The President spent his Sunday morning at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church speaking from the same pulpit from which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke from in 1956.
Dedicating most of his speech to the works of the slain civil rights leader whose life is celebrated by a federal holiday tomorrow, Mr. Obama said it was part of the progress that Dr. King fought for that allowed him to stand before them as the 44th President of the United States. However, he reminded those in attendance that political realties still exist,
on the heels of that victory over a year ago, there were some who suggested that somehow we had entered into a post-racial America, all those problems would be solved. There were those who argued that because I had spoke of a need for unity in this country that our nation was somehow entering into a period of post-partisanship. That didn’t work out so well. There was a hope shared by many that life would be better from the moment that I swore that oath. Of course, as we meet here today, one year later, we know the promise of that moment has not yet been fully fulfilled.
It was the President’s second visit to a public church since his inauguration almost a year ago. The President's choice on where to worship has been closely watched since he renounced his former pastor and friend, Rev. Jeremiah Wright in the spring of 2008, after Wright's controversial comments came to light in the midst of a heated Democratic presidential primary. The President’s aides point to the disruption that a presidential trip might cause to churchgoers as one of the reasons the first family has yet to decide on a permanent congregation. They have also noted that Mr. Obama has regularly attended services at the Evergreen Chapel at Camp David.