On the March 5 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's Sussman, Morgan, and Vic, co-host Melanie Morgan, while discussing Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which is attended by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), stated, "[T]his is a major American presidential candidate whose church that he belongs to -- says he's proud to belong to -- says that their allegiance goes to Africa before it goes to America." But while the Trinity website contains a "10-point Vision" that calls for its congregation to make “a non-negotiable commitment to Africa,” there is no statement on the website that such a commitment supersedes a parishioner's commitment to the United States. Moreover, a fact sheet on the White House website is titled "The U.S. Commitment To Africa's Growth And Prosperity," and the Bush White House has reaffirmed its "commitment to Africa" as recently as 2005.
Morgan also stated that “people in that church believe you swear allegiance to Africa before you do over America.” Co-host Brian Sussman added that “a friend of mine in the Bay Area who is a pastor at a very evangelical-slash-fundamental church” believes “that the church that Obama belongs to is actually a cult.”
As Media Matters for America has previously noted, Trinity has adopted what it calls the “Black Value System,” which encourages parishioners to be “soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind.” In addition, Trinity's mission statement reads, "[W]e are called to be agents of liberation not only for the oppressed, but for all of God's family."
From the March 5 broadcast of Morgan, Sussman, and Vic:
MORGAN: I've got to urge everybody to go to Melanie Morgan-dot-com and click on the “Cat Call.” Catherine Moy has done a 2,000-word article with original reporting in it about Senator Obama that's just going to shock you to pieces -- it did me. Senator Obama's church that he belongs to in the Chicago area is Afro-centric. In other words, people at that church believe you swear allegiance to Africa before you do over America.
SUSSMAN: I will tell you, I have a friend of mine in the Bay Area -- a friend of mine in the Bay Area who is a pastor at a very evangelical-slash-fundamental church with a large percentage of his people black, this guy himself, African-American, and he has said -- I mean this is his thought -- that the church that Obama belongs to is actually a cult. I mean this is coming from an evangelical Christian, describing Obama's church as a quote-unquote “cult.” So, you know, take that for what it's worth, but the point is for him to pass this off as one of those, you know, Bible-believing, fundamental, evangelical--
SUSSMAN: -- Christian churches. In fact, some of the things that Barack Obama has said regarding leaders in the evangelical church are quite unflattering. I'm thinking of what he said concerning Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, some of these others.
MORGAN: Right. Let me quote you, by Catherine Moy's article at Melanie Morgan-dot-com. It says, “Sen. Barack Obama worships in an 'unashamedly Black' church with covenants and a” , quote, " 'vision' that include 'a disavowal of the pursuit of middleclassness' and a 'pledge of allegiance to all black leadership who espouse and embrace the Black Value System.' The Trinity United Church of Christ of Chicago has a 'congregation with a non-negotiable commitment to Africa,' according to its own website. 'We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian. Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain 'true to our native land,' "according to the website. And it goes on. I mean, it is shocking. I mean, this is a major American presidential candidate whose church that he belongs to -- says he's proud to belong to -- says that their allegiance goes to Africa before it goes to America.