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Letter to the Editor: No sugarcoating of opinions

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

To the editor:

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., ex-Marine and longtime pastor of Democratic Party presidential front-runner Barack Obama, is an African American who is irate at what he conceives to be unsatisfactory progress in the sphere of race relations in the U.S.

Having said that, I do not take Wright's use of a much-quoted catchphrase to be unpatriotic.

The original Jeremiah, a prophet of ancient Israel, is noted for not having sugarcoated his opinions as to what he thought was wrong with Israel vis-a-vis her compliance with God's will. In fact, there is a word — jeremiad, derived from his name — to denote such righteous tirades.

I regard Jeremiah Wright's cited speech, appropriately enough, as a jeremiad, a warning speech, a speech that vigorously complains about an existing situation and that threatens to sic God upon the nation if the situation is not rectified.

The chief theoretician of the nation's rightists, the Rev. Pat Robertson, indulges in such verbal pyrotechnics every time some catastrophe befalls us. Hurricanes hitting Florida were blamed by this holy man on Florida's tolerance of homosexuals, and similarly the catastrophe of 9-11.

I have no intention of letting the dim bulbs of rightist talk radio convince me that I should not vote for Obama, should it fall out that he is given the nod to be the opponent of John McCain.

DONN S. MILLER, Tamm, Ill.