In explaining the move, Senator Obama said: "What I want to do in church is I want to be able to take Michelle and my girls, sit in a pew quietly, hopefully get some nice music, some good reflection, praise God, thank Him for all of the blessings He has given our family, put some money in the collection plate, maybe afterwards go out and grab some brunch, have my girls go to Sunday school. That's what I am looking for."
I couldn't have put it better myself if I were trying to describe what most of us liberal middle class Protestants want in a church experience. The Obama campaign is in luck, because this also seems to be the type of church membership that Americans hope their President displays.
I'm sad to see the Obamas leave their church, but it should be a real wake-up call to Christians supporting political candidates (myself included): the President's first allegiance is to the nation, not to God, but the electorate and media cannot trust a candidate who has even been in the same room as someone who suggests any different allegiances. That's why the idea of a "Christian president" is dubious.
The Daily Show offered a light-hearted but incisive commentary a couple weeks ago (VIDEO):
Jon Stewart: "Why is it ok for other presidents, even other candidates in the race, to actively seek endorsements from preachers and spiritual advisers who have made equally inflammatory statements? Why is that okay?"
John Hodgman: "Well, because those candidates weren't members of those spiritual advisers' congregations. Obama actually went to church for twenty years; he listened to sermons; he got involved with the ministry. Heh. Rookie mistake. I mean, it makes you wonder if he's really the kind of Christian Americans want in the oval office."