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Washington Area Churches Offer Welcome Mat To Obama Family

Churches within just walking distance of the White House are offering a welcome mat to the new incoming presidential family. One of the closest is St. John's Church, an Episcopal church that is often referred to as the "church of the presidents" because so many first families have chosen this church so close to the White House laying just over Lafayette Square right near the famous 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home of the presidents. President James Madison was the first of a long line of presidents to choose this church to worship in and to seek guidance from God in governing the nation.

But also surprisingly, many presidents have also chosen not to attend regular church services as well for either personal or security reasons. Despite his appeal to many Christian conservatives, President George W. Bush is an infrequent churchgoer who has mostly not attended any church services in the eight years since he was president. However, Mr. Obama puts a high priority on his faith where regular church membership and attendance are highly likely. Even his book, THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, there were so many references to the importance of faith in the life of Barack Obama, that it is really expected that he will choose to be an active church-member as president.

The Obama family could even choose the predominately African American, Metropolitan AME Church, which is very close to the White House as well. And there are many in the African American faith community that would like to see the Obama family continue their faith in a church with African American community roots.

But there are some such as Randall Balmer, who is a professor of American religious history, that doesn't believe that there is a single obvious church that the Obama family will attend as they seek a place for weekly worship and prayer. However with the strong family values of this incoming first family, this decision where to worship will likely be taken just as seriously as the decision for the school that the two Obama girls will attend, which will be a fine Washington area private school used to the tight security of educating presidential children for many years.

And importantly, none of the churches close to the White House should invite very much controversy compared to some of statements made in the past year by retired Pastor Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity United Church in Chicago that Barack Obama regularly attended for 20 years. Pastor Wright strangely made some very controversial and radical sermons in the last year, giving critics of Obama some political ammunition. Obama finally resigned from this church after some of the statements from his elderly former pastor only seemed to grow worse and worse. The last thing that the Obama family wants is to attend a church that invites controversy, although many churches do take a hard line on the subject of abortion and many other matters of strong moral importance to them.

However, presidents with strong religious faith like to seek some direction from God in their lives because some issues are so complex, and regular prayer and support from a loving congregation and a friendly pastor is an important issue for many presidents. With the Obama family, the public should often see reassuring scenes of this first family in regular church attendance in a local Washington house of worship.


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Comments (13)

Tim:

You mean there aren't any Hate Whitey churches in DC? I find that hard to believe.

John S:
Pastor Wright strangely made some very controversial and radical sermons in the last year, giving critics of Obama some political ammunition.

Man, even for an Obamaphile that's beyond polishing a turd and into full-blown rewriting of history.

Here are some quotes from Wright:

September 2001: ""The government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color. The government lied."

""We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because of stuff we have done overseas is now brought back into our own backyard. America is chickens coming home to roost."

April 2003: "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes three-strike laws and wants them to sing God Bless America. No! No No! God damn America ... for killing innocent people. God damn America for threatening citizens as less than humans. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and supreme."

Wright was spouting nutties for literally years, and Obama was either not in church on any of those occasions or simply not paying attention. Neither option says much about how seriously he takes his religious beliefs.

Lee:

Why in the world would you quote the reasons Obama threw Wright under the bus as a slam against Obama?

That crap is exactly why Obama distanced himself from Wright. He did the right thing. Wright was a racist bigot.

Lee:

"Because Wright was saying all this stuff for years and Obama had no problem with it until it started getting some attention."

Well, that's not what the President-elect of the United States said, now is it?

But you know better because... why?

While Obama was a member of the church for 20 years he didn't attend services regularly all that time. A lot apparently went on that the wasn't aware of.

Lee:

"4) Only after Wright's nuttiness was fully exposed did Obama, indeed, deny Wright and leave the church."

4) Only after Obama learned of Wright's nuttiness did Obama, indeed, deny Wright and leave the church.

Since that's Obama's version why did you leave that one out?

Is ODS in full-bloom already? Fortunately there are only minor outbreaks of ODS so far.

Clue: The fact that President Bush lied to the American people for 8 years doesn't mean that every President will...

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Be afraid, John - be very afraid. The Democrats are in charge and we're out of control - Harry Reid holds the fate of our nation in his hands and there's no hope for the country. lol...

Sue:

Or there's this-

4) Obama doesn't have any deep spiritual faith, but he used Wright's influence and Black Liberation Theology for political purposes-to get ahead. As such he either agreed with what was being said or else he didn't care since he was getting what he wanted-political advantages from them.

Lee:

I agree with Sue's assessment up to a point -- I agree that he joined because it was the politically correct thing to do.

I still maintain that the offensive quotes which were cherry picked out of Wright's preachings were unknown to Obama. I don't think Obama had any idea Wright had said those things or held those extreme views.

If you buy into the idea that Obama was in that church because it's where black Chicago politicians were supposed to be and he was just being politically correct - you have to recognize that Obama is smart enough to not stick around if he knew that that Wright had said those things.

He says he didn't know, and I believe him.

Lee:

Just because you are easily self-deluded, John, doesn't make your delusions interesting or even relevant.

You make crap up and then wonder out loud when anyone else doesn't buy into your self-made fantasies.

"In other words, his 20 years in the church were not because of any profound faith, but merely because "going to this church" was one in a series of boxes to be checked off on his rise to political power?"

Only in the playground between your ears, John.

Your faith and your choice of church are unrelated.

And you're silly enough to believe that politicians don't make choices that are --uhm, politically motivated?

Nice teeter-totter there... I think you wrote other bull but I didn't read past the first paragraph. You're just plain making crap up left and right.

Obama's made public statements on this issue, and you have your theories and fantasies. Try working with facts instead of fantasies -- it's a brave new, changing world. Right wing mouthpieces no longer hold sway. Get a clue and get real for a change.

Kelsey:

oh, I don't know. Wright agreed to lessen contact between them to help out one of his cherished church member's campaigns. Obama still keeps in touch but since it's such an OLD STORY it's nothing of importance anymore. Any number of reasons could be why.
How can you sit there and talk as if you KNOW Obama/Wright in the first place? All you hear is the twist of it that the media makes, or the he said/she said. Unless you hear it from the source themselves, in the right context (without people editing/cutting out key parts), then quit assuming so much about the things you don't even know.
And if you're going to pick apart a point, using an abundance of "valid" arguments, come up with more than one quote to support your opinion.

Lee:

20 years at 50 sermons a year works out to 1,000 sermons.... and you can't understand how Obama missed the few that were objectionable?

Why is that, John Stark - why is it your reality exists only in your theories, and has no sound basis in reality?

Why are your theories "the only possible explanations"... are you clairvoyant? or just a big-mouth moron pushing the same old right wing lies?

Please enlighten me, sir...

nadia:

Of course, Obama knew about the racist rantings of Reverend Wright! Obama is a closet radical. Wonder how long it will take him to come out of the closet and show his true colors? He's a separatist and a racist. By the way- he's not "black." But, he is bi-racial. If his complexion was that of Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, he would never have been elected. His skin color goes down a bit easier for the left wing liberals who put him in office.

Jim:

I have no comment about Rev. Wright.. I think that's been well documented already. What I find funny is the over-the-top fawning the media is engaged in. Is this really news? That some churches are putting out the welcome mat for Obama? Was this news in 2000 when W moved into the neighborhood? I doubt it. The media is working overtime to drool over all things Obama and I find it sickening.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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