Joel Connelly of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes:
Out of the 207,000 minutes that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright preached while building Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, a handful of fiery sound bites have fueled a media frenzy and been used to inject race into the center of our 2008 presidential race.
Wright's words have been dubbed "hate speech" by pundits and preachers of the political right, themselves masters at twisting the truth to arouse resentment.
In a Philadelphia speech Tuesday, Sen. Barack Obama tried to a) put some distance between himself and his former pastor's rhetoric, b) hold onto his self-respect while c) seeking to honestly evaluate the roots of racial anger in America.
Read it all, including quotes by Bishop Greg Rickel.
Meanwhile, in the Newark Star Ledger, Jeff Diamant pursues a similar story:
Obama's speech has sparked discussions throughout the country, inspiring many pastors to ponder ways to broaden discussion of race relations from the pulpit. For some pastors, race remains a political, not a religious, issue.
The Rev. Elizabeth Kaeton, pastor of the Episcopal Church of St. Paul in Chatham, said her church is likely to hold a discussion forum after Easter on Obama's speech, and that his words may become discussion fodder at future church observances of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
"When I was listening to Obama's speech, I thought: 'Oh my goodness. This is a speech that political science students are going to be studying ... for generations to come,'" Kaeton said.
Read it all.
And to keep up with how John McCain's campaign is handling religious issues, have a look here.