The Corner's John Derbyshire is dazzled by Jeremiah Wright's 'good works' and cites the following passage from the May 3 issue of The Economist:
[Wright] is far more than the blustering buffoon who was on the stage on Monday. He has presided over an increase in the size of his congregation from 87 when he arrived in 1972 to 8,000 today. Trinity is a welfare state in its own right, providing more than 70 welfare programmes for the poor, the unemployed, prisoners, and HIV patients.Derbyshire's conclusion:
What has been the secret of his success? How did he do all that? By appealing to racial solidarity and pride, that's how. All that stuff that grates on our ears — the "black value system," loyalty to "the African motherland," "white folk's greed drives a world in need," and the rest — was an essential component of the Wright success package. Wright succeeded by tapping in to one of the deepest wells of human emotion and motivation: group solidarity, loyalty to the tribe, the gens.Why, yes I'll tell you that, Mr. Derbyshire, because there are plenty of other Christian pastors who minister to majority black congregations and who have been highly successful at growing their congregations much larger and getting their larger congregations to provide the means with which to conduct such 'good works' without being racist demagogues, such as T.D. Jakes and Charles Blake to name only two off the top of my head--men you haven't heard of just like you hadn't heard of Wright before Obama came along.
Anyone want to tell me that Wright would have been just as sensationally successful if he had eschewed all the hate-whitey stuff and preached a message of universalism, color-blindness, and racial reconciliation?
Wright was only able to get these programs off the ground with one resource: money. And congregational monies are the life's blood of any church, especially one that want sto provide services other than the primary one: providing overhead for supplicants to hear the Word of God preached and interpreted.
Derbyshire tries to make it appear that the nature and quality of Wright's 'good works' are rare and that black people are more inclined give money to race-baiters. A cursory look at a good half dozen traditional Christian ministers of mega-churches with majority black congregations would have dispelled that notion. But I guess that it's more lucrative to keep those fires of Discord burning.