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

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...

4shizzle

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.

4shizzle

Argue with Wikipedia, Miss Info.

kURTje

"I ain't a Christian." Contango.

4shizzle

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." :)

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