First family to church
July 17th, 2011
12:03 PM ET

First family to church

Washington (CNN) – The first family attended St. John's Episcopal Church Sunday morning, according to White House pool reports.

President Obama and first lady Michele Obama waved en route to the church with their daughters Sasha and Malia.

St. John's is near the White House, across from Lafayette Park.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Barack Obama • Belief • Church • Politics

soundoff (175 Responses)
  1. whatwasthat

    @ mike–are you OK? You are not making any sence! What does, "c'mon athiest do it, or can you." mean?

    July 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  2. whatwasthat

    @ mike–please read your post and then say what you really mean (2 negitives make a positive)

    July 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • mike

      only when they are multiplied lol. I ment what I said before. I haven't seen any total proof from either side, but I'm not going to say God doesn't exist.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
  3. whatwasthat

    @Forest–How long have you been a Christian?

    July 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
  4. mike

    I haven't seen the mother mary in my soup lately but I still haven't seen any proof that there is absolutely no god at all.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
    • mike

      c'mon atheists do it, or can you?

      July 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ Mike,
      Proof is required by the man who makes the positive affirmation, ie... there is a God.
      No one can prove a negative. I can't prove that god does not exist. I also can't prove Santa Claus does not exist. But in life, we decide what is real and not real, based on what we feel is probable. I bet you wouldn't argue that Santa is a myth. I bet you would agree that the god(s) of the other religions, do not exist. Ra isn't real. Right? How about Isis? And she was hot!
      I think we can rule out god, in the same way we rule out any other mythological creature. We can't prove vampires or werewolves or fairies don't exist. But, I bet you would agree, that they are not real. They just don't fit in with reality.
      So, we can look for attributes of god, that should provide evidence that He exists.
      If positive evidence is found, we should conclude that god probably exists.
      If positive evidence is not found, then we should conclude that the Christian God, beyond a reasonable doubt, does not exist. Just like Santa. Just like fairies. Just like vampires.
      One of the most compelling reasons for rejecting god, is the fact that there are so many versions of god(s). Some, not even human (The elephant-faced god – Ganesha etc.). Each religion, each denomination of each religion, defines god's wants differently. All of these religions cannot be right. But they can all be wrong.
      Perhaps man has not yet found the one true god, or perhaps He does not exist.
      Why would the Christian god leave room for confusion? If He exists, wouldn't He want everyone to know He exists and is the one true god?
      1 Timothy 2: 3 – 5 says the Christian god does desire this:
      3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
      4Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
      5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
      1. If the Christian God existed, this fact would be obvious.
      So obvious in fact, that EVERYONE, or nearly everyone would believe in His existence. There would be only worshipers of the one true god.
      2. The Christian God's existence is not, in fact, as obvious as we would expect, if he existed.
      This fact is evidenced by the fact that ~68% of the world's population are not Christian.
      3. Therefore, the Christian God is very unlikely to exist.
      In the same vein as the above, notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they alone, understand the wants of Jesus/god.
      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.
      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?
      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.
      1. If the Christian god exists, He would want everyone to know His wants, without ambiguity.
      Otherwise, what would be the point of god supplying man with a book of His will?
      2. The bible god provided, is ambiguous.
      This fact is evidenced by there being ~34,000 different denominations of Christianity.
      3. Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.
      Another reason to reject the idea of a god, is because there appears to be no need for one. Each hour of each day, science fills another gap in man's knowledge, that god once filled.
      We don't want to postulate what isn't necessary.
      John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
      If the Christian god so loves the world, why does he allow / cause so much suffering? Disease, famine, floods, earthquakes etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum. ?
      I can explain the existence of these horrors as being due to natural causes, and evolution but my explanation fails when I include an all loving Creator in the equation. I keep getting a "Can't divide by zero" error.
      Christians say their god is omnibenevolent (all good); omnipotent (all powerful); omniscient ( all knowing)
      1. If the Christian god is all knowing, He would know of the suffering endured on earth.
      2. If the Christian god is all good, He would want to rid the world of suffering / evil.
      3. If the Christian god is all powerful, He would be able to rid the world of suffering / evil.
      4. Yet, evil persists.
      Therefore, the Christian god is very unlikely to exist.
      The Christian god is said to be omniscient and omnipotent. But these attributes are not compatible.
      If the Christian god is all knowing, if the future can be known, then even god would be bound by events in the future. Everything would be predetermined.
      1. If the Christian god, knows what will happen in the future, and does something else...then, He is not all knowing.
      2. If the Christian god knows the future and cannot change it, then He is not all powerful.
      3. The attributes attributed to the Christian god conflict with one another. The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.
      Evolution, with its evidence of transitional fossils, geological column, DNA evidence, vestigial organs etc., is very damning to the biblical Creation Story.
      If god created all the organisms on the planet, then He must have created even the diseases that have caused and are causing so much death and misery for humans and animals. He would have had to fashion the tick and the flea. The mosquito and blood flukes. And worms that bore into a child's eye.
      How could an all good god do such a thing? Why would He spend His time creating gruesome things to cause human suffering? Yet, these horrors exist. And if god didn't create them, who did?
      Evolution explains the diversity of the planet's organisms, including the pathogens and the parasites that have caused so much human death and misery.
      If the Creation Story is a fable, then Adam and Eve did not exist.
      If Adam and Eve did not exist, then there was no original sin.
      If there was no original sin, then it cannot be the reason god allows so much suffering in the world.
      If there was no original sin, then there was no need for a redeemer.
      If there was no redeemer, then Christianity is based on a false premise.
      If the Creation story is a myth, then there is no reason to believe any of the bible.
      LOL, which is why the fundies fight so hard against evolution.
      The Christian god is no more likely to exist than unicorns, satyrs, fiery serpents, or talking snakes.
      The fact that you declare Him so, means nothing.

      (I did not write this originaly, however, I can't say it better than this... Credits to original author)

      July 17, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • mike

      yeesh, its a long one, but a good point I gotta say. But I'm still agnostic.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm |
    • Peace2All


      FYI-I believe that is one of -David Johnson's original postings.


      July 18, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  5. whatwasthat

    @ Forest– How long have you been a Chrstian?

    July 17, 2011 at 10:29 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      Nearly half century.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:31 pm |
  6. kurplunk

    It seems atheist are so wrapped up in proving God doesn't exist. If He doesn't exist then why waste your time?? Go about your business & don't bother with these blogs.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Why we bother with these blogs is because you guys (fundies) keep trying to push your "values" on us. I want the women to have dominion over there bodies. I want the terminally ill to have to choice to die with dignity. I want the hom os3xuals to have the right to equal treatment. I want medical science to advance in the study of stem cells... YOU think your God will be offended by all of this but you can't prove he exists other than in the Bible, which is true 'cause God says so, and he is all powerfull 'cause it says so in the bible... AD NAUSEUM.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:39 pm |
    • kurplunk

      So witch one of these things are you? (Just curious )

      July 17, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      What's your question? Am I female? Am I terminaly ill? am I a hom os3xual? Am I a researcher?

      What difference does it make? I am neither, but I support all those who chose freedom over your religious oppression.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:52 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-, the problem is, all your wishes are morally wrong. Those create enormous number of victims. A society that neglects victims gets severely punished collectively.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • kurplunk

      OK well you shall get all that to be free. All of what you listed will be legal. Why? Because this is a sinful world. Murder to unborn babies etc gives you freedom & happiness OK. I'll still have my faith in my heart & soul no matter what happens to this world. When you win give it a rest & let it go.....let what don't exist go.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
  7. whatwasthat

    @ fimelleur–You are right, and you are wrong. God's love is unconditional, but to be saved is conditional.

    July 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      So god's love is so great that he can banish his "child" to an eternity of tortue? I guess I don't love my children enough then...

      Sorry. I'd rather go to hell than worship this cruel monster you call God.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:35 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-, God is holy, just and love; the Judgment will be a perfect justice for everyone, nothing else. Read Revelation 20. Unrepentant criminals go to prison, no matter who the Father is. You rejected the pardon.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • tallulah13

      I'm with fimeilleur. Your small-minded, hateful god isn't worthy of worship. Much better to be in hell with good, decent people who weren't afraid of questioning what they were told than to be in paradise with selfish people who were blindly willing to hurt others in order to receive a personal reward.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
  8. just a thought

    So many people say that the Bible is just a book of fables, etc. But, I wonder if they have ever considerd the scientific facts found in the Bible that were not even proven as fact until hundreds and even centuries after the Bible was writen?

    July 17, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
    • J.W

      I look mostly at the first life on earth. I have tried to look at multiple sources but I have not seen anywhere that scientists have been able to produce a single-celled organism from non-living material, which is what would have had to happen. If this cannot happen naturally it must have been done by a supernatural power. Also, I havent seen anything that has showed how single celled organisms become multi-cellular organisms, or why. It seems to me that the fossil record has a lot of gaps as well. Why do these gaps occur if everything started from simple organisms, and gradually became more complex until what we have today?

      July 17, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
  9. whatwasthat

    @SoundFromForest–Peter (or any of the other apostles keept Sunday Holy? Book, chapter and verse please.

    July 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      Acts 2:1, 20:7, I Corinthians 16:1

      July 17, 2011 at 10:30 pm |
  10. Truth Teller

    The Bible commands us to rest on the 7th Day Saturday. Theres no blessing or command to rest or treat as holy Sunday.

    Satan changed the day to Sunday, the day of baal worship. Sunday worshipers are unwittingly paying homage to Satan thru his surrogate , the pope. Don't get mad at me, I only report the news !

    July 17, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Satan doesn't exist... neither does your God... the Bible is a collection of fairy tales... I still haven't been smittten... smotten... struck down by lightning for blaspheming your deity and I've been doing it for years... I step on cracks every day and my mother's back is just fine... let it go...

      July 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Truth Teller, you are wrong. Earliest Christians, including Apostle Peter, worshiped on Sunday because Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday and the Holy Spirit came – thus Church was birthed – on Sunday. Changing the date of Sabbath is the mark of the New Covenant era.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  11. ForestSound

    A lovely scene... May America find the divine mercy by repentance. May God restore godly happiness to America, the nation of hope for all.

    July 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      You'd have to prove your God for any of this to happen...

      July 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
    • Truth Teller

      @ Sounforrest Sir, that sounds real good. Jesus rose on Sunday, so now Sunday is a holy day.

      WHERE DOES IT SAY TO DO THAT IN THE BIBLE ? All deception is cloaked with a lot of really good truth. The Bible says to commemerate the resurection thru baptism Rom. 6: 3

      Show in the Bible where Paul or Jesus or anybody customerily rested on the 1st day and I'll give you 5 million dollars cash.

      I'm trying to show you the snare of Satan. and all the world worshiped the beast. (Rome) Rev. 13:3
      Honer God on His Holy Day and don't give glory to another. Rev. 14 6-11 In Dan.7:25 its prophecies the anti christ or little horn power would change times and laws. What other law about time would God be concerned with other than the 4th command. that begins with the word REMEMBER. The one everybodys trying real hard to forget.

      All you truth rejecters and enimies of the truth will find out the hard way on That Day of the Lord

      July 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  12. Reality

    Said church should post the following sign on the door:


    July 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • ForestSound

      Reality, you are pretty desperate. Now I feel sorry for American atheists. Christians will always love people like you and pray for you, but you need to realize there is Judgment at the end. Unconditional love + eternal truth + true life = only Christianity

      July 17, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ ForestSound,
      Why does unconditional love only come on the condition that you accept Jesus? Isn't that in itself a condition?

      July 17, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-: Christ dies for us when we were sinners. God loves us unconditionally but we need to be cleansed by Jesus' atonement to be saved. Putting faith in Jesus is acknowledging God at His Word. Also, a saved person must live a new life by God's will in His Spirit, not on our own.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ SoundFromForest,
      Is this your new screen name?
      That still doesn't answer the point that God's Unconditional love has a condition attached to it. Therefore, it is NOT unconditional.

      July 17, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-, yes, it's me. I forgot Forest could be a boy's name. Atheists like you don't deserve anything from God – parents, air, sunshine, millions of etc. – but He gave all the good things to you unconditionally. Eternal life, however, is only by faith in Jesus. After this earthly life, a fair trial awaits. Read Revelation 20. Trust in Jesus and be saved from your own evil follies now.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:22 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      Who are you to decide what graces your god should bestow on us atheists? You sound very arrogant. You still won't answer my question with regard to what you think God should do with a good man who does not believe in him.

      A) send him to Hell for all eternity, proving that he is a megalomaniac, self centered cruel being; or
      B) accept him into Heaven, proving that belief in God is irrelavant.

      What is it?

      July 17, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-, ? I only spoke from Matthew 5-7. There is no good man in this world. None. Atheists are especially all evil. Romans 3. Psalms 53.

      July 17, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      So tell me... what "sins" have I commited to be considered "Evil". Me, personally. Oh, right, you don't know me... OK... I've never killed a man, nor have I r aped a woman, I have never stolen, nor have I bared false witness, I don't adore false gods (Any of them)... I'm not a gluttan, nor a sloth, I'm not vain in my appearance, etc. etc. etc. So my "sin" is that I don't believe in your God. Again, A) or B)

      July 17, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-, you're a theif pretending to own everything God's including your own life. Read the above comments. Your wishes are something even Hitler will hide in horror. You atheists simply have no idea how evil you are.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ SoundFromForest,
      I was trying to find a previous post of yours, where you quote Romans 3 in stating that no man is good (righteous is the term in the bible, but I'll give it to you) NOT EVEN ONE.

      How do you reconcille that with: Genesis 7:1
      Job 2:3
      Luke 1:6
      James 5:16 AND
      1 John 3:7

      Again, your book is decieving you.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      @Fime-, other passages you listed are on relative goodness, not on absolute. You need absolute goodness – atonement of Jesus – to be saved. All OT saints were saved by the faith in the coming Messiah. I hope you finished some literature courses. You atheists cannot read a single book coherently.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:24 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      Goodness or righetousness that accompanies faith is regarded as perfect and acceptable.

      July 17, 2011 at 11:27 pm |
    • fimeilleur

      @ SoundFromForest,
      If it were written coherantly, there would be no arguments. Where EXACTLY did you see the word "relative" in the OT? or is this just another one of your apologetics?

      July 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm |
    • Reality

      (from Professor JD Crossan's book, "Who is Jesus" co-authored with Richard Watts)

      "Moreover, an atonement theology that says God sacrifices his own son in place of humans who needed to be punished for their sins might make some Christians love Jesus, but it is an obscene picture of God. It is almost heavenly child abuse, and may infect our imagination at more earthly levels as well. I do not want to express my faith through a theology that pictures God demanding blood sacrifices in order to be reconciled to us."

      "Traditionally, Christians have said, 'See how Christ's passion was foretold by the prophets." Actually, it was the other way around. The Hebrew prophets did not predict the events of Jesus' last week; rather, many of those Christian stories were created to fit the ancient prophecies in order to show that Jesus, despite his execution, was still and always held in the hands of God."

      July 17, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  13. frank

    Great article...

    July 17, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
  14. JimInTX

    So why does your Invisible Sky Friend want to be collectively honored?

    July 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  15. C arol Young

    What poll Suddenly told Obama to walk across the street to church.

    July 17, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  16. sheetiron

    Actually the Bible does tell Christians that it is their responsibility to judge other Christians. Look it up.

    1 Corinthians 5:11-13

    July 17, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • J.W

      But Jesus also said judge not, lest ye be judged. It may be important that we make sure the church isnt harmed by certain behavior. But we must also be welcoming and forgiving.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • sheetiron

      I never said anything about not being welcoming and loving. I was just pointing out that the whole "The Bible says DO NOT JUDGE!!!" line is not true. Jesus told us not to judge hypocritically based on mere appearences and superficail assumptions.

      July 17, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  17. mylifemyway

    Byrnie, do you mean all the priests molesting altar boys? So what if Obama doesn't cater to the right wing religious nuts? That doesn't give him the right to attend church? I may be Atheist, but I believe everyone has the right to worship (or not) as they please. When he's not going to church, people like you say he must be a muslim or something but then when he does... well, you want to give him crap for that too. Make up your mind.

    July 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • :/

      good points 🙂

      July 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  18. byrnie harris

    He goes to church yet he sides with people who are against anything to do with Christianity. He is the most contradicting President I have ever seen. Besides, their are people who go to church that are going to hell in a hand basket. For some going to church might look good,but for others who know better it doesn't mean a thing. I mean I'm glad that he's going to church, maybe something he hears there will sink in.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Anglican

      Judge not, lest ye be judged.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • J.W

      How has he supported everything against Christianity?

      July 17, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
    • Anglican

      He seems more interested in caring for the poor than the right wing fundies.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  19. mylifemyway

    @Colin... "Like". ")

    July 17, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  20. Colin

    I wish I was going to live to see the day when the education system in the USA is solid enough and the dissemination of knowledge, basic science, and, most importantly, the ability to think critically, is so widespread that actions such as this by the President is seen as a political liability.

    Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Chile are all undergoing secular revolutions, with Australia and Chile electing openly atheist leaders. It is refreshing that we have the gods, ghosts and goblins of organized religion in full retreat, it just kind of a shame that I won’t live to see the ultimate marginalization of mainstream religion.

    July 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • Anglican

      So, one must be atheist to think critically?

      July 17, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      Have registered on your other blog. What a breath of fresh air ! I may just be ruined for life.

      July 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Colin, I know I will see the day that all you non-believers that worship materialism will bend your knees and praise Jesus.


      July 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Hey Bucky, thanks man. I’ll look for you. Any comments from you would be insightful and welcome.

      July 17, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Peace2All


      Did I hear that 'you' have a 'blog' goin' my friend...?


      July 17, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HS, why don't you go first and come back with evidence? Thanks in advance.

      P.S. Your crystal ball is broken.

      July 17, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • AncientLie

      Very well said Colin, I couldn't agree more.

      July 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • SoundFromForest

      ? Most of the listed nations are on downhill, because the secure Christian heritage frames are getting loosened. USA was the last hope in the West...

      July 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.