Well, it`s supposed to be 73 degrees in Chicago today, April 30, 2007, so right on schedule appears a New York Times article:
To flee [winter], numerous big city reporters have convinced their editors to send them on expense-account junkets to Obama`s old tropical haunts in Hawaii and Indonesia. The articles they wrote to justify their trips have begun to undermine Obama`s carefully crafted fa?§ade.
The next credibility problem for Obama`s persona: Chicago is a great place to visit once the snow stops falling. As spring arrives, more investigative reporters will head to the Windy City to find out more about Obama`s spiritual adviser, the Rev. Jeremiah T. Wright Jr., who was one of the organizers of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan`s 1994 Million Man March.
A Candidate, His Minister and the Search for Faith By JODI KANTOR CHICAGO - Members of Trinity United Church of Christ squeezed into a downtown hotel ballroom in early March to celebrate the long service of their pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. One congregant stood out amid the flowers and finery: Senator Barack Obama, there to honor the man who led him from skeptic to self-described Christian. Twenty years ago at Trinity, Mr. Obama, then a community organizer in poor Chicago neighborhoods, found the African-American community he had sought all his life, along with professional credibility as a community organizer and an education in how to inspire followers. He had sampled various faiths but adopted none until he met Mr. Wright, a dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons. â€¦ It is hard to imagine, though, how Mr. Obama can truly distance himself from Mr. Wright. The Christianity that Mr. Obama adopted at Trinity has infused not only his life, but also his campaign. â€¦ Still, Mr. Obama was entranced by Mr. Wright, whose sermons fused analysis of the Bible with outrage at what he saw as the racism of everything from daily life in Chicago to American foreign policy. Mr. Obama had never met a minister who made pilgrimages to Africa, welcomed women leaders and gay members and crooned Teddy Pendergrass rhythm and blues from the pulpit. Mr. Wright was making Trinity a social force, initiating day care, drug counseling, legal aid and tutoring. He was also interested in the world beyond his own; in 1984, he traveled to Cuba to teach Christians about the value of nonviolent protest and to Libya to visit Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, along with the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Mr. Wright said his visits implied no endorsement of their views. â€¦ Mr. Wright preached black liberation theology, which interprets the Bible as the story of the struggles of black people, whom by virtue of their oppression are better able to understand Scripture than those who have suffered less. That message can sound different to white audiences, said Dwight Hopkins, a professor at University of Chicago Divinity School and a Trinity member. "Some white people hear it as racism in reverse," Dr. Hopkins said, while blacks hear, "Yes, we are somebody, we`re also made in God`s image." â€¦ Mr. Obama was baptized that year, and joining Trinity helped him "embrace the African-American community in a way that was whole and profound," said Ms. Soetoro, his half sister. â€¦ In the 16 years since Mr. Obama returned to Chicago from Harvard, Mr. Wright has presided over his wedding ceremony, baptized his two daughters and dedicated his house, while Mr. Obama has often spoken at Trinity`s panels and debates. Though the Obamas drop in on other congregations, they treat Trinity as their spiritual home, attending services frequently. The church`s Afrocentric focus makes Mr. Obama a figure of particular authenticity there, because he has the African connections so many members have searched for. â€¦ Generally, Mr. Obama emphasizes the communal aspects of religion over the supernatural ones. â€¦In other words, Sen. Obama`s much celebrated "faith" is essentially a religion of race, an exercise in black solidarity through antipathy toward white America that is only nominally linked to Christianity. That would be his own business, if he wasn`t trying to get elected President by misleading the public about it.