Both phrases have the same meaning, but I have been fascinated by the sudden onslaught of the phrase "incendiary remarks" by journalists around the world regarding Jeremiah Wright's speeches from the pulpit.
Notice I call them speeches and not sermons.
The only thing his speeches have in common with sermons is the fact that they are or were delivered from behind the pulpit which is located at the altar of the Church, where sermons are normally delivered that serve to encourage, enlighten and every other good adjective you can think of.
Word study - Although I have rarely heard the word used to describe a person, it is an appropriate use of the word, according to the second definition...
2. a person who excites factions, quarrels, or sedition : agitator
The word incendiary has also been used to describe the remarks of Imus, remarks we would all like to forget.
Cynthia Tucker, an editorial writer for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, also used these words to describe Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
Interestingly enough, a writer for Cox News used the word (not really a word, but a typo or error) "indendiary" which conjures up images of the indentured servant rather than fiery remarks.
Incendiary immediately conjures up the image of fire because of its first two syllables which remind us of the word incinerator.
Now I'm wondering if the incendiary remarks will incinerate Obama's chances of winning the Democratic Primary, or has his candidacy been completely obliterated as if it were thrown into an incinerator?
At any rate, its good that Mr. Wright has retired from the pulpit, because he definitely abused its use by promoting hatred and division.
That said, I actually agree with Mr. Wright on one statement, the country is run by wealthy white men. If he had argued his point for all the poor in America, and not insulted Americans with his profanity from the "place where God communicates," then we would not even be having these discussions.
I live in the south where preachers can get carried away, but I have never heard such inflammatory rhetoric and I have sat on the pews of many churches over my 53 years. And yes, I have stood up and walked out when I heard remarks and comments that were obviously not from God and did not enhance the Christian life.
I have no problem standing up for my convictions.
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