Jewish Journal

The BlackBerry First Church of 1600 Pennsylvania

by Brad A. Greenberg

February 9, 2010 | 3:20 pm

I’ve long since tired of the oddsmaking and speculating about where President Barack Obama and his family would worship or why they weren’t at church on any given Sunday. (Besides, the answer is obvious—maybe painfully so.) But this story from ABC News held my attention:

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. ...

“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

I agree with the latter part of that, and part of the former. Other presidents have made it work. President Reagan famously attended my church when he was back in California. But no church on Christmas?! See, Obama is Muslim!

Read the rest here. You’ll see some familiar names from Obama’s spiritual inner circle.

Tracker Pixel for Entry


View our privacy policy and terms of service.




Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

Read more.