A Clinton Pastor Prays and Tells

A Clinton Pastor Prays and Tells

A Clinton Pastor Prays and Tells

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Aug. 10 1999 10:53 AM

A Clinton Pastor Prays and Tells

Chatterbox jumped to an unfair conclusion last week when he said that the following remark by White House spokesman Joe Lockhart was a dig at Jesse Jackson: "At least one of [the ministers Clinton has consulted about his marital infidelity] has not made a secret of the fact that he's talked to the president." (See "More on the Clintons and Psychotherapy.") A reader has informed Chatterbox that J. Philip Wogaman, pastor of the Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, has written a whole book about ministering to Clinton during Flytrap called From the Eye of the Storm. It was published in January to coincide with the impeachment hoopla. Chatterbox can't bring himself to take a look at this book, but here's a snippet from Wogaman's own rather Uriah Heep-esque description of it on Amazon.com:

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The book's subtitle is, "A Pastor to the President Speaks Out," but I hasten to say that it does not betray pastoral confidences. [Oh, Philip, you're such a tease!] I also want it understood that book royalties go to charities because I do not believe it is right to profit by this national tragedy. I hope it will help readers understand the deeper implications of the presidential impeachment controversy ... I have sometimes felt I truly was in the "eye of the storm." The book draws upon that experience, although it does not invade private pastoral conversations. I have taken up issues related to love and sex, repentance and forgiveness, and the relationship between personal character and public responsibility in political leaders.

Clearly, Jesse Jackson is nowhere near being the biggest and most sanctimonious self-promoter among Clinton's inner circle of ministers/marriage counselors. Incidentally, one advantage Clinton would enjoy if he were seeing a secular psychotherapist would be a professional code of ethics that would come down much harder on anyone who pulled this sort of stunt. A more cynical possibility that Chatterbox can't bring himself to believe is that Clinton actually encouraged Wogaman to write this book to help keep his poll numbers up.