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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Obama Talk Fuels Easter Sermons

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and NEELA BANERJEE, NYT

...Some pastors began to rethink their sermons on Tuesday, when Senator Barack Obama gave a speech about race, seeking to calm a furor that had erupted over explosive excerpts of sermons by his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

The controversy drove the nation to the unpatrolled intersection of race and religion, and as many pastors prepared for their Easter message they said they felt compelled to talk about it. Their congregants were writing and e-mailing them: some wanted to share their emotional reactions to Mr. Obama’s speech; others asked how Mr. Wright, the minister, could utter such inflammatory things from the pulpit.

Some ministers interviewed over the last several days said they would wait until after Easter to preach on it all, because Easter and headlines do not mix. But others said there was no better moment than Easter, when sanctuaries swelled with their biggest crowds of the year, and redemption was the dominant theme...

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