Barack Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, recently canceled a spate of speaking engagements, including three sermons scheduled next Sunday at Houston's Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. Wednesday, the Houston Chronicle published a letter by Rev. William Lawson, Pastor Emeritus of Wheeler Avenue, defending both Obama and Wright.
His letter begins with inflammatory accusations, saying that "Obama has been attacked below the belt, under the table, in the back. Someone is attempting to lynch him politically." All cast the lowest of aspersions all who would criticize Obama.
Lawson reiterates the mantra of Wright's defenders that his extremist statements are just "30-second sound bites" taken out of context. He goes on to compare Wright to "the prophets" in that "he does chastise the government for its injustices and its mistreatment of the poor, the minority, the children in insufficiently supported schools, in the absence of decent health care, in unforgivably low wages. God sent the prophets," Lawson writes, "to accuse the leaders of Israel for the mistreatment of the powerless. And the Jesus of Christians taught us to praise God, but He spoke negatively to the government leaders of His day: 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees ... hypocrites! ... Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of Hell?'"
Jeremiah Wright the prophet? Rev. Wright's speech was rife with hyperbole, distortions, and outright lies, laced with venom and vitriole. I would remind both Revs. Wright and Lawson that beyond God's general injunctions against lying and bearing false witness, the Old Testament prescribed that false, lying prophets were to be executed. Period. See, for instance, Deuteronomy 18:20-22 and Jeremiah 20:6.
Read Lawson's letter at http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/editorial/outlook/5651689.html.