Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Wright Stuff

If you have a little bit of time on your hands, I'd strongly recommend watching Bill Moyers interview with Rev. Jeremiah Wright that aired on PBS this past Friday. It certainly gives a much fuller and more sympathetic view of the man who has been defined for so many people by short soundbites.

One clip of his from the introductory portion of the show struck me in a way I did not expect - a clip of him giving a sermon where he says the following:

REVEREND WRIGHT: In Genesis:2 it says God breathes into the nostrils of what God had formed from the dust. God donated some divinity to some dirt and we became living souls. That’s God breath you have in you, that’s God’s breath that you just breathed. God is the giver of life. Let me tell you what that means. That means we have no right to take a life whether as a gang banger living the thug life, or as a President lying about leading a nation into war. We have no right to take a life! Whether through the immorality of a slave trade, or the immorality of refusing HIV/AIDS money to countries or agencies who do not tow your political line! We have no right to take a life! Turn to your neighbors and say we have no right to take a life!

It struck me because it mirrors one of the central tenants of my own Doukhobor faith, which includes a belief that violence against others is wrong because the divine spirit lives within all people. Now obviously Wright expressed it in a very different way than I would choose to, but the philosophical linkage I found to be quite interesting.