Sunday, March 16, 2008

Why A Member?

David Broder, who has been a Washington Post columnist longer than perhaps most Americans have been alive, has a valuable insight every couple of years. The most recent came during today's (3/16/08) episode of NBC's Meet The Press, when Broder stated: "What was it about Reverend Wright that attracted Obama when he had, as a newcomer to Chicago, choice of any of the number of churches or pastors to go to?"

I don't get around as much as some people do, but it seems to me this question hasn't been asked a whole lot. Was Mr. Obama attracted by the: denomination? theological stance of this congregation (which, as a member of the United Church of Christ, whose polity is "congregational," is self-governing)? friendliness of the parishioners? size of the congregation? geographic proximity to his home? inspirational nature of Pastor Wright's sermons? content of Pastor Wright's sermons? beauty of the church building? church's outreach to the black community and interest in fostering African-American consciousness? preference of his wife for this church?

It's a question that needs to be asked but, with the squeamishness of the media in dealing with theological matters, might never be- which would be a critical omission.

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