Columnists not qualified to opine on religious leaders

Greater Media newspapers have been running a series of exchanges between Executive Editor Greg Bean and his friend Dave Simpson, who is described as a seasoned newsman. I consider their exchanges as sleaze with the purpose of defaming Sen. Barack Obama through guilt by association. Even in that I consider them wrong because their attacks on the Rev. Jeremiah Wright are wrong.

The retired Rev. Wright – who Bean and Simpson have the crudity to call Pastor Nutball – built Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago from 200 members to 4,000 members when Sen. Obama met him (page 282, “Dreams From My Father”). He has a Ph.D. in the history of religion from the University of Chicago. Judging by their own comments, I don’t believe either of them is qualified to make judgments on any religious leader.

Sen. Obama, in his previously mentioned “Dreams From My Father,” quotes the Rev. Wright as saying, “Life’s not safe for a black man in this country, Barack. Never has been. Probably never will be.”

I hope and pray that the day will come, but I can understand it at the time it was said and I don’t believe we’re there yet. What do you expect a man who believes in black liberation theology and the previous quote to preach in his church? How many of your readers would be willing to change places with a black man? Then don’t let the Beans and Simpsons of this world form your opinions.

According to my beliefs, I believe both Sen. Obama and the Rev. Wright are striving to live Christian lives.

John Toohey

Red Bank