And just what are Rev. Otis Moss' offenses, according to Kessler? Describing certain Biblical figures as "thugs" in sermons and "prais[ing] a rapper with a criminal record as a prophet":
To applause, Moss approvingly cites Tupac Shakur, a “gangsta” rap star with a long arrest record.
Most Americans look to places of worship for inspiration and moral and spiritual guidance. Moss’ message is the opposite. Claiming Shakur’s message speaks to our “current condition,” Moss blurs the distinction between right and wrong: He says those who don’t get that a rapper like Shakur is a prophet and biblical figures are thugs are confined by “bourgeois paradigms.”
You will not be surprised to learn that nowhere does Kessler quote what Tupac lyrics Moss repeated to his parishoners.
Kessler is also taking the "prophet" quote out of context. From an April 30 AP article:
In his Easter sermon at Trinity, Moss stood in front of the choir and talked of "ghetto prophets."
He recited lyrics from Shakur's "Thugz Mansion," calling the late rapper "neither a saint nor demon, but all human."
He mocked those who dismiss rap music, saying it isn't "neatly packaged for our middle-class digestion" and rappers shouldn't be overlooked because of "coarse language and ragged subject-verb agreement" or a "proclivity for ghetto-istic conduct."
Sounds like Moss is referring to Kessler. Here's a sample lyric from "Thugz Mansion":Is that not a sentiment Kessler can endorse?
I need a place to rest my head
with the little bit of homeboys that remains, cause all the rest dead
Is there a spot for us to roll, if you find it
I'll be right behind ya, show me and I'll go
How can I be peaceful? I'm comin from the bottom
Watch my daddy scream peace while the other man shot him
I need a house that's full of love when I need to escape
the deadly places slingin drugs, in thug's mansion
Is that not a sentiment Kessler can endorse? Apparently not, since he takes the opportunity to slam Obama yet again: "What kind of moral leadership can be exercised by a man who sends his kids to listen to sermons denouncing America and whites and now calling Moses a thug and praising a convicted rapper as a prophet?"
We can similarly question the trustworthiness of a reporter who has spent much of the past year creepily drooling over Mitt Romney and, in particular, his wife.