Fox managing editor wonders when Obama will go to church

Fox News' Bill Sammon stays on top of a big story: The president's failure to attend Sunday services.

Published April 8, 2009 8:50PM (EDT)

Bill Sammon, the managing editor of Fox News' Washington bureau, has a pressing issue on his mind: "[W]ith Easter just days away," Sammon writes in a blog post on the network's Web site, "Obama has yet to reveal what church he may have chosen or when he might attend his first Sunday services as president."

And at the top of his post, Sammon notes, "Obama has not attended church services on any of the 11 Sundays since he took office, despite his pledge to find a new church after quitting Trinity United nearly a year ago because of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s incendiary rhetoric."

Sammon's interest in the topic is somewhat understandable, considering his 2007 book, "The Evangelical President: George Bush's Struggle to Spread a Moral Democracy Throughout the World." But, personally, I'm not quite sure why the president's church attendance -- or lack thereof -- matters.

Besides, there's plenty of precedent for Obama's absence. As Sammon notes, Ronald Reagan didn't attend church regularly due to concerns about what security precautions would mean for other congregants. Sammon does say, however, that "By this point in former President George W. Bush’s tenure, the president had spent several Sunday mornings attending services at St. John’s Episcopal Church." What he doesn't say is that, as Bush's presidency went on, he didn't regularly attend any church in D.C.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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