Realizing at long last that the 4-ring circus at Chicago's Trinity Unity Church of Christ wasn't going to close between now and November, Barack Obama had no choice but to sever his connection to the church that Rev. Jeremiah Wright built. It was not an easy decision for him to make as reflected in the months of soul-searching before finally figuring out what everybody else had long ago concluded -- there was no way that Trinity United would ever metamorphose into a mainstream church acceptable to more than ten percent of Americans. On the contrary, its bizarreries only increased with time and now it was even importing crackpots from other denominations to grace its tabernacle.
Still, this church was his "spiritual home" and its pastor emeritus had been the mentor who forged his social conscience and inducted him into Christianity: we might add, a proto-Marxist social conscience and a Christianity informed by liberation theology, the Marxist variant of Christianity.
There was little stability in Barack Obama's early life. Shuttled from Hawaii to Indonesia, from mother to grandparents, from a Muslim madrassa to a Catholic school, uncertain of who he was, with a father who abandoned him at birth and no black role model or any black friends, Barack Obama craved a sense of belonging, tradition, stability and continuity in his adult life. Hence he attended the same church for 20 years; hence he has been attended by the same physician for 20 years. It must have been traumatic indeed for him to resign from Trinity United, the bedrock of his newly-forged identity, where he became everything he is today, alas.
Obama experienced the same difficulty disassociating himself from his church as he had earlier distancing himself from his longtime minister. At first, he said that he would no more disown Rev. Wright than the grandmother who raised him. And now he is making it clear that despite his resignation: "I'm not denouncing the church, and I am not interested in people who want me to denounce the church. It's not a church worth denouncing." He means, of course, that it's not deserving of denunciation. No doubt, like Rev. Wright, the church or its new minister will do something in the next 6 months that will obliged Obama to denounce it regardless of his having already publicly severed his connection to it or vowed never to denounce it.
It is worth noting that his letter of resignation was written by his wife and is signed first by her. Make of that what you will. She is certainly the more dominant personality, the strong-willed and well-connected spouse that Rev. Wright introduced to Obama (or, some say, chose for him). She is the more radical of the two as Hillary was once more radical than Bill, and, like Hillary in 1992, she has her eye on the main chance and is as influential in her spouse's campaign.
Obama can resign from Trinity United but he is still what that church made him. And, ultimately, of course, he can't resign from himself.