Wright stuff: Asking religious questions

jesus the good shepherdYesterday, I looked at how media coverage of Jeremiah Wright sourced a proverb from Abraham Lincoln to the Book of Proverbs. The two were similar, but distinct. There's another Bible verse mentioned by Wright that received a curious lack of coverage. It appeared, like so many other controversial remarks, in the question and answer period of the National Press Club event on Monday:

MODERATOR: Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the father but through me." Do you believe this? And do you think Islam is a way to salvation?

WRIGHT: Jesus also said, "Other sheep have I who are not of this fold."

While the moderator followed-up with other questions, there was no follow-up to this question. I would say that it's an odd question to ask but Wright is Christian pastor. It could be a great question, depending on what the purpose of the question was. But it's hard to tell since after Wright gave his brief answer, the moderator moved onto the next question.

The verse Wright excerpted was John 10:16. Here's the full verse:

"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

I know it's too much to expect that journalists could actually ask a follow-up to a theological question. It struck me as very interesting that Wright would use this passage from John to answer the question. It would be interesting to hear more about how he interprets that verse. It's also probably too much to expect that a question and answer session between a journalist and a pastor involve more than allegedly dueling Bible verses. Either way, it's interesting that this answer didn't receive any mainstream coverage at all. I guess it wasn't overtly political enough.

I should also quickly note that a few reporters asked some interesting theological questions of Barack Obama in his press conference on Tuesday:

Q: Reverend Wright said that it was not an attack on him but an attack on the black church. First of all, do you agree with that?

And second of all, the strain of theology that he preached, black liberation theology, you explained something about the anger, that feeds some of the sentiments in the church, in Philadelphia.

How important a strain is liberation theology in the black church? And why did you choose to attend a church that preached that?

Other questions, while not overtly religious, seemed sensitive to Obama's professed religious views. One asked about giving Wright the benefit of the doubt and whether Obama spoke with Wright prior to his Philadelphia speech on race and religion. Another asked if the relationship between Obama and his pastor of 20 years had been irreparably damaged.

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