In re: the great dispute over Amy Sullivan’s Big Obama Church Scoop, I’d say Amy had a pretty close version of the story, and that it might have changed a bit out from under her. Her initial report had this nut:
Now, in an unexpected move, Obama has told White House aides that
instead of joining a congregation in Washington, D.C., he will follow
in George W. Bush’s footsteps and make his primary place of worship
Evergreen Chapel, the nondenominational church at Camp David.
In his chat yesterday with Catholic reporters (plus WaPo’s Jacqui Salmon), the president said:
We have attended services at Camp David every
weekend that we’re there. I will tell you, by the way, that it is a
wonderful little congregation; the members of Camp David who are up
there consistently have their families there, they’ve got a Sunday
school. The young chaplain there, Chaplain Cash, is terrific — as
good of a — delivers as powerful a sermon as I’ve heard in a while. I
really think he’s excellent.
So we will continue to go to services there.
How we handle church when we’re here in D.C. is something that we’re
still figuring out. And I think that in the second half of the year we
will have made a decision. We may choose, rather than to join just one
church, to rotate and attend a number of different churches.
Obviously that takes away somewhat from the
church experience of being part of a community and participating in the
life of the church. But as I said, we are resigned now to the fact
that we change the atmospherics wherever we go, and it may be more
sensible for us to get in and out on any given Sunday and not try to
create blockades around places where we attend.
Amy takes the position that this confirms her story. Jacqui’s view of the matter is: “Contrary to recent media reports, President Obama said today that he
hasn’t chosen a home church–and may not ever choose just one during
his time in the White House.” I guess I’d have to say that “primary place of worship” is not quite the same thing as “home church,” and if the Obamas spend more weekends at Camp David than they do at the White House, then Amy’s got it right. Not that Jacqui’s exactly got it wrong. But for those of us outside the sacred precincts of the Nation’s Capitol, the response of the commenters on Amy’s second post seems apposite. As commenter #1 put it, “For the love of criminy why should I care about this?”