As I write this, I am watching Sen. Barack Obama's speech. He's talking about his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and the preaching that has now become an issue in his campaign. But Obama is also talking about who he is and what his unique racial legacy means.
We need to decide if we want to revise, or somehow revisit, the conversation we had this morning about what constitutes proper speech in a religious context, and how much political leaders need to be held accountable for what their spiritual advisers may say or preach.
Our guests this morning, if I say so myself, are some of they key leaders in contemporary religious thought: the Rev. Jim Wallis, the founder of Sojourners; Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., of Hope Christian Church (you recently heard both of them on this program talk about how the evangelical movement can refresh itself), the Rev. Renita Weems, a blogger and a major voice among progressive religious leaders, especially among African American women, and Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of the National Synagogue, here in Washington, D.C. (you have also heard before on this program talking about whether baseball should have "religion" days, and modern matchmaking services).
We debated all weekend about how to respond to the Jeremiah Wright story. We were troubled that so much of the conversation we were hearing seemed not to understand or acknowledge traditions of the black church. And yet, one must recognize that a presidential campaign is not a private affair, and all relationships and contexts in which these candidates operate will be scrutinized.
Our question: what's legitimate speech? ... What's not? ... What crosses the line?
And, who gets to decide?
I think we'll let the conversation stand.
I also hope you'll enjoy the conversation with newsmaker U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. The Democrat is the first woman elected to the Senate from Michigan. We spoke with her in honor of Women's History Month, and her own accomplishments.
Plus, another woman making history Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. A new documentary tells the story of her first year in office.
... I'm still listening to the Obama speech. Tell us more about what you think.
And, tomorrow, we'll start talking about the 5th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war. We have stories for you ...