As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, it is interesting that this morning the Washington Post reported that the African American community is kind of peeved that after two years in the nation’s capital, the Obamas have yet to choose a church.
It is bad enough that the president who played high priest during the Tucson memorial service has yet to choose any church. It is doubly bad when the first African American president has dissed all the African American churches in the Washington area. As Post writers Hamil Harris and Peter Wallsten write today, “Since President Obama’s arrival in town two years ago, many local religious leaders have wondered when, or if, the country’s first African American first family might choose a new church home.” The answer is, keep waiting Washington.
One home for the Obamas is the historically black AME Metropolitan Church, a few blocks from the White House. The Rev. Marie Braxton has courted the Obamas to commit to her church. On Sunday she again made a direct appeal to them when the Obamas made a rare appearance at her church. Looking at Michelle Obama she declared: “It would be something if you joined our church, and I got to be your pastor and you got to be my girlfriend. And Mr. President, we would find something for you to do.”
The Obamas’ reluctance to commit to any church is in contrast to the twenty years Obama spent at Chicago’s giant 6,000-seat Trinity United Church of Christ. There he heard many fiery anti-American sermons by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Is it possible despite the president’s claims of religious faith, he will only do so when it scores public visibility like Tucson?