Black pastors and parishioners—including the 3,000 who packed Trinity Church in Chicago Sunday—are leaping to the defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who's drawn a firestorm of criticism for his incendiary rhetoric on racism, the Washington Post reports. A pamphlet circulating the pews decried Wright’s treatment in the media as a “modern-day lynching.” “We are all being vilified,” the new pastor said. “This is an attack on the African American church tradition.”
Wright was one of the foremost practitioners of black liberation theology, which seeks to apply the Bible to modern social problems. “There’s so much passion in what we do that it can overflow,” says one Dallas pastor. Wright is sometimes so stirred by rage over what's happened to poor black people, notes another liberation theologian, that "he says things most whites would find off the charts and unpatriotic. But you don't preach in sound bites."