Tue, 07 Apr 2009 21:07:21 +0000 – By Bill SammonManaging Editor, Washington Bureau, FOX News Channel
President 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.
"We probably won't make any firm decision on this until January, when we know what our lives our going to be like," Obama told reporters last May at a press conference that he called to announce his break with Trinity.
Days before his inauguration, Obama's director of religious affairs, Joshua DuBois, said the Obamas "look forward to learning more about many churches in the District." DuBois, who is now director of the White House office on faith-based initiatives, added at the time: "They will choose a church home at a time that is best for their family."
Also in January, Obama told ABC that he and his wife Michelle would visit various Washington churches to find one that feels comfortable.
"It is tougher as president," Obama said. "You know, this is not just an issue of going to church, it's an issue of going anywhere. You don't want to subject your fellow church members, the rest of the congregation, to being nagged every time you go to church. And so, we're going to try to be balancing, not being disruptive to the city, but also saying we want to be part of Washington, D.C."
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, which is located opposite the White House off of Lafayette Park.
Obama is not the first president to opt out of church services in Washington. Former President Ronald Reagan refrained from services, saying the security requirements were too much of a strain on a congregation.