Potty Mouth 2

One of the most fascinating things about the 2008 Presidential primary was a snag that Obama ran into about his church affiliation. Trinity United Church of Christ is a very large and active congregation on Chicago‘s Southside. We were proud that the Barach and Michelle were members there, but that came to be a problem for him.

Dr. Jeremiah Wright, a former pastor of Trinity, had been Barach’s “spiritual mentor” and even inspired him to state publically that he was a Christian.  However, Wright, a fiery preacher of black liberation theology, became a political albatross in the primary race for Obama challenging Clinton. It is a long and involved story but at the kernel was a quote from a Wright sermon in which he said: 

The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America.” No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.

It is is one of those, “you had to be there” things. For all the issues surrounding the racist behavior of the US government, Wright’s comments made perfect sense but the furor over Obama’s affiliation was a firestorm.  Obviously it all worked out in the long run but it was a sad day when Obama had to disassociate himself from Trinity.

Is saying “goddamn” that much worse than any other striking curse? Well, maybe. You would have go back and study the Ten Commandments to see more clearly what it mean to avoid using the lord’s name in vain. The most challenging and annoying swear word used to be “fuck” and its derivatives but social media had changed all that. So for me, for whatever reason “goddamn” is reserved for something that goes beyond the run-of-the-mill offenses.  I will say that It has popped into my mind more and more as we see American going even down hill from the thoughts of Jeremiah Wright. Trump and his crazy actions definitely inspire “goddamn” much more often for me. How about you?

Author: warrenturner

Retired United Church of Christ clergy person who drives for LYFT sometimes; partners with and backs up The Rev. Dr. Carla Jean Bailey, Senior Minister at Second Church Newton; is a very progressive Democrat; and loves felines.