WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A controversy over
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's former pastor has not hurt Obama, a new poll found on Thursday, even as more
potential trouble surfaced involving his church.
A poll by the Pew Research Center said videos
of sermons by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Obama's subsequent speech on race in America last week have attracted more public
attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign.
The March 19-22 survey of 1,503 American
adults found that despite the flap, Illinois Sen. Obama had maintained a 49 percent to 39 percent advantage over New York Sen.
Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
While he seemed to have weathered the storm
so far, the poll said most voters aware of the sermons were offended by them.
Wright argued from the pulpit that the September
11 attacks were payback for U.S. foreign policy and expressed anger over what he called racist America.
The new survey was released as new information
came to light about Obama's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, which Obama attended
for two decades.
A Christian publication called Baptist Messenger
reported that the church published a pro-Hamas, anti-Israel
opinion article in a church bulletin in July.
It said the church republished the article
from The Los Angeles Times. In the article, an official from the Palestinian group Hamas
defended the group's refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist.
Baptist Messenger said the column was posted
on Wright's "Pastor's Page."
In addition, Trumpet Newsmagazine, of which
Wright is the chief executive officer, published an article written by Wright in which he described the crucifixion of Jesus
as "public lynching Italian style."
"(Jesus') enemies had their opinion about
Him," Wright wrote in a eulogy of the late scholar Asa Hilliard in the November/December 2007 issue, according to CNSNews.com. "The
Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans."
Obama was asked about the latest information
about Wright during a CNBC interview.
"I've, I think, talked thoroughly about,
you know, the issue with Rev. Wright. And, you know, everybody, I think, who examines the church that I attend knows that
it is a very traditional, conventional church," he said.
He said Wright had made some "troubling
statements and some appalling statements that I have condemned."
Why did it take Barack Obama 21 years before he
started condemning his pastor and mentor Rev. Wright sermons of hate?