Obama Doesn’t Attend Church; This Is Headline News? December 27, 2008

Obama Doesn’t Attend Church; This Is Headline News?

Someone please explain this to me.

This is the headline seen on Google News:


If you click on the headline, this is the story you get:


Church doesn’t seems all that relevant to the story. In fact, there’s only one quick paragraph in the middle of the story that even mentions church:

Their Christmas did not include attending church. “The president-elect didn’t want to disrupt a church community on Christmas with the burdens that come with a presidential visit,” Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said Thursday.

I wonder how long Obama’s lack of church attendance will be headline news. I have a feeling he’s not in a huge rush to find a new congregation for himself and his family near the White House…

I’m sure he has more important things to do on a Sunday morning.

(via Get Religion)

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  • The Get Religion blog post also links to a more relevant article about Obama’s church attendance.

    Still, he has not attended a public church service since before being elected.

    I know Obama has been pandering to Christians his whole career, but I have to admit this bothers me a little bit. I like to have hypocrisy up front where I can look it in the eye. If Obama’s going to continue to invoke God and appease evangelicals via the Rick Warren route, I, for one, hope his church non-attendance continues to make the news.

  • Eliza

    I can’t get excited one way or another about his lack of church attendance since “breaking up” with his former church.

    I’ve never been Christian, so I’m just speculating, but here goes: He was a member of that one church community for years – knew everyone, was accepted, wasn’t treated as a celebrity for being a Senator. In the wake of deciding not to go back to that church, he’s become more famous, and his every move is scrutinized. He’s been away from Chicago for months, until the election, & now the family knows they will be moving to another city. He may well be waiting to get to Washington DC & settle in as president before finding another church community – and for all we know, he may be having others look (“shop”) for him, vet the pastor & denomination, whatever.

    What do people expect him to do, drop in to some church on Oahu that he’s never been to before, disrupt the place with his entourage including paparazzi, distract the congregation, & have it all splayed over the media a few hours later?

    Actually, I’m really hoping he’ll come out as an atheist, but that’s quite unlikely to happen, and there would clearly be negative aspects, not least of which would be the hypocrisy angle. Second choice, it’d be great if he & his family joined All Souls UU Church in Washington, DC, & mingled with humanists every Sunday, but that’s quite unlikely too.

  • Erp

    Also he actually did attend a church; he went to his grandmother’s memorial service just before Christmas. However it was private with no media invited.

    Admittedly since it was Unitarian perhaps it doesn’t count as a ‘church’ to the Christians who are counting. Some in fact seem to have been quite upset that he chose a Unitarian church for his grandmother’s memorial service this despite the fact she was an atheist who had had some interaction with the Unitarian community.

  • He’ll probably go to St. Paul’s Episcopal in Washington — it’s the “Presidents’ Church”.

  • Erp

    St. John’s not St. Paul’s is the “Presidents Church”.

    Politically it would be a very small nod to the LGBT community as the Episcopal Church has been somewhat more gay friendly than most (and has an openly gay bishop in a committed relationship). It would not make the evangelicals happy. However they are unlikely to be happy with any church he chooses.

    It would make the Secret Service happy since it is close by and they’ve dealt with it before.

    However its worship style might be too different from what the Obamas are use to. My guess is he would choose another UCC church, if he chooses any, such as

    First Congregational
    except they are between buildings which might make the Secret Service unhappy
    Lincoln Congregational Temple

  • Ronald Reagan rarely attended church. He cited the same reason as Obama. Reagan’s lack of church attendance never seemed to be an issue.

  • I just watched ‘Constantine’s Sword’ and it mentions GWBush’s religious beliefs, as being extreme, (my description) going over the history of his conversion, and mentions how he is never seen reading the bible or attending a church on a regular basis…but wait….its no big deal when a Repub does it.

    As for Obama not disrupting a Christmas Church service, though I do not trust politician 100% of the time, I believe Obama would rather spend his time with his family, where God (I understand this but I am stating this as a Atheist/non-believer) can work through people; his family, to show what is (and SHOULD) matter more than anything else; human relations, with those you love, (again, I understand the concept but haven’t had contact with my family for a few decades), so hats to him, for realizing this may be the last “semi-private” Christmas he will be able to spend with his family before all hell breaks lose when he is the President and the media, and Repubs, will be on him like white on rice.

    People should repsect, and honor his decision, (and I didn’t even vote for anyone but believe he was the best pick) and maybe Americans can look at his behaviors and learn from it.

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