Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Obama: Still No Church

Barack Obama and his family still have not chosen a church.

Since they cut ties with Jeremiah Wright and his congregation the last day of May 2008, the Obama's have been without a place of worship to call home.

That's a dramatic change from their past behavior, being regular churchgoers and financial contributors to Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

Will they attend a church service on Easter Sunday?

Obama hasn't been to church since before his inauguration, but I would imagine that he would feel pressure to go on Easter.

From FOX News:

Days before Easter, White House aides say the first family still is looking for a Washington-area church to call its own.

The hunt continues, nearly a year after President Obama severed ties with Trinity United Church of Christ following the campaign controversy over the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's incendiary sermons.

It's still unclear where exactly the Obama family might be leaning. The 19th Street Baptist Church is considered a favorite, since he attended services there two days before the inauguration. But Obama hasn't been to church since.

The Rev. Dean Snyder, the pastor of Foundry United Methodist Church -- where 18 presidents including Abraham Lincoln prayed -- said the media shouldn't complicate the Obamas' search.

"I hope that in this case, for all of us, that we allow the personal and spiritual needs of the first family to be more important than political considerations," he said.

...Race and politics complicate Obama's church selection.

The racially explosive sermons of Wright almost derailed Obama's campaign and ultimately led him to leave the Trinity United in Chicago.

Washington's historic 19th Street Baptist is much more moderate, though its pastor isn't trying to entice the Obama family.

"That is a very personal and yet also prayerful decision for any family and certainly for this family. So, we'll entrust that to them as they continue to move forth and we'll let God do the rest," said The Rev. Derrick Harkins.

Choosing a mostly black church would raise questions about an assertion Obama made several times during the campaign, referring to "the old truism that the most segregated hour in American life occurs on Sunday morning."

Yet he might face some scorn from black communities for choosing a church, such as Foundry, that is primarily white after having been a member at a church like Trinity United for most his adult life.

Snyder said his congregation's diversity is one of its important aspects.

I wonder if Obama will become a member of any church in Washington.

Maybe he's just not comfortable enough to commit, fearing the political fallout. It would be a shame if Obama would allow politics to dictate his faith life and that of his family.

Especially for the sake of their daughters, I hope the Obamas don't let politics cloud their decision about where to worship or whether to worship at all.

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