Obama nurtures faith away from spotlight

President reads devotional every morning, has annual conference call to receive prayers from group of pastors
Associated Press
Oct 19, 2013

 

President Barack Obama is not an overtly religious man. He and his family rarely attend church, and he almost never elaborates in public about his own relationship to his Christian faith.

But away from the public eye, advisers say, the president has carefully nurtured a sense of spirituality that has served as a grounding mechanism during turbulent times, when the obstacles to governing a deeply divided nation seem nearly insurmountable.

Every year on Aug. 4, the president's birthday, Obama convenes a group of pastors by phone to receive their prayers for him for the year to come. During the most challenging of times, prayer circles are organized with prominent religious figures such as megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, Bishop Vashti McKenzie of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights activist.

Each morning for the past five years, before most of his aides even arrive at the White House, Obama has read a devotional written for him and sent to his BlackBerry, weaving together Scripture with reflections from literary figures such as Maya Angelou and C.S. Lewis.

"I've certainly seen the president's faith grow in his time in office," said Joshua DuBois, an informal spiritual adviser to Obama who writes the devotionals and ran Obama's faith-based office until earlier this year. "When you cultivate your faith, it grows."

Obama is particularly moved by theories that draw connections between biblical themes and the personal journeys of historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., DuBois said.

He added that the president's spiritual strength is his belief that God will carry him through to see another day even in times of crisis.

"Because of these grounding aspects of his life, he doesn't let the day-to-day challenges really shake him," said DuBois, a former associate pastor at a Pentecostal church.

The image of Obama as someone who draws heavily on faith to guide his daily life contrasts with his public persona.

An intensely private person, Obama has shied away from all but the most general descriptions of his spiritual life.

Obama had to distance himself from his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, when his anti-American rantings threatened Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.

Persistent and false claims that Obama is secretly a Muslim have followed him even into his second term.

"Sometimes I search Scripture to determine how best to balance life as a president and as a husband and as a father," Obama said in February at the National Prayer Breakfast. "I often search for Scripture to figure out how I can be a better man as well as a better president."

The best clues to which texts fortify Obama's spiritual consumption may come from the daily devotionals that DuBois started sending Obama, then a U.S. senator from Illinois, in 2008.

DuBois ran religious outreach for Obama's presidential campaign that year, and his digital benedictions for Obama have been compiled in a forthcoming book, "The President's Devotional."

"A snippet of Scripture for me to reflect on," Obama has said. "And it has meant the world to me."

At pivotal moments in Obama's presidency, DuBois sometimes selects texts that offer lessons appropriate to the challenges at hand.

Before one State of the Union address, it was the words of Isaiah, in an appeal for clarity of speech: "So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose."

Others are intended as an oasis from the conflicts Obama confronts on any given day.

"We are hard-pressed on every side, but not crushed. Perplexed, but not in despair," reads a verse from 2 Corinthians that DuBois sent Obama one November, followed with his own meditation: "Dear God, give us a resilient spirit, a spirit that returns to face this day even in the shadow of yesterday's challenges. Help us, today, to bounce back."

In his final years in office, Obama plans to continue with the morning meditations, the birthday call with pastors and ad hoc prayer circles, said a senior administration official, who wasn't authorized to comment by name on Obama's spiritual life and requested anonymity.

In times of crisis, from hurricanes to school shootings, many Americans look to their president as a source of strength and comfort.

"This office tends to make a person pray more," Obama said last year in an interview with Cathedral Age magazine. "And as President Lincoln once said, 'I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.'"

 

Comments

Huron_1969

Good for him..... too bad he's had to learn so much on the job. After 8 years have finished he will be a graduate of the University of OJT

Unassumer

Do you believe this?
The U.S. has quietly decided to release more than $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan that was suspended when relations between the two countries disintegrated over the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden. http://www.13abc.com/story/23734...

yedr556's picture
yedr556

@katie Google is paying 80$ per hour! Just work for few hours & spend more time with friends and family. Yesterday I bought a top of the range Lancia after having made $9458 this month. Its the most-financialy rewarding I've had. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it out http://ow.ly/pAu07

Truth2u

Judas was a disciple........

""Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven..." Matthew 7

Truth2u

and Satan was once in heaven, the # one angel at one time.
"you believe in God? SO WHAT, the devils also believe in Him and tremble" James 2:19 in the Bible. Its MUCH more than just believing in a 'god',

SamAdams

Sorry. Don't CARE what the President's religion is or is not, and what he does or doesn't read every morning. I care about his POLICIES. I care about his BEHAVIOR. I care about his HONOR. And whatever religion he professes, or whatever god(s) he prays to, the man's policies are abysmal, his behavior frequently appalling, and his honor non-existent.

Better an honorable atheist in the White House than THIS abomination (yes, I know what the word means, and yes, I mean the word I'm using).

P.S. Releasing stories like this isn't helping to "humanize" the arrogant a$$hat, either. Besides, does anybody with their eyes wide open think this story is anything BUT another P.R. effort? Really?

sugar

Amen Brother!

deertracker

Why comment then?

There you go again

Does the Reverand Wright send Obama his devotionals?!?!

bucknut36

George Bush, Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman all claimed God talked to them directly. Leave Religion out of politics. Separation of Church and State!

Truth2u

hey bucknut36. Its obvious you have NOT read the Constitution, what you quoted is in the SOVIET constitution, not ours.

Its also obvious you've were never instructed on US History concerning religion. Our founding fathers who wrote the constitution NEVER said separation but instead stated that you could NOT RUN FOR OFFICE UNLESS YOU WERE A BAPTISED CHRISTIAN IN GOOD STANDING WITHIN THE CHURCH. Sorta makes your post look silly doesn't it. LOL.

Read up on the Supreme court statment, the argument of separation of powers came to the Court and they ruled that the GOVERNMENT can't mandate a specific SECT OF CHRISTIANITY, but that the Government SHOULD be influenced by Christian principals and beliefs. In other words, the Government can't influence our religious beliefs but WE are suppose to do so to the Government in hopes of injecting some moral foundation in their service. .

SamAdams

Ouch, Truth2u, you might want to refresh your memory as to what precisely the Constitution says concerning holding office. "No religious test shall be required..." Further, the presidential oath of office, as specified in the Constitution, does NOT say, "So help me, God." George Washington added that.

"The wall of separation between church and state" comes from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to the minister of a Baptist Church. It was meant to assure him that the government wouldn't interfere with the church (which it shouldn't). The First Amendment, meanwhile, says "freedom of religion," NOT "freedom of Christianity" or "freedom of those who agree with whatever it is you think." The "wall" only goes both ways because undue influence on the government of one religion or another would mean the government, by default, would infringe some other religion's freedoms.

Pterocarya frax...

hahahahahahahahaha! Thanks for the laugh Truth2u! Best stuff I have read in quite a while.

Truth2u

hahahahahaha Pterocarya, so typical, insults with no substance, why must others do the thinking for you?

John Harville

"Congress shall make no law .... establishment of religion... nor free expression thereof..."
Those are known as the Establishment Clause and Free Expression Clause and applied only to Federal (Congress) Law UNTIL ratification of the 14th Amendment extended the 'Establishment' and 'Free Expression' clauses to the states.
In no part of the June 1963 ruling did the court specify 'Christianity'. And your hero Jefferson wrote clearly of the absolute Wall between church and state.
Manyiof the 'founding fathers' were Unitarian Univesalists and Deists - and believed religion had no place in government.

AJ Oliver

Rev. Wright was quite correct to point out the crimes against peace committed by the U.S. government. The list is long.
I agree that a President's spiritual life is no one's business. Reagan never went to church.

thinkagain's picture
thinkagain

Interesting how President Infanticide doesn't quote the bible in reference to abortion and homosexuality.

Truth2u

so true thinkagain, so true. Only quote the convenient verses.

44846GWP

You sure like to talk about gays don't you? .....sing out Mary.

John Harville

Jesus never spoke about either subject.
Mosaic Law speaks of homosexuality in the same frame as tattooing and adultery (death) and virginity (death to a woman not found to be a virgin on her wedding night).
Think again.

heresy22

Ever had a haircut, or shave? How about shellfish, pork? Maybe worked on Saturday? You say he picks and chooses the verses... yet the sheep are just as bad. Don' hide your bigotry behind your sky wizard. Be an adult, shout it to the world. I hate fags!! I'd have more respect for you. A coward hides behind a verse.

Darwin's choice

Muslim worshiper.

Contango

Re: "Obama nurtures faith away from spotlight"

How wonderful for him. Nice media puff piece for the sycophants.

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."

- Lucius Annaeus Seneca

In retrospect, perhaps he and Ms. Sebelius shoulda had his cadre of pastors develop an Obam☭are rollout prayer? Or 'maybe' they did? :)

"Weekend Humor: Obamacare's 'Success' In Context":

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/20...

shucks

Zero Hedge is another wack website : )

Zero Hedge
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

"....the news site is full of conspiracy theory and "apocalyptic world view".

Dr. Information

more opinion.

shucks

Argue with Wikipedia, Miss Info.

KURTje

"I ain't a Christian." Contango.

shucks

You are not " wise " Contango , no matter what you tell yourself.

44846GWP

Contango is not wise, but he is a Winnie.

Contango

@ The above three stooges:

To quote Mark Twain:

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger." :)

Kottage Kat

Do not cast your pearls before swine.

John Harville

"Never let religion get in the way of your faith" - Clemens paraphrase.

bondgirlM

Boy the liberal media is really trying hard to make him look like he fits in with everyone else. Not buyin' it sorry!

Darwin's choice

Classic liberal media...polishing a turd.

The Big Dog's back

How many times does it take to call the "media" Liberal for it to be true?

2cents's picture
2cents
shucks

No ,what you cite are people who bought the lies from the Republican propaganda machine.
The Republicans are good at lying.

2cents's picture
2cents

LOL, I inserted a link yesterday about how MSNBC Rachel Madcow ratings just keep going south. People are waking up and see the left viewpoint being driven by main stream media!

shucks

Show the link so that I can LOL too.

One of the Republican's propaganda strategy is to convince people that the media is all liberal.

Republicans are basically liars.

PS

Irregardless of what the polls say ,the high level of intelligence and common sense displayed on MSNBC makes FOX look like a bunch of cavemen.

wowbagger

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...
Its from Huffpo so you know they aren't lying. You listen to opinions thinking they are the truth But all you get is rehashed admin talking points. My opinion is just as good as theirs, That's a fact.

shucks

No , I think you've misunderstood what the article is saying - it's no big thing.

It's not: " My opinion is just as good as theirs ..." or it's not about opinion versus truth ( that WOULD be Fox News anyway).
It's about TV format - how the news is presented.
There is less breaking news , weather reports , etc. and more talking - is what that means.

http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/...

grumpy

"It's about TV format - how the news is presented."

Now from the article you linked to. I assume you stand behind the research you bring forth?

"Even so, CNN is the only one of the three big cable news channels to produce more straight reporting than commentary over all. At the other end of that spectrum lies MSNBC, where opinion fills a full 85% of the channel’s airtime."

___________________________________________________________________________________

The vast majority of "reporting" by MSNBC is simply opinion and speculation. Which makes your statement below just the product of you swallowing the opinions you hear on your prefered mostly non "news" network.

It explains why you spue what you do. It is mainly someone else's opinion, not fact. That is why you almost never supply links, opinions are not the same as fact.

____________________________________________________________________________________

"Irregardless of what the polls say ,the high level of intelligence and common sense displayed on MSNBC makes FOX look like a bunch of cavemen."

Just for your information "Irregardless" is not considered a word. Sad it was used in a sentence that also contains the phrase "high level of intelligence and common sense". But then consider the source.

I am surprised that your other main news source wasn't in your link... the Comedy Channel and John Stuart.

shucks

mR bUMPY ,

It's obvious that your intelligence and reading comprehension don't serve you very well.
You are very much like Contango -- and that's no compliment.

Here's a link -- try to sue me.
http://www.merriam-webster.com/d...

grumpy

"Here's a link -- try to sue me."

From your own link about "irregaardless "

"The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead."

___________________________________________________________________________________

I guess you don't know what "Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead", actually means, especially when you sit in your darkened basement with you hands over your eyes, editing what is in the dictionary... or do you think we are using speech to communicate instead of prose?

Don't agree? Try typing irregardless and running it thru spellcheck... for another check on its general acceptance.

shucks

You're kind of a nit-picky old woman, aren't you ?

Do you drink a lot like Contango ?

grumpy

"You're kind of a nit-picky old woman, aren't you ?"

Nope just accurate when I state FACTS. Unlike some people who try to squirm around the facts they wish were different. Plus I actually understand what I read, it is called comprehension., something you obviously have trouble with.

2cents's picture
2cents

.

shucks

So ? It just proves that there are more ignorant Fox News sheeple .

grumpy

Your link shows that 85% of time spent on MSNBC air is opinion and speculation programs... not reporting, thus few facts can be found. It is what we expect from you... opinions instead of facts, and not even your own informed opinions, opinions of others that you simply mouth, and you don't know the basis they were formed from.

shucks

No ,You're wrong.

Gee , your reading comprehension sucks.

grumpy

doubled

grumpy

"No ,You're wrong."

http://stateofthemedia.org/2013/...
. At the other end of that spectrum lies MSNBC, where opinion fills a full 85% of the channel’s airtime.1

That is the last sentence from the 4th paragraph from the link you first provided, Thanks for the help proving you're wrong... again. Comprehension is something you REALLY need to work on.

shucks

Sad , it's all about TV program format and you don't get it.
Your comprehension fails you ; and your fat ego makes you a fool.

grumpy

Yep 85% of MSNBC's airtime and content is opinion and speculation. It is not set up to be a NEWS channel, it is set up to be opinion and speculation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MSNBC

Quote from the above wiki link... the same percentage as the link you provided... only dumbed down even further so hopefully even you can understand it.

"In the Pew Research Center's 2013 "State of the News Media" report, MSNBC was found to be the most opinionated news network, with 85% of the content being commentary or opinions, and only 15% of the content being factual reporting."

Suggest you look into a remedial reading and comprehension class, it may not be too late... but I wouldn't hold my breath...

shucks

Yep , you don't know what you're arguing about.

grumpy

MSNBC, 15% factual reporting... 85% opinions, speculation, and comments...AKA propaganda.

From the wiki:
"In October 2010, MSNBC began using the tagline "Lean Forward", which was described by some media outlets, including msnbc.com, as the network embracing its politically progressive identity.[42][65][66][67]" AKA propaganda.

shucks

Fox News AKA storefront for the Republican propaganda machine.

TellTheTruth

Hey, 4Shizzle, not to be rude, but you are using a word (irregardless) when you really mean "regardless", correct? Now who looks like a caveman? Ha Ha! All in good fun, man!

John Harville

Girl... why don't you cite for us exactly which media are 'liberal' - and use your own information and opinion, not something you get from Fox or others.

KURTje

"I am not a crook." Dick Nixon.

John Harville

... ;but Nixon was a Quaker.

Truth2u

"""SamAdams
Sun, 10/20/2013 - 7:12pm

"""Truth2u, you might want to refresh your memory as to what precisely the Constitution says concerning holding office. "No religious test shall be required..." Further, the presidential oath of office, as specified in the Constitution, does NOT say, "So help me, God." George Washington added that.""" so what if GW added it, that doesn't nullify that the Founding Fathers such as Jefferson believed and openly declared America as a Christian Nation.

Where did I say the constitution required a religious test, Sam? I stated that the LAWS which were made by the Founding Fathers such as that in PA. required it, and the Fathers certainly knew what the Constitution stated in since they wrote it. top putting words into peoples mouths.

I do not have time to rebuke your post but I will when I get off work today.

Just a very quick google produced enough to make your post null.

http://www.heritage.org/research...

John Harville

Repeating... until the 14th Amendment states could require a religious test.
Since the 14th, ratified July 9, 1868, no governmental unit within the US or its territories can require a religious test - the 14th amendment made it the Law of the Land.

John Harville

mmmmmmmmmm

John Harville

Jefferson wrote his own 'Gospel', removing all the miracles and mysticism and virgin birth and revealing Jesus as a terrific politician and wise statesman.

Truth or Dare

You all want the real news, have cable? Go to CSPAN's PUBLIC AFFAIRS, channels 79 and 80. You'll get it in action, out of the horses mouths, and won't have to rely on Fox, MSNBC, CNN, whatever.

As for Jefferson.....he was just another slave owner.

heresy22

Well fortunately the Bible says slaves are ok. So he must have been a good christian.