The Rev. Eugene Rivers of Boston commended Barack Obama today for resigning his 20-year membership in his Chicago church, whose pulpit became the forum for politically embarrassing comments.
Rivers said on MSNBC that it must have been a "very difficult, heartwrenching decision" for Obama, who announced over the weekend that he and his wife Michelle are leaving Trinity United Church of Christ, where he became a Christian, where they were married, and where their two daughters were baptized.
"It was inevitable given the current political context," said Rivers, who has added his commentary to many of the religious controversies this presidential campaign.
After a series of controversial remarks by the church's former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., Obama repudiated him. Then last Sunday, another religious figure close to Obama, Father Michael Pfleger, gave a sermon making fun of Hillary Clinton in a highly theatrical performance.
Rivers also argued that Trinity is "unrepresentative" of the 65,000 black churches across the country.
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.