WATCH: Rev. Jeremiah Wright Addresses the Third Annual Black Church Studies Consultation event at the Bates Memorial Baptist Church in Kentucky

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the Chicago pastor whose controversial statements became an issue in Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, roused a Louisville congregation of hundreds Tuesday denouncing "church folk" who he said shun the needy and favor the rich.
"Maybe what church folk got to say ain't what folk who are marginalized need to hear," said Wright, the retired longtime pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. "What church folks say is ... so many times stuck on stupid. ... Maybe church folk just ought to shut up and listen to Jesus."

Wright didn't hesitate to name names about who those church folk were, criticizing affluent churches and the tea party movement for what he said were avoiding issues of economic justice as well as Southern Baptists for their official stance on women's roles.

A mixed-race crowd of about 300 people gathered to hear Wright speak at Bates Memorial Baptist Church on East Lampton Street, many of them leaping up and shouting in agreement during his sermon.

He spoke at the launch of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary's two-day annual Black Church Studies Consultation. Wright will also lead a panel discussion at the seminary today.

Seminary officials said Wright has long been involved in the black churches' responses to such issues as racism, poverty and violence.

Wright spoke on a series of gospel passages in which Jesus reached out to outcasts.

Wright also denounced a litany of cases where churches have failed the marginalized -- from support of slavery and the Ku Klux Klan to opposition to short skirts and hip-hop music.

He depicted the Southern Baptist Convention's stance on male authority as one of telling women to "stay in their place, be barefoot and pregnant."

And he denounced preachers who tied the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Haiti earthquake and Hurricane Katrina as brought on by sins.

Wright's own take on Sept. 11 played a prominent part in the controversies during Obama's 2008 campaign.

Source: Courier Journal | Peter Smith

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