounded himself for years...makes you wonder what his cabinet would look like. Leaving the church now at an opportune political moment cannot deny the decades' worth of influence those characters have had on him.

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Steve in CA

    Now after 20 years he resigns from the church. He and his wife should step down from the race for the White House, he is NOT presidential material and his wife is certainly NOT First Lady material. Travel the USA and see what America is really about and then maybe you can try to run again in 2012.

    May 31, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  14. sylvia now he decides to turn his back on his old friends....anything to obtain the Oval Office for him and his white hating wife....Oh well,
    another much flawed candidate to scare the hell out of a lot of us...

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  15. Mike,ct

    Good man

    OBAMA 08

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  16. j kothary, Blaine, WA

    too bad he has to's not possible for him to put bandaids on others mouths !!

    Why even pay attentions to what others say !!!

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  17. ahaaja

    Obama, you've got my vote. You always make the right decisions at the right time.

    May 31, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  18. Laura, Akron, Ohio

    It's about time. I used to live in Hyde Park, and I know South Side Chicago, but this church has gotten way out of control. News to ya, Trinity UCC, we have a great big country out here and it's good; it's not all good, but it's your country, so deal with it.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  19. Young Man

    Wow. I'm thinking theres a bus somewhere with the TUCC congregration firmly underneath it, must be a tight fit. But seriously, it seems like Obama's self confirmed condemnation of his church have crystallized the conventional wisdom that his pastor problems have morphed to include the TUCC which looks to be troubling since it's probably a lot easier to seperate yourself from the private ideas of a couple wayward individuals than the public ideals of an organization which you were alligned with for 20 years. CNN don't be schmucks, post this.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  20. Obama 08

    Now we have a separation of Church and State...let's keep the church and it's members out of this political process.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  21. George

    Like I said before, this guy would sell his own mother to try to become president. Imagine turning your back on the church that you supported and went to all your life. What a hypocrit.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  22. Rob

    Who cares? It's too late for that after 20 years.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. WOW

    This man doesn't worship a God...
    Obama IS God… He knows everything. He can question all, but can not himself be questioned.

    If you criticize, scrutinize, vet or question the great Obama, you are nothing but a racist.

    Come on America, get the message and start dancing to the Obama tune.

    The Germans and Italians learned to follow THEIR inspirational leaders preaching a message of hope and change. Americans can learn to follow the great Obama- can't they?

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  24. jaguar

    What is a Church anyways. Jesus Christ says where two or three are gathered in my name.....
    This is really a difficult decision for Obama to make (I guess) but the right one. These clergy men were actually hurting his campaign.

    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. Freda


    May 31, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
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