Letters: The Black Church; Clinton Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read e-mails from listeners about the black church and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Hillary Clinton's efforts to be an "everyday American."
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Letters: The Black Church; Clinton

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Letters: The Black Church; Clinton

Letters: The Black Church; Clinton

Letters: The Black Church; Clinton

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Robert Siegel and Melissa Block read e-mails from listeners about the black church and Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Hillary Clinton's efforts to be an "everyday American."

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, host:

And I'm Melissa Block.

It's time for your e-mail about yesterday's program. Two stories about politics prompted the lion's share of your comments.

SIEGEL: First, NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty brought us views from a number of black ministers and church members. She asked them whether criticism of Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, amounted to criticism of the black church in general, as Wright himself claimed.

BLOCK: In that story, one minister, Reverend Ronald Braxton, addressed the question of whether Jeremiah Wright may have doomed Obama's presidential aspirations.

Reverend RONALD BRAXTON (Metropolitan AME Church, Washington): He may be blamed, but I don't think he'll be the cause for the downfall. The system would've found a way.

SIEGEL: I agree with what Reverend Braxton says, writes Cindy Rose(ph) of Casper, Wyoming. Obama's failure will be the traditional media's fault for continuing to chew on this non-subject to the detriment of a fine candidate and the people who see beyond the tired argument. The day I see as much attention paid to John McCain's support from the likes of pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley will probably be never.

BLOCK: Hagee and Parsley, by the way, are conservative evangelical ministers who support McCain and have made disparaging remarks about gays, Islam and Catholics.

SIEGEL: And here's an idea about our coverage from Melody Monson Miggy(ph) of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Every time I hear another story on the Reverend Wright, after I turn off the radio I move a bean out of the bowl that says NPR, and move it into a bowl that says food pantry. She continues: Each bean represents a $10 donation. Today, NPR, my local food pantry thanks you for another $20 donation.

BLOCK: Sherry Webber(ph) of Lincoln, Nebraska, has a personal take on the topic. As a minister's daughter, she writes, I think it is appalling that this country is making a big deal about a parishioner distancing himself from his minister. I've seen this happen to my father at every church he pastored. The only difference is that Senator Obama had to do this on national TV under the eagle eye of the American people.

SIEGEL: Well, finally, to the other political story that generated plenty of e-mail; it was about Hillary Clinton's mastery of the role of everyday American.

BLOCK: I am not alone in finding Hillary's attempts to be an everyday American laughable.

SIEGEL: This is from listener Makella Granthum(ph).

BLOCK: Her speech changes with each group she campaigns to. I laugh out loud when I hear her talk to blue-collar voters. I find it demeaning to those voters who get that treatment from her. Incidentally, I am a 60-year-old white college-educated female Democrat who would never vote for Hillary Clinton.

SIEGEL: But Omero Vascavez(ph) of Sacramento, California responded differently to our story. All throughout the election season I have believed that Obama was the man I would be voting for, he writes, but when I heard the report about Mrs. Clinton sitting at people's kitchen tables, it made me feel warm inside. I found out that Ms. Clinton has a loving, understanding heart, and that's the kind of president we need today.

BLOCK: We welcome your comments. You can send them by visiting us at npr.org/contact.

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