In a defiant appearance before the Washington media, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said Monday that criticism surrounding his fiery sermons is an attack on the black church and he rejected those who have labeled him unpatriotic.
"I served six years in the military," Barack Obama's longtime pastor said. "Does that make me patriotic? How many years did (Vice President Dick) Cheney serve?"
Wright spoke at the National Press Club before reporters and a supportive audience of black church leaders beginning a two-day symposium. He said the black church tradition is not bombastic or controversial, but different and misunderstood by the "dominant culture" in the United States.