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4 in 10 Americans say they attend church, Obama not among them

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  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    I thought we needed to separate politics from religion?

    At least, that's what the pro-mitt camp was telling us when anybody brought up his religion.

    Now that we're not talking about Mitt, it's all fair game to question and talk about Obama's religion.

    What hypocrites.

  • TriciaCT Trumbull, CT
    Jan. 4, 2014 12:52 a.m.

    Obama does not attend church because he believes the false hype that he "is the ONE we have been waiting for."

    In short, he worships himself!

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 3, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    Obviously, Prees. Obama doesn't want to inconvenience the other church-goers with the massive secret service presence that church attendance entails for a President's family. I imagine that it is quite intrusive. No big deal on a golf course, and a real problem if the other church attendees must be screened.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 3, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    There’s nothing particularly commendable about being a regular churchgoer. There's nothing bad about it either. People attend church for reasons that might be sincere or false. They may be among the whited sepulchers Jesus spoke against or among the pure in heart whom he promised would see God. It’s both kind and prudent to not make stereotypical assumptions about people who go to church....or about those who don’t.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Jan. 3, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    Good for Obama. Not faking religious inclination for the point of political gain is noteworthy.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    @mcdugall
    Murray, UT

    Why quote The Blaze and Breitbart?

    Only reason I can think of is you can find what the Main Stream is not saying and it is the truth.

    Whats left NBC who routinely doctors the news?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    sharrona,

    "....Jesus did not call his disciples to be secret service agents."
    ______________________________

    Jesus instructed his followers to not make his identity known to others. He cautioned them to be discreet, reminding them to be like sheep among wolves. He focused his message on how we humans should behave to each other.

    Along came Paul who felt free of restraint in putting his own spin on Jesus. Christianity would soon begin projecting Paul onto Jesus rather than vice versa. The simple integrity of Jesus got lost by the rising Church. We still struggle to get it back.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    First, the numbers are within the normal range. 4 out of 10 attending church in the last week... it reflects the attendance in my (typical) LDS ward, and the rest of the country over the last 50 years.

    Second, meeting attendance in not necessarily a reflection of religiosity. There are differences in attitudes towards attendance/non-attendance between various faiths. Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses are big on meetings, Catholics are a bit easier going. Church attendance declined most after the advent of T.V. broadcasts of sporting events on Sunday.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:54 p.m.

    @SCfan
    "The Democrats became the money controllers of government starting in 2007, Pelosi and Reid holding the purse strings."

    You don't get a crashed economy just because Democrats increased gov't research spending and other little differences in budgetary policy.

    "First it was the result of the unregulated housing market that allowed many unqualified people to buy when they couldn't afford. "

    And the unregulated banking sector which is largely connected to that housing market. Now... which party is the one that likes having as few regulations as possible on such entities?

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:15 p.m.

    LDSareChristians

    How in the world would you know how many times Mitt Romney attended church? And why would you or anybody else care? What business is it of anybody but him? Should we speculate if he goes to all 3 hours of church, or if he travels on sundays or breaks the word of wisdom too? People need to find something else to occupy their time then worry about the amount of times somebody else went to church.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    Jan. 2, 2014 1:07 p.m.

    Mike Richards

    He probably likes golf much more then church. Can you blame him? So do I and many others. Shouldn't come as a surprise to you. Nobody is required to go. I'll think of you when I'm out on the course.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:44 p.m.

    @SCfan – “… the economy under Bush from 2001 to 2008 was doing pretty well.

    Other than a relatively stagnant stock market and exploding debt… employment rate was good though.

    @SCfan - “What caused the big downturn of 2008?... unregulated housing market that allowed many unqualified people to buy when they couldn't afford.”

    This is the standard Fox talking point but does nothing to explain why the downturn was global.

    The major reason for the downturn is Republican policies (and their cumulative, growing effect) over the last few decades of deregulating Wall Street such that banks, by 2008, were run like casinos.

    I would suggest the following reading list to help fill in some of the gaps in your view:

    The Myth of the Rational Market
    Zombie Economics
    Econned
    The Quants
    The Big Short
    Griftopia
    Bailout Nation
    Slapped by the Invisible Hand
    Freefall
    House of Cards
    Too Big to Fail

    And Alan Greenspan’s latest book, if only for his recommendation that we need to drastically increase the capital requirements of investment banks (since they will always by three steps ahead of regulators).

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    ute alumni,

    In fact, I'd add that Mitt probably missed church less than 18 times in 5 years.

    JoeBlow, your comment is irrelevant,
    Mitt wouldn't attended church on Christmas day anyway, unless Christmas fell on a Sunday. As Kalinda point out, LDS don't hold Christmas day services unless it falls on Sunday. The Sunday prior, is a Christmas program however. To compare apples to apples, we'd need to know if Mitt attended the Sunday prior to Christmas or not.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    atl134

    I don't think it is a coincidence that the economy under Bush from 2001 to 2008 was doing pretty well. What caused the big downturn of 2008? In my view two things. First it was the result of the unregulated housing market that allowed many unqualified people to buy when they couldn't afford. That policy was begun prior to Bush with Clinton. Second. The Democrats became the money controllers of government starting in 2007, Pelosi and Reid holding the purse strings. Coupled with Obama becoming President in 2009, the Democrats have had much more influence and control than the Republicans during these last 7 years. As for job growth. Most of those jobs are not what one would call career type jobs. Most are low wage, keeping food on the table and rent paid jobs. Not the place we want our economy to be. And unemployment is still around 7%. I won't mention the ones who have quit looking for work.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 12:01 p.m.

    "The Blaze and Breitbart are newsworthy sources that I look at and trust every day. Why not quote them?" They are "newsworthy" sources -- meaning they are the subject of real news stories. Usually for providing non-credible "news." Real news sources are not "newsworthy."

    Confirmation bias is the #1 problem with news media today. With this "story" the DNews comes close, along with the Blaze, to becoming part of the problem. This story (electronic as it is) is easily updated to include the information about Reagan, or especially a comment about Romney not ever attending a non-Sunday Christmas meeting. But go ahead and keep confirming your readers' biases.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:40 a.m.

    Ronald Reagan had a similar track record you may recall. When a reporter criticized him for it, he pointed out that it was not a simple matter for a sitting President to drop by for Church services. He noted that his presence created a great deal of inconvenience for others.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 2, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    Science has already convinced most of those on the right side (downslope) of the bell curve that religion is false (if not totally, then at least in explaining the objective world). Now the job is to convince the public that not only is religion & morality NOT synonymous, but that in fact religion long ago hijacked morality and taught at least 100 generations that “without God all things are permissible” – often and ironically, while torturing & burning many who felt otherwise.

    When this day comes the issue of separation of church & state will be largely moot because the churches will be mostly empty.

    And if this terrifies you, you can find great comfort in simply looking at the countries where this is already the reality – Norway, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Australia, France, Japan, New Zealand, etc.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:56 a.m.

    @SCfan
    "If you think the country is better off than it was before Obama, you are in the minority according to all polls."

    The economy was in freefall in late 2008... I'll take our slow and steady economic recovery (we've gained private sector jobs 46 months in a row) over that.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    It is great to see that only a mere 40% of those polled attend church regularly. That is great news for this country. As the flock dwindles so will the money that is used to buy the political influence that undermines the constitution.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    @JoeBlow: "Ironic, perhaps?" Racist, hate filled bigotry, perhaps?

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Jan. 2, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    I spent much time in 2008 and 2012 convincing others that being a Mormon was not a disqualifying attribute for a presidential candidate.

    I see zero reason to turn around and point to the current president's church attendance as evidence that he isn't qualified for his office.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    Truthseeker

    Care to name what you think are "credible sources" from your point of view? I think many of us would find your sources just as un-credible. If by credible you mean unbiased, then you are asking for something that is impossible for any single person or organization to achieve. Everything is seen from a perspective, and that perspective creates a bias, whether one wants it to or not. If your definition of credible in not as I conclude, being un-biased, then I'd like to know what parameters you would use to establish credibility in the media. Thanks.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Jan. 2, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Baccus

    If you think the country is better off than it was before Obama, you are in the minority according to all polls. And what a family. Same could have been said of Romneys family as well. As for getting Bin Laden, he had no choice but to go after Bin Laden when his location was discovered. His presidency would have been ruined if it was known that he had Bin Laden in his sights (as Clinton did) and did nothing. Obama had no choice in the matter. As for the main topic at hand, most Presidents know the logistical problems of going to a public church. So Romney, had he been president would probably have held many services in the White House on Sunday, which is easy to do in the LDS faith. I also believe Romney and family would have attended services at the National Cathedral, on behalf of the country, on many occasions. But that last is just my opinion.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 7:07 p.m.

    Who cares if he doesn't go to church

  • Mark B Eureka, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:52 p.m.

    I agree partially with Mike R. - the part that went "...what do I know...".

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:29 p.m.

    RE: Mcdugall, President Obama's faith should be a private matter between he and his god and should not be a matter of concern for the media?

    Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit(Mt 28:19). What if they said No?
    Jesus did not call his disciples to be secret service agents.

    RE: Mike Richards, I used to think President Obama was a CEO, Christmas and Easter Only,

    In regard to church attendance, but apparently not..

  • Hank Jr Draper, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:56 p.m.

    BYUalum
    South Jordan, UT
    McDugal:

    The Blaze and Breitbart are newsworthy sources that I look at and trust every day. Why not quote them?

    .... Well, the fact that they are incendiary, sensationalistic, and untruthful might be a good reason to quote them with a barrel of salt, lol

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    This entire article was set up as a cheap shot. Its' only redeeming quality, however unintentional, is to point out how religion has infected us with its' self entitled judgementalism. Four out of 10 attend church and the president is not among them? How about six out of ten have come to their senses, and the president IS among them?

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:36 p.m.

    Another slamming article by the DN, to please the old conservative readers.

    Any thought of mentioning that it costs, let's guess, over $150,000, if not double, to secure the family's travels to the church, keeps the Secret Service away from their families, and disrupts the service for everyone else.

    I attended church in Carmel, CA, with President Eisenhower in 1956. Back then, there were probably 8 agents, and it was no big deal.

    Any thought that OTHER Presidents went to church "for show"?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    I wonder what the religious lives while in office--of all our former presidents?
    That could be an informative and educational article.

    Did they all have membership in and regularly attend specific churches?

    Church attendance is a superficial and limited way to measure a person, if that is what we are trying to do.
    I'm sure there are many who occupy pews or even lead congregations who don't reflect Christ-like or God/Supreme Being attributes in the way they conduct their lives and treat their fellowmen.

    Let us not forget the Pharisees.... Who are today's Pharisees?

    Re:BYUalum
    The Blaze and Breitbart are not credible sources. They have no journalistic standards period.
    The more DN and readers reference such dubious sources the more likely they will be mislead and misinformed.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 5:00 p.m.

    chris brigham city
    i must have missed it but i thought the article was about barry not mitt. i can assure you that mitt went to church more than 18 times over the last five years. sorry to see barry's groupies distort and try and change the topic.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    In most cases, I couldn't care less whether an elected leader attends church regularly, seldom, or not at all. In my opinion, there is no correlation between church attendance or belief in God and ethical, moral behavior. Actions speak louder than pious posturing. As a husband and father, I don't think we have had many president in our history who are more exemplary than Barack Obama.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    @patriot
    I don't know whether to roll my eyes at your comments about "hate white people church" while still asserting he's a Muslim, or appreciate the fact that you acknowledge there's anti-Muslim bigotry.

    @Mike Richards
    You did notice that only 4 in 10 Americans say they attend church while other studies say 7-7.5 in 10 Americans are Christian, right? It's not as rare as you think. I haven't been to church in months which is kinda funny because I'd been going to Catholic Mass and then haven't been there since the new Pope that I really like.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:55 p.m.

    McDugal:

    The Blaze and Breitbart are newsworthy sources that I look at and trust every day. Why not quote them?

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    How many times did the GOP candidate for the White House in 2012 attend church in recent years? He surely worked on Sunday during the campaign. Where were his records? Was he active in that congregation?

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    There is no political advantage for Barry to go anymore. He used it in Chicago to get into politics.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    Why would someone who claims to be "Christian" find it so hard to find a Christian church to attend more than 18 times in five years? That amounts to about 7% attendance. Most Christians think that attending Church is worth more than 7% of their Sabbaths. Most people who worship God can find some way to include regular worship in their schedules. Maybe Mr. Obama had more important things to do. He found time to play 157 rounds of golf. I'm not a golfer, but I've been told that playing a round of golf takes more time than most church meetings. So, Mr. Obama thinks that smacking a little ball around is 9 times more important than worshipping God. But, what do I know, maybe Obama plays golf with God, but if that's the case, then why would God command the rest of us to keep the Sabbath Day holy - if He's busy playing golf with Obama.

    Is it any wonder that the man who was crowned "The Liar of the Year" spent so little time studying a supreme being who commanded us to not bear false witness?

  • E.S Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    I had to login just to say that this is a very poor example of journalism.
    Someone at DDM should be taking writing news really seriously.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    NYTimes:

    "People close to the president say that Mr. Obama’s spiritual beliefs are profoundly held. In addition to the daily devotional he receives — which contains lines of Scripture and quotations from people as wide-ranging as Nina Simone and Johnny Cash — Mr. Obama regularly speaks to spiritual leaders on a variety of topics. Every year on his birthday, the president convenes a phone call with ministers “to thank God for the year that was and pray for the year ahead.”

    He has turned to his faith during difficult times, and is comfortable invoking Scripture.

    His vision of faith is also an inclusive one, perhaps an outgrowth of his own eclectic upbringing. He spent several childhood years in Indonesia, with its predominantly Muslim population, but attended a private Catholic grade school for much of that time; he later lived in Hawaii, a melting pot of cultures.

    Mr. Obama set his own inclusive tone early, declaring during his first Inaugural Address, “We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers.” He was the first president to hold an Easter prayer breakfast, and he also held the first Passover Seder at the White House, traditions he has repeated."

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    "I'm not suggesting anything about Romney, nor is this article. Your stretches are getting almost silly. "

    But, it makes my point. Romney would not have attended an LDS service on Christmas this year and you would not have considered it "Sad".

    It would have made no difference to me. And I would not have used it to denigrate Mr Romney, who I feel is a fine upstanding man (I feel the same about Obama and GW Bush.)

    See the double standard?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    "Exactly how and where did I criticize the president in any comment I made to this article? "

    Really? How about this?

    "It's actually sad that Obama can't even go thru the motions of doing what is traditional on Christmas day for active Presidents of the United States."

    "And yes, you do often defend Obama... regardless of the topic."

    Virtually never. Feel free to find one. However, I do point out constantly that the criticisms of Obama are for things that the right also does.

    Many blast Obama for doing things that they would completely support if proposed by a Republican.

    I just want some consistency.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Jan. 1, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    @ Morgan Duel
    " Seems to me that as the leaders go, so goes the nation!"

    Then no worries,Mr. Obama seems to be an exemplary husband and father, a responsible and caring citizen. A president that will go into the annals of history as the US President that received a country that was afraid, with a collapsing economy, and rampant inequalities. He took took this country and under his leadership unemployment decreased from over 9% to less than 7%,he re-established the U.S.A. as a powerhouse in the world, fought to repair socials injustices as DOMA and DADT, for the first time more people in the U.S.A. have access to medicine.

    For the "Rambo" type, he captured Osama Bin Laden.

    As Ronald Reagan would ask : Are you (the U.S.A.) better off now than 4 years ago? The answer is a resounding ...YES!!!!

    President Obama and his family don't go to church every Sunday. But, What a family!!!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:52 p.m.

    Reagan didn't attend church either. No big deal. I could care less if Barack does or doesn't attend church. He attended Rev Wright's "hate white people" church for years which helped shape his twisted views so church hasn't been good for Barack regardless. I think it is obvious Barack became a Christian out of political expediency. He knew he couldn't get elected to high office as a Muslim.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 1, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    "Ronald Reagan never attended church on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day during his entire eight years in office, for example. That’s reflected in his own diaries and daily schedules, available online through the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. "
    (Factcheck)

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:48 a.m.

    Seems to me that as the leaders go, so goes the nation!

  • antodav TAMPA, FL
    Jan. 1, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    It's hardly surprising that Barack Obama doesn't attend church. However, if a guy like Reverend Wright would be preaching, it's probably best that he goes as infrequently as possible.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    @ JoeBlow:

    I'm not suggesting anything about Romney, nor is this article. Your stretches are getting almost silly. And yes, you do often defend Obama... regardless of the topic. It's obvious that I've read a lot more of your past comments than you have mine.

    Exactly how and where did I criticize the president in any comment I made to this article? I simply suggested a simple way for him to make this a non-issue. No double standard there at all.
    Read, think and then write. There would then be less reason for you to become so defensive and/or tend to get off subject.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    @Tators
    "It's actually sad that Obama can't even go thru the motions of doing what is traditional on Christmas day for active Presidents of the United States. "

    You suggest the first four comments are made by people who defend Obama no matter what, and then you immediately attack him for not going to church on Christmas? He's not pastor in chief, there's no requirement to go to church any given day.

    "If nothing else, it would leave him less open to criticism from conservatives."

    After 5 years, he's figured out that people like you will attack him... no matter what.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    "It's actually sad that Obama can't even go thru the motions of doing what is traditional on Christmas day for active Presidents of the United States"


    Are you suggesting that Romney would have "gone thru the motions" and gone to church on Christmas Day had he been elected?

    I dont defend Obama "no matter what he does or doesn't do". But many, (you perhaps?) will find fault regardless of what he does or doesnt do. Double standard much?

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 10:09 a.m.

    Interesting that the first 4 comments to this article seem to be by anti-formal religion liberal zealots who always try to defend Obama no matter what he does or doesn't do.

    It's actually sad that Obama can't even go thru the motions of doing what is traditional on Christmas day for active Presidents of the United States. If nothing else, it would leave him less open to criticism from conservatives. And since he is a self-proclaimed Christian, there certainly wouldn't be anything hypocritical about doing so. Perhaps it's just too much effort.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    President Obama's faith should be a private matter between he and his god and should not be a matter of concern for the media. On a more concerning matter, why has the Deseret News started to reference The Blaze and Breitbart??

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 1, 2014 9:02 a.m.

    The LDS Church does not have services on Christmas Day unless it falls on a Sunday. I wonder what other Christian religions offer no Christmas Day services?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 1, 2014 8:33 a.m.

    Fortunately, there is no religious qualification necessary for public office. At any level.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 1, 2014 6:06 a.m.

    What a no win situation for Obama.

    Muslim? He is a Muslim attending the wrong church.

    Christian? He attended Rev Wrights church, which is bad

    No church? Bad as well.

    Takeaway? See what Obama does and find reason for hatred. Mostly by self proclaimed "religious conservatives".

    Ironic perhaps?