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January 7, 2011
Obama: 2010 in Faith
In 2010, President Obama played 29 rounds of golf and had 20 basketball outings. He took six vacation trips, defined as all or part of 32 days. He had six formal, solo White House press conferences and six cabinet meetings; he took 172 flights on Air Force One and 196 flights on Marine One. He had 17 town hall meetings and 107 interviews, and he signed 203 bills. CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller featured these statistics and others in his article "Obama's 2010: By the Numbers."
Although Knoller omitted any numbers relating to Obama's spiritual life, Politico's Carol E. Lee uncritically explored Obama's recent public expressions of faith in "Obama lets his faith show", and Politics Daily's David Gibson subsequently chimed in with "Obama Tries to Reassert His Christian Bona Fides, With Words and Deeds." Admitting that Obama has rarely attended church as president, Gibson reminds us that "George W. Bush never joined a church while he was president, preferring, like Obama, to attend services at the Camp David chapel." But Knoller tells us that in 2010, Obama visited Camp David only four times.
Obama has said that he has not joined a Washington church because it would be too "disruptive" to the services. Being disruptive apparently did not concern him during his lavish Christmas vacation in Hawaii, however. According to a MailOnline article, to visit childhood friend Bobby Titcomb's beachfront house, a "10-vehicle convoy drove the president and wife Michelle from his rental property in Kailua, across highways cleared of traffic and through a military community."
Lee asserts that Obama's critics "have been relentless about trying to generate doubt about his faith, the same way they have about his being born in the United States." For his part, Gibson claims that "resurgent Republicans and conservative activists continue to raise doubts about Obama's religious views as a way to sow doubts about his commitment to American values." Actually, Christians are capable of thinking--and doubting--for themselves. Both Lee and Gibson fail to mention Obama's record on abortion or his currently evolving views on same-sex marriage, on which widespread doubts about his faith are based.