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Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds
Published: 11 June 2008

From now on in his campaign or if he wins the White House, Senator Barack Obama should not set foot in a Black church, except those anointed by the prelates and potentates of CNN or Fox News.
Finally the dangerous media magpies have written the last script for the senator to dislodge himself from Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, whose former pastor Jeremiah Wright has performed his wedding, baptized his children and provided the inspiration for his best-selling book, The Audacity of Hope.    
The media have given their approval to the Pastor Joel Osteen kind of cotton-candy religion and the mega-church "claim it and grab it" crowd. But those disciplines or denominations that preach truth to power and crusade against oppression and corporate evil are denounced or set up for divide-and-conquer tactics.
And the tragedy of it all is that church leaders who are saying nothing as this demonic act plays out will not be protected by their silence or reluctance to get involved. Sooner or later, the censorship will touch them too.
First, corporate media crucified Wright through selective out-of-context video snippets that initiated the first breach between Wright and Obama. And now media fits over the controversial priest Rev. Michael L. Pfleger's rant against White privilege and mocking Sen. Hillary Clinton from Trinity's pulpit provided the final act for Obama to exit his church of 20 years.
Never have I seen such violation of the First Amendment doctrine of separation of church and state, which until now media establishments held sacred.
Presently things have deteriorated to a point — unless church leaders stand up to this outrage — that the only way for Obama to avoid future scandal is for his advance people to get letters of acceptable churches from the media papacy.
In a similar fashion of how Secret Service police sweep the church to protect candidates from harm, Secret Spiritual Police should sweep the church for any harmful, provocative, controversial literature, including Biblical references and interview pastors to ensure no sermons, remarks, prayers, hymns that could be disrespectful to the ruling elites would be uttered in their hallowed sanctuaries.
Furthermore — and it will surely come to pass — Obama's advance people should also get a list of those Black groups that are uncontrollable and therefore unacceptable to mainstream media so Obama can avoid them too.
I have been a reporter, editor and executive in mainstream newsrooms for more than 30 years and I well understand their core values are the protection of White power, property and privilege. Anyone who poses a threat to those values is in grave danger of character assassination at the very least.
In 1967 after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the Vietnam War and addressed the evils of American imperialism, militarism, and capitalism, the media and their cohorts savaged him. He was banned from Lyndon Johnson's White House. The New York Times condemned his speech and U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater condemned King as treasonous.
The media have ordained themselves a secular papacy that can dictate what is acceptable in Black churches. Getting your praise on, providing photo-ops for candidates to drive through before election, personal salvation, certain community building, fighting private sin, while ignoring public sins — they say are politically correct.
Wright hits the establishment for creating a pipeline from the cradle to the grave, where millions of Blacks are being pushed into the prison industrial system and for ignoring the continued agony of those suffering from Katrina and for corporate greed. And the prelates in the secular pulpit scream, "crucify him."
So far, media elites have won the propaganda war of creating a breach between Wright and Obama, but we do not have to play their game and choose between the two leaders. 
Courageous leaders like Wright helped push the doors open for the brilliant saga of Obama and it will come to pass that Obama — like LBJ needed Dr. King — will need people like Wright to say the things that he can not say.

Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds is an author, a religion columnist, and a lecturer at many colleges, including the Howard University School of Divinity.

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