[...] Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn. The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign. I made it clear at the time that I strongly condemned his comments. But because Rev. Wright was on the verge of retirement, and because of my strong links to the Trinity faith community, where I married my wife and where my daughters were baptized, I did not think it appropriate to leave the church. Let me repeat what I've said earlier. All of the statements that have been the subject of controversy are ones that I vehemently condemn. They in no way reflect my attitudes and directly contradict my profound love for this country. With Rev. Wright's retirement and the ascension of my new pastor, Rev. Otis Moss, III, Michelle and I look forward to continuing a relationship with a church that has done so much good. And while Rev. Wright's statements have pained and angered me, I believe that Americans will judge me not on the basis of what someone else said, but on the basis of who I am and what I believe in; on my values, judgment and experience to be President of the United States.That is good enough for me. After all, a church is more than just its pastor -- it's a community. And, when you have a 20-year history with a community, your ties to that community transcend the occasional off-color remark by one church leader. I know very few churchgoers who will agree 100% with every word of every sermon. Don't Obama's critics feel the same way, or are they mindless sheep who blindly and unquestioningly accept, and live by, every word that they hear from the pulpit of their choice? Now, in closing, here is the good news: With these questions about Obama's brand of Christianity, maybe the right wing (and the Hillary campaign) will have to stop suggesting that Obama is a Muslim.