President Obama’s Daily Devotionals and Church Talk

President Obama’s Daily Devotionals and Church Talk


The President revealed today that he receives daily devotionals from White House Faith Office Director Joshua Dubois. The President met with Catholic reporters in advance of his trip to Italy next week where he'll meet with the Pope. The President also said he goes to Church every weekend that he's at Camp David. The Brody File has been given the transcription from the interview below:

Q    Mr. President, have you chosen a home church?  There's been some reports this week that Camp David is it.  And are you feeling -- if not, are you feeling any pressure to join a predominantly African American church?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, Michelle and I decided that we would wait a few months after arriving before we made a decision on this, partly -- let's be blunt:  I mean, we were pretty affected by what happened at Trinity and the controversy surrounding Reverend Wright.  That was deeply disturbing to us, and it was disappointing for us personally.  It made us very sensitive to the fact that as President the church we attend can end up being interpreted as speaking for us at all times.  We were also mindful of the fact that the times that we have attended church here, everybody who attends has to go through a mag -- (laughter) -- and it's a scene.  I mean, it's just -- unfortunately, I am now very disruptive wherever I go.  And so thinking about how to just manage the logistics of that was something that we spent some time talking about.

We have attended services at Camp David every weekend that we're there.  I will tell you, by the way, that it is a wonderful little congregation; the members of Camp David who are up there consistently have their families there, they've got a Sunday school.  The young chaplain there, Chaplain Cash, is terrific -- as good of a -- delivers as powerful a sermon as I've heard in a while.  I really think he's excellent.

So we will continue to go to services there.  How we handle church when we're here in D.C. is something that we're still figuring out.  And I think that in the second half of the year we will have made a decision.  We may choose, rather than to join just one church, to rotate and attend a number of different churches.

Obviously that takes away somewhat from the church experience of being part of a community and participating in the life of the church.  But as I said, we are resigned now to the fact that we change the atmospherics wherever we go, and it may be more sensible for us to get in and out on any given Sunday and not try to create blockades around places where we attend.

I miss it, though.  One of the things I also asked Joshua to do, though, is to -- we've had -- throughout the campaign we had a collection of pastors who were close friends and supporters who pray for us, a pretty eclectic group of people from the Catholic Church, people from mainstream Protestant, Evangelical.  And so having some of those friends come in and pray with us is something that we're potentially looking forward to.

One last little note of sustenance, a little note is, is that Joshua does a wonderful service for me and he actually sends me a devotional on my BlackBerry every morning, which is actually something that he started doing I think when I was really having a tough time during the campaign.

MR. DUBOIS:  It was a tough time.

THE PRESIDENT:  And it was just such a wonderful practice that we've continued it ever since.  So every morning I get something to reflect on, which I very much appreciate.

More on the President talking about Catholic issues here.

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