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July 14, 2008
Obama Re-invents his Trinity Church History
An interesting nugget from Newsweek's cover story on Obama and his faith:
As young marrieds, Barack and Michelle (who also didn't go to church regularly as a child) went to church fairly often-two or three times a month. But after their first child, Malia, was born, they found making the effort more difficult. "I don't know if you've had the experience of taking young, squirming children to church, but it's not easy," he says. "Trinity was always packed, and so you had to get there early. And if you went to the morning service, you were looking at-it just was difficult. So that would cut back on our involvement."After he began his run for the U.S. Senate, he says, the family sometimes didn't go to Trinity for months at a time. The girls have not attended Sunday school. The family says grace at mealtime, and he talks to the children about God whenever they have questions. "I'm a big believer in a faith that is not imposed but taps into what's already there, their curiosity or their spirit," he says.
As Noam Schrieber writes in The New Republic, " It's almost an implicit response to those who, when the Wright controversy flared up this spring, wondered how Obama could have sat through so many sermons without picking up whiffs of Wright's most inflammatory ideas."
Malia , his daughter, was born in 1998 so supposedly his attendance became much less frequent beginning in 1998, right?*
This latest Obama spin does not square with a more honest portrayal he himself gave in a 2004 interview where he stated that he "regularly attended weekly services at Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ" and indicated that had been his regular schedule since joining the church 16 years before (1988). He did not indicate any scheduling problems or absences back in 2004, no scapegoating of his daughter. Now he has to deal with Pastor Wright controversy and he just dreams up a different history-and Newsweek helps him along.
He is shameless-and Newsweek is increasingly becoming so. Does the magazine even bother fact-checking?
* By the way, blaming a baby for being unable to attend church is lame. Plenty of people attend churches with babies; and Michelle Obama has a wide family network that would have been available for babysitting.