Welcome To The Unchurched, President And Mrs. Obama

Obama is of course a Christian, but there are a number of excellent reasons why he should not join any … Continued

Obama is of course a Christian, but there are a number of excellent reasons why he should not join any particular church. There is also an important historical precedent: Abraham Lincoln refused to ally himself with any denomination or congregation, although he sometimes attended services at different churches in Washington. Lincoln, who was suspected by many of being (gasp!) a secret freethinker and religious skeptic, resisted considerable political pressure in his refusal to join a church. Obama, who is a believer, might choose to remain unaffiliated for different reasons.

First, Obama could make many Washington clerics (and their congregations) happy by gracing them with his occasional presence. Then they would have the prestige of hosting a president without the weekly headache of presidential security. And, let us not forget, the minister of any church that Obama actually joined would have to be constantly on his toes, lest the hungry press pounce on some politically incorrect statement in a sermon.

Second, although Obama is a Protestant–not a Catholic, a Muslim, or a Jew–he could still make non-Protestants happy by attending a service as a guest rather than a participant. Many religions that do not allow nonbelievers to fully participate in their services still welcome everyone as guests.

Third, why doesn’t Obama consider coming to a function sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, a rationalist think tank (for which I am a consultant) or delivering an address to a group like Americans United for Separation of Church and State? More than 15 percent of Americans consider their outlook on public affairs wholly or predominantly secular. There are many more Americans who belong to no church than who belong to minority religions such as Judaism or Islam. How about us, Mr. Obama? We voted for you in overwheming numbers, even though your pledge to expand faith-based social service programs worries us.

One religious institution I would rule out for an Obama visit is the Summum sect, now involved in a Supreme Court case challenging the domain of a Ten Commandments monument in a town park in Utah. The Summumites use mummified animals in their religious ceremonies. You are about to acquire a puppy for your daughters, Mr. Obama. I don’t think they’d like to go to services with mummified dogs.

Addendum: I don’t care whether Obama joins a church, but I have one piece of advice for him about the musical program for his inauguration. There is going to be music–there always is–and there will probably be songs mentioning God. Don’t miss this chance to include the great hymn, “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” by the African-American poet James Weldon Johnson. This song, once known as “the Negro national anthem” is familiar to every black American over 40 but is less well known among younger blacks and is virtually unknown to whites unless they were active participants in the civil rights movement in the South. My guess is that Obama missed hearing this inspiring anthem while growing up in Hawaii, but his wife, Michelle, would surely have heard it as a child. It speaks directly to the struggle, and the heritage of black patriotism, that utlimately made the election of an African-American president possible.

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Susan Jacoby
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  • Notsogreatscot

    Another suggestion might be the All Souls Church. Attending a church with no creed could make a nice statement that our government favors no particular belief system. Just a thought.

  • Farnaz2

    Third, why doesn’t Obama consider coming to a function sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, a rationalist think tank (for which I am a consultant) or delivering an address to a group like Americans United for Separation of Church and State? More than 15 percent of Americans consider their outlook on public affairs wholly or predominantly secular. There are many more Americans who belong to no church than who belong to minority religions such as Judaism or Islam. How about us, Mr. Obama? We voted for you in overwheming numbers, even though your pledge to expand faith-based social service programs worries us.Interesting. What does it mean to belong to a minority religion such as Judaism or Islam? How would you know who belongs to such religions? How many? I’ve often wondered this. What does it mean to belong to Judaism? To Islam? To Hinduism?Can you “belong” to one of those religions and not belong to a synagogue, mosq, or temple? Would such persons be one of “us”? Can you belong to a synagogue, mosq, or temple, or church for that matter and have a strictly secular outlook? Absolutely. There is a radical difference between believers and religionists, the latter those who wish to legislate their beliefs.I have no problem with believers, even among the majority religions, only with religionists, whatever their faiths. But it is the religionists in the majority who have the power, and that is what makes them dangerous.

  • Farnaz2

    Dear Great Christian and Financial Crisis Poet, Pseudo,I’m outta here for awhile. Gone to join Mr. Mark, Wiglaf, Gerry, Merry Anon, Y Guy, Pam, et al.Will check in from time to time, my friend. Have a wonderful holiday, and keep writing!Farnaz

  • need4trth

    http://www.need4trth.blogspot.comTonite once again we get off the POLITICS FIX and we once again get into “Is He or Is He Not God…In His own Words.” I will say this again and again I am not a religious person yet, I am a firm believer in He WHO is called Yeshua (Christ). It’s all too familiar too me that every once in a while I run into someone who is in a bad spot in life and as I get to know that person I find that in them resides a faith which is undeniable and unshakable. I won’t say that I find these people living ‘perfect” lives. No, many times they are living in what the Church would call ‘sin’. I’d like to suggest something else. I say they are as I am at most times living apart from their great potential in Christ. Yet, I am always pleasantly surprised in my own desire, to do good for this person in what ever manner I can find. I don’t do this so that I may receive a reward some time in the by and by. No, on the contrary, I do it because it is at my disposal and means to do so. This person is loved by God, let me be the hands and the help to demonstrate it. I don’t usually share this with others. Tonite I’m sharing it with you because perhaps it may inspire you when your path is crossed by someone in need to do something that may be beneficial to them. IT’S MY DUTY……In my life at every turn, at some point some one has been there when I found myself in need. I was not always the quick study in gratitude or thankfulness when the good was done by that person. Many times I was the very disappointment and sadness of the very person who aided me. I’ll admit it. I am human. Yet, God as He is, has always seen fit, even after, or during a time, when I was anything but faithful, too have human Angels available to aid me in my time of need. Just ask Gbicknola. He has witnessed this first hand. I thank God for friends such as he is. I want you too understand this. I understand that since I have been treated in this manner, the least that I can do, if it is within my power to do so, do likewise.

  • nagatuki

    Hey, speak for yourself, Susan! I know “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and I’m a white 30-yo. In fact, I remember because I learned it in elementary school!Jeez…

  • lewaml

    Ms Jacoby writes:”Don’t miss this chance to include the great hymn, “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” by the African-American poet James Weldon Johnson. This song, once known as “the Negro national anthem” is familiar to every black American over 40 but is less well known among younger blacks and is virtually unknown to whites unless they were active participants in the civil rights movement in the South.”Three responses:First, yes, it is a great hymn. A very great hymn indeed! But I think you are incorrect in saying that it “is virtually unknown to whites unless they were active participants in the civil rights movement in the South.” It’s in the Episcopal Church’s Hymnal(#599) and sung frequently, most especially, on days of national observance – and usually badly, when sung mostly by white people. But we do try! Second, and more important, I offer a gentle rebuke for suggesting that Obama “could still make non-Protestants happy by attending a service as a guest rather than a participant.” As I understand it, from my Protestant, Episcopal perspective, the whole point of an individual – be they president or pauper- “attending a service” IS to participate in a corporate act of worship. For Christians, but certainly not unique to us, the subject of that worship is the living God. And the object of that excercise is precisely NOT about making (or keeping) anyone else happy – or not. Rather, worship is the acknowledgement of our creatureliness, the recognition of our preciousness, and the celebration of wonder, love and grace. At its heart, and its best, worship elicits both an attitude of humility and gratitude, NOT self-glorification and exaltation.I think Barak Obama would understand what I’m saying. And when he chooses to “attend” a house of worship, it will be as one individual among a larger community. The act of worship is an art – increasingly rare in this era of the exalted individual ego – and always begins in the private domain and contours of the human heart. Surely, in this “Age of American Unreason,” is it not reasonable to hope it continues to be none of our business, or the “unchurched,” whether or not President Obama may “choose to remain unaffiliated.” ??

  • Susan_Jacoby

    Susan JacobyI’m sorry if my comment offended some white bloggers who do know “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” But I’ll stand by my statement that most white Americans have never heard this song. This observation was not meant to be judgmental. I simply think that the inauguration might be a good opportunity to introduce all Americans to a hymn that is a specific part of African-American cultural heritage. It’s in the Episcopal hymn book because black Episcopalians suggested that it be included.

  • Cookerhiker1

    Ms Jacoby, I expect conservatives to insult my intelligence but I’m really disapppointed when writers like you express such condescension. Like other posters here, I also am very familiar with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and am a 60 YO white male who was merely a clueless teenager during the civil rights struggles. I find the hymn poetic, inspirational, and stirring in both lyrics and music. It’s been included in the Lutheran (an overwhelming white denomination) hymnal for nearly 30 years.If you harbor a shred of intellectual honesty, you’d admit a faux pas here. And please stop deeming to speak for what white churchgoers may or may not know.

  • Farnaz2

    Dear Susan Jacoby:”I’m sorry if my comment offended some white bloggers who do know “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” But I’ll stand by my statement that most white Americans have never heard this song. This observation was not meant to be judgmental. I simply think that the inauguration might be a good opportunity to introduce all Americans to a hymn that is a specific part of African-American cultural heritage. It’s in the Episcopal hymn book because black Episcopalians suggested that it be included.”No offense, my dear, but you do have this unfortunate habit of wishing to appear “in the know,” as it were, about African American Christians.You are convinced you are the last word on Askenazic Jews.I would be grateful for some comment on my earlier post to you since I am soon outta here. Thank you for considering dispensing with “famously.” Awhile back, I contacted “the three major networks,” as they say, to ask if they could end this atrocious lexical assault during the “news” hour, and they were responsive almost immediately. An occasional “famously” does slip in from time to time, usually during a sports segment.As well, they were responsive to my request that the word “outrage” be reserved for outrages and they were responsive to that as well.Soon, I shall take on “impacted” as a verb. What do you think? Is there any hope of success?Regards,

  • Susan_Jacoby

    Farnazz–There’s hope of success with me about “famously.” I’ll be watching myself closely henceforth. As I once famously told a class of journalism students, “Cut out all the adverbs.” Consider me chastened. I don’t know whether “impacted” as a verb will ever disappear. Dictionaries frequently bow to these usages, so it’s difficult to imagine that much headway can be made against them. Dogonnit.

  • Farnaz2

    Dear Susan Jacoby,Thank you so much for your reply! I shall save it, and I shall treasure it! I fear you are right about “impact” vb., but there is some reason for hope. On behalf of both the English department at the enormous college that employs me and the International Association for the Elimination of “Impact” Vb. (IAEIV), I sent a request to all faculty and administrators seeking their cooperation in ridding humanity of this lexical nightmare. It has all but disappeared from the endless memos and emails with which we are daily assaulted, as well as from student writing. We were especially gratified to receive a thank-you letter from the chair of the accounting Dept. on behalf of her faculty, who were finally able to explain the “impact” problem to students. Quiet as its kept, many in the business and in the science disciplines write very well.Thank you again!Farnaz

  • spidermean2

    Jacoby wrote “Third, why doesn’t Obama consider coming to a function sponsored by the Center for Inquiry, a rationalist think tank (for which I am a consultant) “I believe the Three Stooges are the founders of this grouping, isn’t it? If you guys believe this group is a “think tank”, I presume you guys have already inquired where your brains came from. Have you?

  • spidermean2

    Farnaz, if you are leaving, I hope I can have your email address. It may come in handy for me, if I would need your help someday or vice versa. tnx

  • turtonm

    Thanks, Susan. So many Americans have the erroneous idea that Lincoln was a believer; he may have adopted some kind of amorphous Deism toward the end of his life, but he was never a Christian. It is high time that the fact that one of our greatest presidents was not a Christian was more openly acknowledged. In fact the election of 1860 was unique in that neither candidate was a Christian. Two decades later the Republicans would beg the leading atheist of the age, famed orator Robert Ingersoll, to be their candidate for President. My how things have changed…

  • gregsky

    I think President-Elect Obama should be free to worship or not as he chooses. Not everything the president or his family does or beliefs needs to make a social or political statement. I hope he stays true to his beliefs and leads this country wisely.

  • spidermean2

    Here’s for the idiots who think that Lincoln is godless. The following are his words:”The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party—and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect his purpose. I am almost ready to say this is probably true—that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere quiet power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.”

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    Whatever President Obama does, I have confidence that it will be something thoughtful, good, and interesting. In all things and in all ways, we have a better chance at something positive than with the outgoing President. There really is no way for any U.S. President to have a “normal” life with normal experiences. I suspect that President Obama realizes that he is President to all the people and not just to one racial group, or to any one religious group. I suspect that he will “visit around” and promote ecumenicalism to include various Christian traditions, as well as non-Christian religions, and also, unreligious and nonreligious people and groups; at least, I hope so.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    SpidermanLincoln’s ideas on God are not a mystery; they are pretty well known; just pick up a bood sometimes, why don’t you? When Lincoln referred to God, I do not think that he was referring to the simple-minded concept that substitute for the same word. When his comments included God, it was not in the context of a debate on “what is the nature of God?” but rather, he used God in a context and idiom that most people of his day would understand, to make the points he was trying to make.Of course I could be wrong. I could just be stupid, couldn’t I?

  • orthodoxheathen

    I don’t think Ms. Jacoby or anyone in this thread called Lincoln “godless,” spidey. But for the sake of argument, what your C&P quote illustrates is that Lincoln understood the political necessity of pandering to the faithful. That hasn’t changed and won’t anytime soon, sadly. And that’s why Obama probably won’t waste a photo op on the Center for Inquiry or Americans United for Church and State — at least not in his first term. Christians are a much larger and better organized voting bloc than atheists, agnostics and freethinkers, and Obama is a savvy politician.

  • spidermean2

    DanielDen wrote “Of course I could be wrong.”Focus on those words coz in your case, that is oftentimes true.

  • cestadire

    I think that the Obama family would thoroughly enjoy a visit to St. Augustine Church, the oldest black catholic church in the nation’s capital. They would enjoy the wonderful choir, finding it familiar in the Black Gospel tradition. Every Sunday, people from all over the world are witness to a truly multicultural spiritual environment. See:

  • penman

    I’d suggest leaving Sundays for taking in the sites, having fun, ordering in Chinese, finding ways around “impacted” as a verb. 🙂

  • arosscpa

    1. 99.5% of Christians recognize an obligation to fellowship regularly with other believers. President-elect Obama has participated in that tradition for nearly all of his adult life. Expecting him to refrain from that religious exercise or to “worship” with folks who do not practice Christianity so that won’t get their feelings hurt is on par with expecting your big brother to give back your dessert after he has eaten it. 2. Christian public witness (evangelism) and public worship are moral obligations for every Christian. To expect a Christian not to fulfill those obligation is to deny the person’s 1st amendment rights and force him to violate his conscience.3. Ms. Jacoby should ask her staff to fact-check her meanderings. Any number of historical references to Lincoln, the Civil War era, or DC history would have informed her that Lincoln regularly worshiped at National Presbyterian Church at 14th and New York Avenue NW during his presidency. As to the notion that he was either agnostic or theist — do you people ever do any research before making these vacuous, erroneous allegations? Read the man’s presidential speeches and correspondence!

  • pipkin42

    Interesting that you only mention services of “people of the book.” They aren’t the only ones in this country, and as (one of) the Post’s humanists (or whatever you call yourself – labels are a tricky thing) you should realize that Abrahamic religions aren’t the only ones. If Obama takes the course you recommend he certainly should attend services of Hindus, Buddhists, and many other religions. I especially recommend a service at All Souls Unitarian, a beautiful church with a beautiful message (and a beautiful pipe organ that is truly awesome to hear).

  • Farnaz2

    Hello, Spiderman, My Friend,Yes, I’ll be gone for awhile. I need a break from this blog, but I promise I will check in from time to time to say hello to you.Have a wonderful holiday!Farnaz

  • spidermean2

    Ok, thanks Farnaz. happy Thanksgiving.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    SpidermanI’d rather be stupid than a dope.

  • tarheeler

    Lincoln was once asked why he hadn’t joined a church. His response? “When a church inscribes upon its altar its sole qualification for membership ‘Thou shall love the Lord thy God, and thy neighbor as thyself,’ that church will I join.” This was in an age when way too many church’s were pretty legalistic about the criteria for joining and spent a whole lot of time telling other Christians that they weren’t really Christians. Something we still struggle with somehow.That said, he was a regular attendee of a Presbyterian church in DC, and whatever he did think he certainly did not use religion to pander to the religious right of his age. (Hmmm… and he was a Republican too).I expect Obama will find a church, in an attempt to maintain a normal life for his family. But I pray for that church. In all of this, every president is benefited by the influence of the prophetic, just as David needed Nathan.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    In the small Southern town where I grew up, there were 12 churches, 12 churches for a town of less than 3,000. I know how many churches there were because when I was about 12 years old, I counted them. Even I, a little boy, was a little suprised. Even though this is how we all live, it is a little shocking to face this unpleasant reality of how fragmented things really are. The little town, “Mayberry,” where everyone pulled together in small town unity, was just a myth.My small town was broken into religious factions and cliques, and all divided by the Jim Crowe status quo of white supremecy and separation of the races. Everyone belonged to one of the churches. There were almost no exceptions.There was a lady in my town who was very religious and did many good works. She carried a Bible with her, and usually engaged people in discussions about Jesus and Christianity. She was an old maid spinster. But the oddest thing about her was that she was an active, formal member of almost all the churches, that would have her. (She wasn’t a Catholic, they wouldn’t have her). But she was a member of many, many churches, and attended them all, each in their turn. She was seen as a very eccentric person. Alot of people looked upon her with suspicion because they could not understand her attitude towards all the many churches.Anyway, ever since Obama was elected President, I have been filled with great enthusiasm and happieness about the emergence of some sort of sanity and intelligence that might guide our government and our nation.Perhaps Obama could take up some kind of Ecumenical attitude, such as the “crazy old lady” in my little town did. Plenty of people would not understand and would condemn him for it, just as they did this woman, whom I always liked and thought well of. There are alot of people, who would, however, appreciate, very, very deeply this type of tolerance of the many relgious points of view, and of atheism too, each for the other, and for the spirit of ecumenicalism, which had promise when I was a young boy, but is now, all but dead.

  • Counterww

    Farnaz- why are you leaving?”Religonists” is a non sequitur if you think that people that believe should not influence society and laws that reflect values found in scripture.If you are believer, and are serious about it, you want that influence to stop at the church exit … this ain’t going to happen dude.

  • robinlandseadel

    PIPKIN42 :If Obama takes the course you recommend he certainly should attend services of Hindus, Buddhists, and many other religions.”Something tells me not to expect to see Obama showing up at any Reclaiming ritual any time soon.

  • s_j_thaikattil

    Dear Ms JacobyHappy Thanksgiving Day!Soja John Thaikattil

  • colinnicholas

    I’ll bet deep down Obama is an atheist, or at least agnostic. He’s way too smart to buy into the SkyGod superstition…but he knows that he’d go nowhere in politics if he didn’t play along with the irrational majority who believe in fairies and life after death.The atheist formerly known as Yoyo.

  • robinlandseadel

    I got to be a part of the larger social experiment of the sixties as a child. While obviously there are some things about the sixties I could not possibly remember—being as I was a child—there’s plenty of things I could remember that blitzed adults couldn’t.I went to a Black Southern Baptist Church as a kid between 1963 and 1968, the sort of thing that didn’t happen all the time in South Central to a whiter-than white kid like me. I think about the contributions of these sorts of churches in the civil rights movement, how Martin Luther King came out of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, how a new and inspired mode of social commentary emerged from these churches . It’s hard to imagine our next President disconnecting from that intense of a religious practice, particularly considering that church’s deep connections to civil rights in the African-American community. I remember well Obama’s nuanced reaction to some comments that Reverend Jeremiah Wright had to say concerning class difference and racial intolerance in America. I hope Obama’s bully pulpit can be used to address some of the same issues that his former minister brought up. It’s time America grew up and finally take on some of the deep responsibility that the challenge of equality brings to the legacy of democratic rule in this country.

  • Ecoclimber

    The choice on the place of worship is not based on political expediency but where the future president identifies closely with his faith and where his faith is nourished and is increased. It’s ridiculous that these articles are even written since to my knowledge, it was never brought up before concerning other presidents. Should the previous president John F. Kennedy worship at a Protestant church to promote ecumenicism or because the majority of voters were Protestant. To enforce the fact, the idea, the guarantee and the protection afforded to everyone under the Freedom of Religion clause of the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution gives each citizen the right to attend the House of Worship of his or her own choosing, President-Elect Obama would make a statement upholding that right by choosing the church of his own faith. Such discussion about this is ridiculous.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    The fact is, this is a ridiculous discussion.The President of the United States cannot attend a “normal” church service like a “normal” person. He is not a normal person; his family is not a normal family. Everywhere they go, they will cause disruption. If the Obama’s really are interested in attending traditional church services, then they should attend the National Cathedral once or twice a month, but no more than that, since they would be a disruptive presence, even there. And if Michelle Obama really does have a personal attachment to the African American church traditions, then perhaps she and her daughters might “drop in” on a few select churches several times a year. But there is no way that they can simply attend the church of their choice on a regular basis, as though their celebrity and secuity would not matter. It would matter.

  • CCNL

    Whatever BO’s beliefs are, he is now head of the Immoral Majority, taking that title from HC via winning the election on the backs of 35+ million aborted womb-babies.

  • ceflynline

    A much better possibility would be to give the Obamas Sunday Mornings off. We should simply not notice what they do of any such Sunday Morning, and by giving them this bit of privacy let them find a community they feel comfortable in, respecting both the Obama’s Privacy and the privacy of the Church they attend. Separation of Church and media, a wonderful notion

  • gjkbear

    Lift Every Voice & Sing is included in Singing The Living Tradition – the songbook used in most if not all Unitarian Universalist congregations across America and other Countries.

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    If the Obama’s go to church on Sunday morning, it is going to be a media event, just like when Britny Spears goes to TacoBell, it is a media event. Aside from the fact that Barack Obama is a mega-celebrity, the first black President, and the most charismatic President since John Kennedy,there is an intense interest in the religion of our political leaders BECAUSE our political leaders have made it a very big deal.It is called, “sowing what you have reaped…” look, it up! If you want to have a private life, with the freedom to come and go and do as you please, then I suppose you should not run for President of the United States. Let’s face it; the little Obama girls will be famous for the rest of their lives; I do not think, in the long run, it will be so easy for them.

  • Athena4

    “Something tells me not to expect to see Obama showing up at any Reclaiming ritual any time soon.”You never know. I think he’d get a kick out of some of the DC Pagan community events. Although I’d like to see the Secret Service try to “blend in” at them. 😀

  • observer12

    I propose that Obama consider Puppyism. Puppies are cute, and they harm no on.

  • CCNL

    Church? Puppy? No, the better option would be adoption of a child by the Obamas. This would show their concern for human life and set a fine example for the country.

  • robinlandseadel

    ATHENA4 : “I think he’d get a kick out of some of the DC Pagan community events. Although I’d like to see the Secret Service try to “blend in” at them. :D”Well, I have strong doubts the Secret Service would have a prayer [ahem] of blending in when the Reclaiming folk do a winter solstice ritual on the beach. : )

  • Notsogreatscot

    DITLD wrote: “If the Obama’s go to church on Sunday morning, it is going to be a media event”If they pick one church and stick with it (contrary to what I and others advised earlier on this thread), it will cease to be as much of an event. I think his celebrity status will fade substantially, fairly quickly. People will lose interest once it becomes apparent that change takes time.

  • Athena4

    They’d be skyclad except for their little earpieces! 😀

  • DanielintheLionsDen

    NotsogreatscotI do not think that any number of Presidential visits to church will ever become routine. President Carter’s attendence at church may have been “routine” in his head, but I do not think it ever was at the church were he went. Everyone has their legal rights, their civil rights, their Constitutional rights, but then there is also “de facto” limitaions that have nothing to do with any legal authority, but simply the logistics of navigating ones way in a normal type of life. The Obama’s really cannot ever have any kind of normal church experience while they are in the White House. If they want to engage in some sort of “private” religious pursuits inside the White House compound they might do that, although it would not be the same. And they might also make periodic appearances at various churches, if they want a “church experience;” but likewise, it would not be the same.The price of iconic fame…

  • CCNL

    Many of the 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis have already “Crossanized” Judaism i.e. almost 10% of the Jewish global population have come to realize that the OT is mostly myth, myths that have had in many cases tragic consequences since the OT forms the bases of both the NT and koran. To wit:”New York TimesNew Torah For Modern Minds Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called ”Etz Hayim” (”Tree of Life” in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine document.”

  • CCNL

    The Jewish atrocities “committed” in Jericho etc., were as per many OT exegetes mythical since the walls never came tumbling down from the blasts of Joshua’s band. Unfortunately and tragically, the story is still believed and the example followed by many Jews, Christians and Moslems. And that is why an “official Crossanization” of the OT, NT and koran is so very important. A “Crossanized” BO would go a long way in putting reality back into religion and church attendance would be lose its importance.