This post continues the series of chapter by chapter summations of the book Radical-In-Chief by Stanley Kurtz.
Black Liberation Theology, Trinity Church and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright all figured prominently in the life of Barack Obama. He sat in the church and listened to its teachings for approximately 20 years. To understand who Obama is and what the influences were that shaped his beliefs it is essential to have some knowledge of Trinity and its charismatic leader.
Obama chose Trinity Church for two reasons; he wanted a base from which to mobilize the religious left, and he shared the political philosophy of Rev. Wright. For these reasons, Obama was willing to tolerate some of Wright’s nonsense such as his claims the U.S. government created AIDS as a way to kill off black people.
The teaching and preaching at Trinity Church is Black Liberation Theology, a concept that adds Marxism to the panoply of Christian beliefs. James Cone is the man most responsible for the spread of this joining of Marxism and Christianity and is regarded as the father of Black Liberation Theology in America. Cone’s teachings are made very clear by his writings.
“I do not think racism can be eliminated as long as capitalism remains intact.”
“Perhaps what we need today is to return to that ‘good old-time religion of our grandparents and combine it with a Marxist critique of society. Together black religion and Marxist philosophy may show us a way to build a completely new society.”
[The goal of the black intellectual must be to] “aid in the destruction of America as he knows it.”
Significantly, Cone cited Trinity as the one church that embodies his philosophy more than any other congregation. Barack Obama was well aware of the nature of the church under Rev. Wright’s leadership because he conducted a deliberate exploration of black churches in the Chicago area before choosing it. As Stanley Kurtz puts it, “a large body of evidence fairly screams that Obama joined Wright’s church precisely because of those radical views.”