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Posted: 1/31/2010 1:07:50 PM EDT
I respect his right to not go to church, I know he has a busy schedule. This is the only part I don't understand:
"My Faith and Neighborhood Initiatives director, Joshua DuBois, he has a devotional that he sends to me on my BlackBerry every day," Obama said. "That's how I start my morning. You know, he's got a passage, Scripture, in some cases quotes from other faiths to reflect on."
I don't understand the part about  quotes from other faiths to reflect on? If he is a Christian why does he need that?
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Holy BlackBerry! Obama Finds Ways to Keep the Faith During First Year in Office
Has the First Family's D.C. Church Search Come to a Close?
By DEVIN DWYER
Jan. 29, 2010—


If church attendance is one measure of a man's faith, then President Obama may appear to have lost some of his. The first family, once regular churchgoers, have publicly attended services in Washington just three times in the past year, by ABC News' count, even bypassing the pews on Christmas Day.

Obama quit Chicago's embattled Trinity United Church of Christ months before taking office in 2008 and has not formally joined a new one in his new hometown.

But sources familiar with the president's personal life say Obama remains a faithful Christian while in the White House, practicing his beliefs regularly in private with family and the aid of his BlackBerry.

"Barack Obama is a Christian. He's always been clear and unapologetic about that, and he's comfortable with his own faith," Rev. Jim Wallis, an Obama friend and spiritual adviser, said. "But I think the president, particularly a president, needs the kind of pastoral care or spiritual counsel with people who don't have a political agenda. And it's hard for a president to get that."

Obama told ABC Nightline's Terry Moran that his personal BlackBerry, which he famously fought with the Secret Service to keep, has actually become a tool of keeping the faith during his first year in office.

"My Faith and Neighborhood Initiatives director, Joshua DuBois, he has a devotional that he sends to me on my BlackBerry every day," Obama said. "That's how I start my morning. You know, he's got a passage, Scripture, in some cases quotes from other faiths to reflect on."

Keeping the faith in quiet moments of worship may be the best Obama can do given the realities of the presidency that make it nearly impossible to join a church without inflicting a heavy burden on taxpayers, fellow churchgoers and his own spiritual life, sources say.

Security concerns mean costly and complicated measures to ensure the president's safety on church outings, including screening every member of the congregation for weapons and sweeping the church building and areas around it for threats.

Incessant media attention is also distracting for any president trying to commune with God, exposing what is traditionally a private practice to public scrutiny, Wallis said.

"I don't think for them [the family], it's a political decision," he said of Obama's church dilemma. "I think for the media, it's a political issue. Where they land and get their nurture, care and formation; that's very difficult for the first family to find."


After Quitting Home Church, Obamas Improvise
The Obamas announced a search for a new place of worship in late 2008 after a scandal over incendiary comments by then-pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright forced their separation from Trinity, where they had been members for 20 years.

Days before his inauguration, Obama described to ABC News the "difficult time" of being without a church, saying that despite receiving daily prayers from supporters, "it's not the same as going to church and the choir's going and you get this feeling."

But weeks later, when the Obamas ventured to 19th Street Baptist Church –– one of the oldest, most historic African-American churches in the nation's capital –– aides say the family was shocked by the circus atmosphere surrounding their attendance and dismayed that some longtime church members couldn't even get into the service.

"It is tougher as president," Obama told ABC's George Stephanopoulos in his first year. "This is not just an issue of going to church, it's an issue of going anywhere."

Joshua DuBois, the White House religious affairs director, said last year that the Obamas "will choose a church home at a time that is best for their family." It's now looking increasingly like their search may be indefinite.

Aides and family friends have spent months visiting various local churches on behalf of the Obamas. And on two occasions, the first family turned to an old presidential favorite across the street from the White House, St. John's Episcopal.

Every president since James Madison has attended a service at St. Johns, where pew 54 is designated as "The President's Pew."

President Obama also enjoys worshipping "fairly regularly" at the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David, where the Rev. Carey Cash - a U.S. Navy chaplain and great-nephew of singer Johnny Cash –– ministers, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has said.

"We've been attending church, there's a little chapel up in Camp David when we go up there," Obama told ABC News' "Nightline" in July. "There's a wonderful young pastor up there, a chaplain, who does just wonderful work. And the Camp David families attend."

Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, also frequented the chapel at Camp David and ultimately chose not to formally join a church in Washington during his eight years in the White House.


Church Membership Not a Requisite, Presidential Historians Say
A president's not formally joining a Washington, D.C., church is consistent with precedent, historians say.

"For the modern presidency, it is not the norm that a president attends church regularly," University of Maryland presidential scholar Matthew Burger said.

Burger, who studies presidents, religion and public life, points out that George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, were both "frequent attendees" at local churches but did not formally join a D.C. congregation.

"Ronald Reagan stands out as someone who articulated certainly the values of evangelical Christianity but was a pretty infrequent church attendee," Burger said. "He wasn't a member officially anywhere."

Jimmy Carter, who joined First Baptist Church in Washington, stands out as one of the most prominent presidential church-goers. He attended 72 Sunday services at First Baptist while in office, according to records kept by the Carter Library.

"Whenever he could, when he was on the road, he'd go to church, too," Steven Hochman, Carter Center researcher and assistant to the former president, told ABCNews.com.

And the Clintons, who attended Foundry United Methodist church near the White House regularly but did not formally join, are perhaps the exception in modern history for first family participation in church life, experts say.

"The fact that Chelsea Clinton was able to be part of the youth group and sing in the youth choir and that all three of the Clintons could just drop in on a Sunday without creating too much of a stir really is a testament to that church congregation and may also have just been a stroke of luck," said Amy Sullivan, author of "The Party Faithful: How and Why Democrats Are Closing the God Gap," who also formerly attended Foundry Methodist at the same time as the Clintons.

"I don't think the Obamas could assume they can do the same thing, and the Bush family concluded they couldn't do that in D.C."


Obama Keeps the Faith on His BlackBerry
Despite the challenges of attending church while in office, Obama has indicated that he has not been detached from his faith or faith communities during his first year.

The President told ABC News in July that he prays every night before going to bed.

"I pray all the time now," Obama said. "I've got a lot of stuff on my plate and I need guidance all the time."

Aides say some of that guidance comes from the president's faith advisory council of 25 religious and non-profit leaders who help the administration partner with faith-based and community groups in providing social services.

Rev. Wallis, a member of the council, says the council is another means for the president to hear messages otherwise preached from the pulpit. "I think he certainly listens to people of faith when we speak about things we are about," he said.

Obama and all former U.S. presidents professed faith in Christianity, with most men identifying as Episcopalians, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Obama is the first U.S. president who affiliates with the Christian Protestant denomination, the United Church of Christ.

Speaking on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day earlier this month, Obama told a packed Vermont Avenue Baptist church in Washington, D.C., that faith keeps him grounded.

"I have a confession to make," he said. "There are times when I am not so calm. There are times when progress seems too slow. There are times when the words spoken about me hurt. There are times when the barbs sting. There are times when it feels like all these efforts are for not, that change is so painfully slow in coming and I have to confront my own doubt. During those times it is faith that keeps me calm."

ABC News' Sunlen Miller, Yunji de Nies and Russell Goldman contributed to this report.



Link Posted: 1/31/2010 1:26:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By rm1bow:
I don't understand the part about  quotes from other faiths to reflect on? If he is a Christian why does he need that?

Despite what you may hear, there is more than one flavor of Christian. There is also more than one book from which to find wisdom.
Link Posted: 1/31/2010 1:28:34 PM EDT
In his and all the modern presidents' defense, when they go to church it becomes a three ring circus with security, the press, etc. We can only imagine what it would be like to show up for church and be forced to go through security in order to worship. Think about the disruption and how hard it would be to focus on your reason for attending. Contrary to what a lot of members at this site believe, I think he is a christian man. My politics and my church doctrine don't always agree with his, (they rarely do) but I do think he attends church where he can, (like Camp David) for the right reasons. Having said that, I do not believe that he, like other presidents, is above using the stage of a church for political reasons.
Link Posted: 1/31/2010 1:31:17 PM EDT



Originally Posted By rm1bow:

I don't understand the part about  quotes from other faiths to reflect on? If he is a Christian why does he need that?



 


There are elements that every religion seem to have in common.   Some say this universal wisdom is strong evidence that God exists and wants his message spread to all people.

Also, exposing the POTUS to the religious views of the people he is dealing with from other countries is never a bad thing.  Especially when the POTUS is as inexperienced as this one is.





Link Posted: 1/31/2010 2:05:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By fyeguy:
Originally Posted By rm1bow:
I don't understand the part about  quotes from other faiths to reflect on? If he is a Christian why does he need that?

Despite what you may hear, there is more than one flavor of Christian. There is also more than one book from which to find wisdom.


Did you not read the entire article (read the bottom)?  He is clearly talking about religions outside of Christianity.  Not merely "flavors" of Christianity as you would suggest.  Written wisdom that matters, heavenly wisdom, does not need to be sought outside of the Bible for a Christian.
Link Posted: 1/31/2010 6:57:31 PM EDT
The more I search the more I find similar ideas of human relations between all religions. Take "The Golden Rule" for example. Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, & christianity, for example, all have similar entries in their respective works. Even in Shintoism there are similarities. That aside. If you are using your personal devotions to read other things besides the bible, then maybe you are doing it wrong. It is one thing to read good words from a book, but another to study scripture.

A book that Obama uses a lot and has even taught others from is a book by Saul Alinsky. I checked on this book and what is in it and I am apalled. The name of the book is "Rules For Radicals" and pertains to the community organization. In the preface, Saul dedicates the book to Satan. I worry about books written dedicated to Lucifer and those that read and take to heart what is written in them.

There is a favorite saying of mine (I didn't create it) pertaining to Church attendance. " We (I) need the church; not the other way around" This means that I go to church because I need that which can be only attained there and God's expectations of us. The church never needs me there.
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