November 24, 2008

Should Barack Obama go to church?

He doesn't go. It's kind of a big production for him to go. And maybe he doesn't want to go. Do you have a problem with that?

53 comments:

Seven Machos said...

He doesn't go to church? What? I'm pretty sure there's a kill whitey church down the street from Sidwell Friends.

Paddy O. said...

He should have church in his home. House churches are an in thing now.

Wife, kids, close friends. Read the Bible, talk about life issues, pray. Share a meal.

And he shouldn't tell anyone he's doing it.

I can't imagine going to church would help anyone. Not people who would be distracted towards Obama. Not the pastor who would be able to brag about having the President in his church. Not Obama who would be always watched, and never able to be free in his participation or interaction.

Plus, almost all the non-organized-Church going Christians I know voted for him, so it would be a show of support for this particular base.

dbp said...

Eh, once burned, twice shy. Maybe

Original George said...

Article on Washington's religious observances or lack thereof.

Here's a good article on Lincoln's religious beliefs. He belonged to no denomination, sometimes attended, but was clearly deeply spiritual person.

Oh, and here is Washington's Thanksgiving proclamation of 1789.

Richard said...

Do you have a problem with that?

If we don't have a problem with him hangin' out with terrorists, why would we have a problem with him not attending church. God damn America and all that.

dmfoiemjsof said...

I think it's great that he doesn't go to church.

Skyler said...

He doesn't need to go to church anymore because he no longer has to get noticed. He's pretty confident that no one will care about that in 2012.

Simon said...

I thought you had his number on this one a while back, Ann, in saying something to the effect that he isn't particularly interested or engaged with that stuff for anything but appearances.

Anthony said...

The president usually does not go to church as it is too much of a security hassle for the church.

I wonder what JFK did. Catholic's really cannot do the "home Church" thing, but need a priest to say Mass. I assume a priest came by on Sundays and said Mass for the family and maybe Catholic staffers.

Anthony said...

One other point. Andrew Johnson was not Catholic yet use to attend a Catholic church in Washington.

AJ Lynch said...

I am not surprised. Church in Chicago was just means to an end for Obama.

Also, I nominate Seven Machos for best comment of the week!

rhhardin said...

I don't go to church either.

Mysterious ritual. I mean the attraction is mysterious.

It's good to go to sunday school so you learn the idioms, but beyond age ten or so it's pointless child torture.

Bill Clinton had an extra-large Bible for photo opportunity visibility.

TRO said...

They just haven't opened the "God Damn America Church" Washington DC branch just yet.

Eh, I never believe a liberal is religious, so it doesn't much surprise me when I am right about it.

Paul said...

"I thought you had his number on this one a while back, Ann, in saying something to the effect that he isn't particularly interested or engaged with that stuff for anything but appearances."

He's not interested or engaged with anything but for appearances. He is a classic case of NPD. That famous cool and measured style merely reflects the fact that he is dead inside. The only question worth pondering about the man is how dead is he?

laura said...

I would agree with some, that his past church affiliation had a strong "to be seen" component, though not all that uncommon in our culture. A sound spiritual practice, as I sense he has, does not require church. Readings, along with daily prayer and meditation, in a private setting are all a part of that.

Joe said...

I went to church every week for the first 38 years of my life and then abruptly stopped. I can see the point if you take communion or some sort of sacrament, but otherwise, I don't understand the point.

former law student said...

Why do any Protestants go to church? Given the doctrine of sola scriptura, it should be sufficient to sit home and read the Bible, especially because the miracle of Transubstantiation does not take place at Protestant services.

If listening to some preacher's view of the Bible is important, there are plenty of televangelists Obama could sit home and watch on the tube. If Obama had no preference, I would suggest the widow of the late Rev. Gene Scott, ex-porn star Pastor Melissa Scott.

Big Mike said...

Do you have a problem with that?

Nope.

With some few exceptions (Reagan, George Bush the elder) I always felt that their church attendance was for show, anyway.

Eric said...

Why would he go to church? He went to Rev. Wright's place for twenty years and never stayed awake for the sermon, apparently. Waste of time.

American Liberal Elite said...

I would prefer a President who doesn't go to church and doesn't pal around with pastors.

Chip Ahoy said...

Church blows my mind.

Yesterday I discovered a restaurant at Palmer Lake, a perfectly charming little town on the 1/25 corridor between Colorado Springs and Denver immediately North of the AF Academy nestled right there in the foothills to the Rockies. A spectacular place. One of those towns sprinkled with houses nearly as large as the town itself. What impressed me was the excessive number of churches for such a tiny town where a single church would have sufficed. We must have passed at least a dozen within the span of just a few miles. If these people ever got together, well, I can see nothing but trouble. My lunch date said, "Wait 'till church gets out, this place will be swamped." I didn't think of that. She was right.
[Buffet in a large swank hotel. I went for the protein, which is how I manage a boyish figure when faced with extravagant epicurean abundance. The little girl carrying a single tiny triangle of watermelon on her plate past my table cracks me up. This is what we saw while there and in people's yards along the way.]

The last church service I went to attempted to invite everybody and took extremes to insult nobody. Therefore, there was no sermon. Just a poetry reading that I did not comprehend. They liked to sing. Now, I've always had trouble with those hymnals. Too complicated. Skip this verse, repeat that verse X times, hymn number different than the page number, back and forth you go. Flip, flip, flip. Pfffft. I'm lost flipping through a book while everybody else is singing a song I never heard before. I have never been able to master that. But this particular church, eager to remain innocuous, removed every reference to any one particular faith, namely Christianity, anything at all that could have the slightest trace of rubbing someone of another faith the wrong way was ignored, so every reference to Jesus was removed which meant skipping nearly every verse so next to nothing remained, lest a Jew or a Muslim, a Janist, a Hare Krishna, or a Mithric or Zoroastrian who might be present take umbrage. It was ridiculous. I hated it. I especially didn't care for the gays at the exit line assuming I too was gay and welcoming me to their church a bit over enthusiastically.

Additionally, I've always found ritual risible. The Catholic bishop waving his censor from a chain filled with smoldering incense over the smelly masses. "Your outfit is outrageous but your purse is on fire." Who can stay serious?

I'm with Obama on this. Best to concentrate on cultivating one's own relationship with deity without an intervening church or cleric. I get nothing but irritated from ritual and so-called fellowship. All that dressing up for that? Plus, consistent with the myth for our age, Obama would do better to issue his own edicts, bulls testaments and sayings, allowing his disciples in the ages that follow to put him at the head of his own church, or in the very least to canonize his awesome self possibly surpassing even Kennedy.

AJ Lynch said...

Many Americans make it a point to attend church when their kids are still young and impressionable. I'd hope the Obamas would be in that category.

But I bet since he is still in Chicago, Obama does not have the guts to dis Rev. Wright by going to another church. Obama will find and attend a church when he gets to DC.

Anyone want to take that bet?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

God doesn't like hypocrites, so ....no, he shouldn't go to church.

Steven said...

Former Law Student --

Matthew 18:20. Sola scriptura may be sufficient for guidance in Protestant theology, but that very scripture calls for people to come together.

Robert Cook said...

Not only do I not have a problem with it, I think it is a pernicious and troubling aspect of recent American history that we focus on the religious affiliation and practices of our Presidents at all. This reflects the malignant influence of Christ Junkies on our civil life. (I saw a graffiti in NYC years ago where someone used that phrase, and I think it quite apt.)I am an atheist myself, but I don't begrudge others from holding fast to comforting belief in religious myths for themselves, and it does compel some to do good works in the world. I don't, however, appreciate anyone making their religion my business or expecting me to credit their beliefs as valid.

Contrary to uninformed opinion, we are not a Christian nation, or a nation of any creed. We are a nation in which a majority of the population at least claim to be Christian, (and most probably do hold some sort of dimly grasped conception of a god and an afterlife based crudely on the Christian mythology).

It should be no one's business what our own religious practices and beliefs may be, and it certainly is not our business what the religious practices and beliefs of our neighbors or our elected officials are. Public policy certainly should never be crafted, or passed, or vetoed, on the basis of its adherence (or not) to any creed's religious dogma. Public policy affects us all, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, Druids, and any other number of pagans that populate our land.

David said...

No.

Beth said...

Someone somewhere is blogging about how he's managing to hide his five prayers to Mecca daily.

Sheepman said...

No, but I have a problem that this is newsworthy.

Jake said...

I don't care, but others do.
Which means, as a politician, he will, too!

Simon said...

Robert Cook said...
"Not only do I not have a problem with it, I think it is a pernicious and troubling aspect of recent American history that we focus on the religious affiliation and practices of our Presidents at all."

If someone's religious beliefs don't affect their political views, their religious views aren't worth spit; either way, it's relevant information about someone seeking public office.

I hate that when I tell people I'm an agnostic they might think I have something in common with atheists, who I've found are usually idiotic, obnoxious, bigoted bores, a type amply confirmed by Cook's comment.

Palladian said...

I hope there is a God just so He can smite Robert Cook and everyone like him.

"I am an atheist myself..."

No!! A pedantic, self-righteous snobbish pig an atheist?! Imagine!

garage mahal said...

Those damn atheists are always telling us how to live OUR lives like they know what happens when we die! Snobs.

save_the_rustbelt said...

When Ronald Reagan was criticized for not attending church regularly the defense was the security hassle and distraction.

The media beat him up for that.

But the media won't beat up Obama, because he is special and we can't criticize because, well, he is not white.

Besides, Obama is the new Messiah, so he can worship himself anywhere. :))

Note to Robert Cook: watch out for the lightning - just saying....

Kirby Olson said...

I think he should invite a pastor into his house, and maybe a Sunday school teacher for his kids.

It's not safe for him to be at a church what with the fatwah called down on him by Al Qaeda for his apostacy.

He should have church in the basement of the White House somewhere, with a few select friends, and a rotating panel of pastors so that he can broaden his viewpoint past Reverend Wright.

Obama should not go to church. Church should go to Obama.

Christy said...

I don't care whether Obama goes to church or not. I'm one of those non-believers who likes church, however. I see that they can provide a strong sense of community in our isolated worlds. Where do you find a sense of community? Or do you find one at all? Is the Althouse Vortex a community?

I see nothing wrong in seeking out a community of people who are trying to lead good lives. Young relatives of mine found themselves in a bad situation a couple of years ago. Church members rallied with food during the crisis, expertise to help resolve the situation, and a love offering of a few thousand dollars to ease at least one aspect of the crisis. Family was there, too, of course, but the church community was amazing.

Of course, Obama already has that kind of support. Do you?

Baron Zemo said...

My dear lady, of course he should not go to church.

He should go to the mosque.

rcocean said...

Seven Nachos. The first and the best.

Don't care that he doesn't go to Church. But he should get that oversize Bible from Clinton - just in case.

wind said...

Does a Messiah need to regularly attend a church?

dualdiagnosis said...

For a liberal government is their religion, Obama is now the Pope.

He will be giving mass from on high.

JAL said...

Go back and read hisstory.

When he arrived to work with Alinsky's acolytes in community organizing in Chicago -- including church groups -- even though he was black (wanted to put quotes on that, but hey ... I'll go with the flow) it turns out he had no cred. When he talked with pastors and church goers the question was "Where do you go to church?" So he visited churches and settled on Trinity.

He was warned off Trinity in the beginning because it was where the well-off blacks went. But there was perhaps a resonance with the pastor, and also another pragmatic choice in that he killed two birds with one stone. He satisfied the black church goers and pastors and found a wealthy base to work from.

Somewhere this pattern of using associations is going to hit the wall / fan whatever.

I don't care whether Obama goes to church. I am not convinced, despite his verbal claims, that he "gets" it. (Like many things he used the right words, but there wasn't substance behind it.) Pretty sure under Wright he didn't "get" anything, since he didn't remember anything but audacity from his 20 years there.

Are Michelle and the girls going? Grandma and the girls?

Of course now that they've quit Trinity, where would they go anyway?

JAL said...

Going to the gym instead probably also represents his demographic pretty well.

Cedarford said...

It would be good for him to go to church, but the security hassles may keep him in the "bubble". To much hassle for him and congregants to be a regular practice.

Same applies to other venues silly people expect POTUS to go to as frequently as possible to "connect". Baseball games twice a week? NASCAR? Watch the Wizards play or hit an inner-city b-ball tournament? Sorry. The time to "connect" at mass gatherings is now substantially over.

TMink said...

"Why do any Protestants go to church?"

To learn, to worship, to be with other believers, to pray for others, to be prayed for, to invole the Holy Spirit, to be with Christ, because Jesus did, to sing, to be spiritually fed, to tithe, to feel good, to pray together, to see friends, and because it is good for us.

Our next President is comanded to go to church if he is a Christian. Hebrews 10 says to go.

Personally, I care not. But Christians are told to.

And thanks for mentioning Gene Scott, I learned a lot from that rascal.

Trey

Deb said...

Who cares. It should be the least of our worries about this man.

LoafingOaf said...

going to church is gay

walter neff said...

He doesn't have to go to church. I have gone to church every day since he got elected.

To pray to Saint Jude.

Palladian said...

"going to church is gay"

Being terrified of Sarah Palin's pussy is very, very gay.

richard mcenroe said...

He had to stop going, what with the baptismal font boiling over like that every time he stepped inside...

richard mcenroe said...

"Hey! I don't HAVE to go to church! They're building churches to ME!" --barrackin' hissy o'bama

pduggie said...

There's an "obscure verse in" the letter to the Hebrews that says Christians are not supposed to "forsake the assembling of themselves together" (Heb 10:25) and that they are to "Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls" (Heb 13: 17)

If he claims to be a Christian who lives by the Bible, he should be obedient to these words.

PT 2 said...

The issue is not about weather he goes to church or not it is the pretense of leading so many of you to believe he is something he is not. If he goes to church once actually the president, well I can not speak to that nor do i have a right too. I pray that Obama is the man so many of you believe he is going to be. I have many fears of this man, but being a man in leading our Nation I will stand in the gap and pray for him. If he is not God help us... MERRY CHRISTMAS!

knowitall said...

Should he go to church? What does that have to do with him and the liberal illuminati keeping us safe? Nothing at all.

Brian said...

Obama should and will go to church if he is a Christian. A big part of being a christian is fellowship with other members of your same faith. Going to church and attending Sunday school helps you grow spiritually. I think his reasons are weak and people don't go to church because they don't want too. If you don't like the church you are attending, you should go and attend another church. Not all churches are the same.