December 25th, 2009
06:06 PM ET
9 months ago

Time: No churchgoing Christmas for the first family

Church has been a surprisingly tough issue for the Obamas.
Church has been a surprisingly tough issue for the Obamas.

The Senate vote on final passage of health reform almost scuttled their plans, but it looks like the First Family will still make it to Hawaii for Christmas. They've had a whirlwind holiday season so far, starting with the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, through hosting more than 50,000 people for 27 parties and open houses, and ending with a visit by the First Lady, Malia and Sasha, and the family's dog Bo, to deliver cookies to the Children's National Medical Center. The Obamas have also started their own holiday traditions in their new home, adding a Christmas wishing tree to the decorations festooning the White House.

But there's one common Christmas practice not on the First Family's schedule: a visit to Christmas Eve church services.

Church, in fact, has been a surprisingly tough issue for the Obamas. They resigned their membership with Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago in 2008 after Obama renounced the church's controversial former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. And while the First Family intended to find a local church to attend when they moved to Washington, concerns about crowds and displacing regular worshippers has prevented them from finding a new religious home during their first year here.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Joe Brown

    Sometimes CNN reminds me of FoxNews. Who really cares about Obama's church preferences? God and his miracles are all around us, not just in any specific church. Further, this should be a private matter, and isn't worthy of reporting.

    December 25, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. MLH

    I didn't vote for him because he went to church regularly. I don't really care whether he goes to church or not.

    December 25, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Bill

    The president should just let go of all the religious nonsense. Take superstition out of the White House, please. Don't bother with some goofy church.

    December 25, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Bob

    Church is for losers anyway!

    December 25, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. myra

    Whenever two Or three are in his name god is there•. The church is within the true believer•. Jesus declared the true believers are those who worship in spirit and in truth•

    December 25, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. TexGal

    Christians shouldn't question other peoples' faith. You can be religious/spiritual without attending church. Everyone celebrates and worships in their own way.

    And Bev, Obama IS NOT a Muslim and didn't go to Camp David to celebrate Ramadan in secret. The whole Muslim thing was cleared up during the campaign. Please check your facts and stop spreading nonsense to discredit someone you don't like or agree with politically. Pick an issue and disagree with that if you must. Bearing false witness will put you on the naughty list!

    December 25, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. amber

    ted – Did you go to church today?

    December 25, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. amber

    george , did you go to church today?

    December 25, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    Sounds like you're making an excuse for the OBama's

    December 25, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. Carmelle

    Many Christians are home on Christmas night...give me a break! They should have changed their family traditions because he is POTUS? pllleeeaaaassse!

    December 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. Linda

    So What!

    December 25, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. NotFooledTX

    Who cares? Christianity isn't marked by attendance in weekly services, it's in how one lives their life.

    Those who proclaim their christianity the most loudly are typically the least "Christian" in their acts.

    December 25, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. larry

    why is this a story CNN. I know you can do better than this.

    December 25, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. republicans hate america

    good he does not need to appease to those freaks anyway

    December 25, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Erik

    @Bev

    Not only is your comment incorrect, it's also just plain ignorant.

    How do you compare Ramadan to Christmas and Hanukkah?? They aren't even the same...Muslims don't celebrate, they are fasting and praying for past sins.

    Not only that...but Obama IS NOT MUSLIM! Deal with it!

    Nor does he have to go to church on Christmas Ever or Day...I did neither because I am snowed in my home here in Kansas City, does that mean I don't believe in God? Nope, sure doesn't...circumstances happen just like it did for the Obamas...get over yourselves.

    December 25, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Tom G.

    Who cares if the President goes to church? I'd rather have him tending to actual, real-world issues than those of a supernatural nature.

    December 25, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. pastorwarren j smith

    i did not go to church on Christmas eve
    now condemn me

    December 25, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. strong

    Church is redundant. You can pray and worship at home, for free too.

    December 25, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Marilyn, Powell, OH

    Bev you are what is wrong with America, plain and simple.

    December 25, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Helena

    Mele Kalikimaka everyone! Some of you posting here have no Aloha Spirit.

    December 25, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Bret

    The president not going to church is great.

    December 25, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Reaganomics Leads To Feudalism

    @ all of you out there who are still making underhanded comments insinuating that President Obama is a "secret Muslim"....

    If you only knew how stupid you sound making those ridiculous claims. No true Muslim would ever deny being a Muslim or pretend to be a Christian. You're only making yourselves look ignorant and stupid by making these outlandish comments.

    December 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Edgar

    Not surprised!

    December 25, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Tony in Maine

    Stirring the pot are we, CNN?

    December 25, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  25. B. Churchill

    People's religious beliefs – or lack of them – are PERSONAL matters. I for one have no need to know what illogical, unprovable variety of nonsense the nation's chief executive subscribes to. Praying in the shower – or not – counts just as much as in any great cathedral...

    December 25, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
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