December 25th, 2009
06:06 PM ET
10 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.

Full story


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

    I believe "church preferences and/or attendance" are a personal matter, for ANY person! It really is NO ONE'S BUSINESS what if any church a person attends! These headlines are just plain rude!! But that's nothing new for the media. They ALWAYS have their nose in a place where it doesn't belong!!! It seems to me we have a Republican right, who project to be holier than "thou", and are "flipping" America off == i.e. Michael Steele and the Republican Congressmen/Senators who continue to be the Party of NO!! After all of the deception, corruption, lies, and ugly behavior of the Evangelical Christian Republicans, I'm sure there are many who say "Church"????? Why would I want to get involved in a church with all of those "nutcakes" in attendance!!!!!!!

    December 25, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. Unapologetic

    I don't care whether our President attends church or not, but I can't stand hearing people refer to him as a Christian. Any man who pushes for legislation that would require ALL taxpayers to fund abortion is NO Christian.

    December 25, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. C Spurgeon

    CNN..many people didn;t attend church service on christmas..many people have a relationship with god that doesn't include organized religion. Are you CNN that desperate for news? Cmon....

    December 25, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. The Professor

    And that is a major problem for the United States!

    Many of our leaders and our citizens do NOT see the need to attend church regularly. Attending and participating in a good Bible-believing church is one of the most important functions in our society. In fact, anything done outside of church is a waste of time and resources.

    Only a fool thinks that there is no need to attend church.

    December 25, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. dina osullivan

    Finally a president who is inteligent enough to see that religion is not the do all of existence.This myth that permeates so many peopl'es lives has done so much damage to people and countries that you would think by now people would begin to see the danger or religion. I am sure the other presidents only went to church to please the people so good for Obama that he does not do that.

    The preseident needs to rest to find his own place to do that and the public should not push religion down his throat. It certainly does not solve the issues of the world.

    December 25, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  6. Mike M

    Religion has no place in government or politics. We don't vote for religious leaders and there is no religious test for the holding of elected office in the US. Let's preserve our freedom of religion by keeping how we worship a matter of private choice and not a matter for celebrity gossip and public scrutiny.

    December 25, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  7. ed in NH

    Don't you get it?

    He lied, he lies, and he will lie to us again when it suits him.

    Die-hard leftists know this well. (public option, anyone?)

    And the not so naive never believed what he said about his pastor,
    his church, his religion or his political pragmatism.

    Enjoy!

    December 25, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Joanne

    I do not whether or not the President and his family attended church. I wish this hard working president a wonderful vacation. He certainly deserves it. The Obamas are a breath of fresh air!

    December 25, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. OJ

    I would rather see a president who doesn't go to church, cares about the American people and World, than a president who goes to church but wages wars against innocent people.

    December 25, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. JKCSunOH

    Wow...there's a big surprise...

    December 25, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. carl

    sadly this is reported as "news" .. the media needs to get a life .. instead of reporting on edgy things, and negativity .. try reporting on things that go well. people tune u all out now.. because it is little more than tabloid tv.

    December 25, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  12. patriotic veteran

    Useless article (one of many). Our first family's religious practices are none of our business.

    All the second-guessing, negative, and nasty commenters here need to follow their pertinent faith's directives on 'minding your own business' – along with the media.

    December 25, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  13. Steve in Missouri

    interesting how so many have the opinion that somewhere in the Constitution it actually refers to a seperation of church and state. Those words existed in a letter but no where in the Constitution does it say that. It says the Government shall not institue a state church. It says all are free to practice religion without the State interfering. The Nation was founded on freedom of religion. Obama is free to worship in Public or in his own private way.

    December 25, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. Taylor

    Obama needed worry about going to church because he clearly didn't hear a word that was said in his old Chicago church.

    December 25, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  15. Sixfox

    Leave they Obamas alone with their spiritua lives, itis upto them to choose their very best church in Watchington not like the one of Chicagoes.

    December 25, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  16. fred

    He goes to church?

    December 25, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. NVa Native

    It is very refreshing to have a President who doesn't feel he has to suck up to organized religion.
    As a country based on the seperation of church and state it is very positive to have a President who understands this.

    December 25, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. arch

    Who cares!

    December 25, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. mike

    who cares if they don't go to church when you go you have to sit there
    with the rest of the none believers that do it just to keep there job or there
    business patrons the church is a business like drugs they spread fear
    in not going you can be a scum bag 24-7 and then with a touch of a hand
    that everything is ok just like a republican from the south

    December 25, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. Russ in Benton

    True faith does not need a church.

    December 25, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  21. shawn from socal

    un freaking believable! does any1 actually care? you know, except for the retarded jesus freaks? those guys only watch fox anyways.

    December 25, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Don

    Leave the poor man alone. How one worships God is a personal choice and going to church on Christmas does not necessarily make one a better person. Someone can live a righteous life and be very close to God without ever entering a church. It is what a person does in life, not where he chooses to worship, that counts. The President is a family-centered man who sets a good example for all fathers. I saw him on the news, talking with school children about the importance of Jesus and Christmas and he sure said things that made me proud of him. I hope he and his family have a wonderful Christmas and that the media will leave them alone during this time.

    December 25, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Donna P.

    They also have a Mao ornament on the WH Christmas (oh sorry Holiday) tree. He should have gone to visit the troops in Iraq or Afghanistan. Why did he stay home just to observe the Senate’s vote on health care? He is pathetic.

    December 25, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  24. bryan

    Well here we go again, its christmas can cnn act like it. No This is exactly why we are in two wars right now. Has anybody learned a lesson.

    December 25, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Who cares?

    December 25, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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