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Monday, November 24

"The overpowering unimportance of this makes me speechless."

The above quote is from Representative Thomas Reed (R-ME), back in the late 1800s when asked for his reaction to a Papal message, and can be found in BarbaraTuchman's book The Proud Tower, on page 122 (MacMillan Press).

And it precisely echoes my sentiments concerning this:

Obama Skips Church for Gym


(Nov. 23) - Since the election, future President Barack Obama has traded Sunday morning pews for some quality time at the gym.
The Obamas have refrained from public prayer for fear their large retinue would disturb the church service, according to an anonymous aide who spoke with Politico.com.
"They do not want to draw unwelcome or inappropriate attention to a church not used to the attention their attendance would draw," said the aide, according to Politico.
Since the election, Obama has been focusing on building his administration team. Monday, he introduced members of his economic team, and urged the incoming Congress to act quickly on a stimulus plan.
The Obamas haven't belonged to a church since the spring, notes ABC News, after Barack Obama split with Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ because of controversial sermons by the pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. A videotape from one of Wright's sermons showed him damning America.
Churches, especially African-American houses of prayer, played an important role in Obama's candidacy, notes the Associated Press and Politico. Obama made campaign stops in churches. Congregations prayed for him on Election Day, and celebrated his victory, the Associated Press reported.
Now, churches in Washington, D.C., are scrambling to lure the Obamas to their pews, reports the Associated Press -- even if Obama hasn't attended church in weeks.

***

I have a number of observations about this.

One, I can hear Fox News and the "Christian Right" sharpening the knives over this, along with the Truly Insane (so ably led by MichelleMalkin and Rush Limbaugh). They will automatically contend that Obama is the secret Muslim they've squealed like castrated pigs about all this time.

Two, while I will be the first to say that while the President of this country, in its current state, needs all the help he can get (natural, supernatural,eldritch or otherwise) and bearing in mind that George Washington went to prayer services at St. Paul's Chapel in New York after his first inauguration, I feel that Presidents shouldn't go to public worship services. Don't want to be seen endorsing one sect over another, now do we?

Three, the point made in the article is correct. People go to church to find a quiet spot where hymns and rituals can supply a focus with which to meditate; do you really want that mucked up by a Presidential entourage and the Secret Service?

Four, if the "Christian Right" get all huffy about this, I will simply smile and lay this on them:

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thouprayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." - Matthew 6:5-6

Of course, far be it from the "Christian Right" to pay any real attention to what Jesus said.


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