Note: This is the sixth post in a continuing series concerning the fateful decision of Brite Divinity School to honor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright on March 29th. For background read (1) Brite Divinity School to Honor Rev. Jeremiah Wright, (2) Brite Divinity School Jeremiah Wright Update, (3) Brite, Jeremiah Wright, and the Out of Context Card, (4) The Brite-Jeremiah Wright Debate Continues, and (5) Brite Divinity School Accused of Violating Its Own Covenant
Wright's defenders keep shooting themselves in the feet! An anonymous person provided a link to the "so-called" full text, "IN Context," of Jeremiah Wright's 9/11 speech. I write "so-called" because a less than ten minute Sunday sermon is rather short - especially in a Black church, and in the sermon Wright tells his congregation that God has told him three things to do in response to 9/11, but he never get's past the first thing in this sermon. The video stops rather suddenly.
I'm including the YouTube video here and following that is my full transcription of the sermon and Psalm 137. The video title is FOX Lies!! Barack Obama Pastor Wright
Thank you Linda, for the comment and link. The full 35 minute sermon can be found at Essence, but I have not yet seen a transcript of the full 35 minutes..
Transcript of Wright’s 9/11 Sermon “IN Context”
Every public service of worship I have heard about so far in the wake of the American tragedy has had in its prayers and in its preachments sympathy and compassion for those who were killed and for their families, and God’s guidance upon the selected presidents and our war-machine as they do what they got to do - pay backs. There’s a move in Psalm 137 from thoughts of paying tithes to thoughts of paying back. Move if you will from worship to war. A move, in other words from the worship of the God of creation to a war against whom God has created. And I want you to notice, very carefully, the next move. One of the reasons this psalm is rarely read in its entirety. Because it is a move that spotlights the insanity of the cycle of violence and the cycle of hatred.
Look at verse 9, look at verse 9, look at verse 9, “Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rocks. The people of faith are the rivers of Babylon. How shall we sing the Lord’s song if I forget the (unintelligible). . .
The people of faith have moved from the hatred of armed enemies, these soldiers who captured the king, who slaughtered his son, they put his eyes out, the soldiers who sacked the city, burned the towns, burned the temples, burned the towers, and moved from the hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocence, the babies, the babies .
“Blessed are they who dash your baby’s brains against a rock.” And that my beloveds is a dangerous place to be. Yet, that is where the people of faith are in 551 BC and that is where the people of faith are, far too many people of faith are in 2001 AD. We have moved from the hatred of armed enemies to the hatred of unarmed innocence. We want revenge. We want paybacks and we don’t care who gets hurt in the process.
Now I-I-I asked the Lord, “What should our response be in light of such an unthinkable act?” But before I share with you what the Lord showed me, I want to give you one of my little faith footnotes. Visitors often get faith footnotes, so that our members don’t lose site of the big picture. Let me give you a little faith foot note. Turn your neighbors say “faith footnote.”
I heard Ambassador Peck on an interview yesterday. Did anybody else see him or hear him? He was on Fox news. This is a White man and he was upsetting the Fox news commentators to no end. He pointed out. You see him John? A White man he pointed out –an Ambassador! He pointed out that what Malcolm X said when he got silenced by Elijah Mohammad was in fact true. America’s Chickens are coming home to roost!
We took this country by terror away from the Sioux, the Apache, the Aroawak, the Comanche, the Arapaho, the Navajo. Terrorism! We took Africans from their country to build our way of ease and kept them enslaved and living in fear. Terrorism! We bombed Grenada and killed innocent babies, non military personnel. We bombed the black civilian community of Panama with stealth bombers and killed unarmed teenagers and toddlers, pregnant mothers and hard-working fathers. We bombed Gadhaffi’s home and killed his child. Blessed are they who bash your children’s head against a rock! We bombed Iraq. We killed unarmed civilians trying to make a living. We bombed a plant in Sudan to payback for the attack on our embassy. Killed hundreds of hard-working people; mothers and fathers who left home to go that day, not knowing that they would never get back home. We bombed Hiroshima! We bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye! Kids playing in the playground , mothers picking up children after school, civilians – not soldiers – people just trying to make it day by day. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and Black South Africans, and now we are indignant??? Because the stuff we have done overseas has now been brought back into our own front yard! America’s chickers are coming home to roost!
Violence begets violence. Hatred begets hatred and terrorism begets terrorism. A White Ambassador said that y’all not a Black Militant. Not a Reverend who preaches about racism. An Ambassador whose eyes are wide open, and who’s trying to get us to wake up and move away from this dangerous precipice upon which we are now poised. The ambassador said that the people we are wounded don’t have the military capability we have but they do have individuals who are willing to die and to take thousands with them and we need to come to grips with that. Let me stop my faith footnote right there and ask you to think about that over the next few weeks if God grants us that many days. Turn back to your neighbor say “footnote is over.”
Now, now come on back to my question to the Lord. “What should our response be right now in light of such an unthinkable act?”
I asked the Lord that question Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I was stuck in Newark New Jersey. No flights were leaving LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark airport. On the day the FAA opened up the airports to bring into the cities of destination because those flights had been diverted, because of the hijacking, a scare in New York closed all three airports and I couldn’t even get here for Mr. Radford’s funeral. And I asked God, “What should our response be?”
I saw pictures of the incredible. People jumping from the 110th floor. People jumping from the roof cause the stairwells above the 9th floor were gone. No more. Black people jumping to a certain death. People holding hands jumping. People on fire jumping. And I asked the Lord, “What should our response be?”
I read what the people of faith felt in 551 BC. But this is a different time. This is a different enemy. This is a different world. This is a different terror. This is a different reality. “What should our response be?” And the Lord showed me three things. Let me share them with you quickly and I’m going to leave you alone to think about the faith footnote.
Number one. The Lord showed me that this is a time for self-examination. As I sat 900 miles away from my family and my community of faith, two months after my own father’s death, God showed me that this is a time for me to examine my relationship with God; my own relationship with God, my personal relationship with God. I submit to you that it is the same for you. Folks flocked to the church in New Jersey last week. You know that fox hole religion syndrome kicked in, that emergency cord religion; you know that old red box cord to pull in case of emergency, it showed up full force. Folk who ain’t thought about coming to church for years were in church last week. I heard that mid week prayer services all over this country, which are poorly attended 51 weeks of the year, were jammed packed all over the nation the week of the hijacking the 52nd week filled full. But the Lord said, “This ani’t the time for you to be examining other folks’ relationship, this is a time of self-examination”
The Lord said to me, “How is our relationship doing Jeremiah? How often do you talk to me personally? How often do you let Me talk to you privately? How much time do you spend trying to get right with Me, or do you spend all your time trying to get other folk right?”
This is a time for me to examine my own relationship with God. Is it real or is it fake? Is it forever or is it for show? Is it something you do for the sake of the public or is it something that you do for the sake of eternity? This is a time to examine my own and a time for you to examine your own relationship with God. Self-examination. . .
Psalm 137 (NIV)
1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.
2 There on the poplars we hung our harps,
3 for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy; they said, "Sing us one of the songs of Zion!"
4 How can we sing the songs of the LORD while in a foreign land?
5 If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill .
6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.
7 Remember, O LORD, what the Edomites did on the day Jerusalem fell. "Tear it down," they cried, "tear it down to its foundations!"
8 O Daughter of Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is he who repays you for what you have done to us-
9 he who seizes your infants and dashes them against the rocks.