September 20, 2010

Crazy Daily News headline: "President Obama hits church with First Family in bid to altar 'Muslim' myth."

Quite aside from the (deliberate?) misspelling — "altar" for "alter" — and the repetition of the "myth" — which I'm putting in quotes only because it's their word — the newspaper purports to know why a man (and a woman and 2 little girls) go to church.

Let me give you a quiz. (The first response below is the one The Daily News ascribed to the President and his family.)

Excluding weddings and funerals and the like, what's the primary reason you'd attend a religious service?
To enhance my reputation in my community.
To accompany a family member or members and thus please or set a good example for them.
To get together with friends and associates.
For the beauty of the music, the literature, and the art and architecture.
As insurance, in case there really is an afterlife.
To worship God and pray. free polls

ADDED: I'm glad at least a couple people admit to the afterlife insurance motivation. But here's the thing: What if doing religion as afterlife insurance is the one thing that pisses God off?


Anonymous said...

How did Obama hit the church with the First Family? Did he pick them up by the feet and swing them at it, or did he fire them out of a cannon or something?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the asshole Obama should say a few words about Molly Norris.

You know, the Seattle woman living under a fatwa as a result of Her "Draw Mohammed Day."

Stereotypes are stereotypes because they are so often true.

Why does Obama insist on kissing Muslim ass? Makes you wonder what side he's on.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Obama's problem is that he never really hears what people are trying to tell him.

Anonymous said...

If it's not available online, I'd consider subscribing to this Crazy Daily News.

Anonymous said...

I checked off the "worship and pray" choice.

But, you left off the second most important reason to attend church: to honor the wisdom and tradition of our fathers.

The hate campaign fostered by feminism against men and father has been so effective that you don't even know that honoring the wisdom and tradition of our fathers is important.

The Dude said...

I have never wondered - Omongrel is on the side of any enemy of the United States. I remember reading several years ago the idea that it would be interesting to see if a nation could survive being led by people who hate that nation. I think we are finding out.

TMink said...

I am happy our President went to church. God bless him. I am not happy that he left God out of quoting the preamble. God is not to be trifeled with.


AllenS said...

He went because he wasn't able to secure a tee time.

MadisonMan said...

Hits is definitely the wrong verb there. At first glance I thought he was suing them.

'Goes to' doesn't take up much more room than 'hits'

I'm Full of Soup said...

It's like the business reporter who tells you, after the market has closed for the day, why stock prices went up or went down. [I think they make it up]

Tank said...

Surprised at that poll result. Lotta religious folk here. I thought more would be with me in the art, history, architecture slot.

traditionalguy said...

All of the above reasons is acceptable in the church's that I have attended. The honoring of the creator God by a setting aside time for His presence is a gift given to us. All is acceptable as ones reason. There is nothing a Christian has to do except believe God and say thank you.

Jason said...

al Taqiyyah.

ricpic said...

We can be taken to hell by the pious as well as by atheists. I have no doubt about the genuineness of Bush's Christian belief, but as a socialist he took us a long way down the path to hell that Obama (religious? irreligious? who knows) is completing.

jungatheart said...

He left out god when quoting the preamble?

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

The midterms are fast approaching.

Big Mike said...

Actually, I recollect reading somewhere that Barack Obama admitted that he began attending Reverend Wright's church precisely because of reason #1.

Personally I don't think he's a whole lot more religious than I am, and I'm an atheist.

DADvocate said...

The insurance gambit is Pascal's Wager by another name. My primary motivation is to sat a good example (for my kids).

I don't care too much about how church going affects my reputation. Many of the people at church bore me to tears, or are rather hypocritical. I don't care to hang out with them. Not a whole of beauty on the church I attend. Church choirs often make even the most joyful songs sound like funeral dirges. Worship and pray - I do believe a certain amount of this is a good thing, but you don't necessarily have to be at church to do it.

I'm a Catholic but occasionally visit a Protestant church. I find the long winded sermons at Protestant churches mind numbing to the nth degree. I'd quit attending church all together before only attending Protestant services.

DADvocate said...

God is not to be trifeled with.

It may sound silly but one of my strictest rules for how I lead my life is never test God nor tempt the Devil. But, think about it for a few minutes. If nothing else, it can keep you out of a lot of trouble.

Automatic_Wing said...

Disappointing that Barry and Michelle didn't pick another Black Liberation church, that would have been worth a few laughs.

Can't get much duller than Episcopalianism.

Paddy O said...

"What if doing religion as afterlife insurance..."
Matthew 7:15-27

15"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.

Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?'

Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

By the by, I go to church every week (Saturday evenings) but not for any of the reasons listed, so I didn't vote. I would have voted for "It's a good discipline to gather together to focus on God and express faith in the context of community"

Anonymous said...

I attend church for corporate worship and to learn from the pastor. Sometimes I don't feel like going, but I go anyway. Hebrews 10:25 says, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

I'm never at church because potential voters have questions about my faith.

Trooper York said...

I saw this on TV. But one question.

Why was he carrying a rug?

Pastafarian said...

I'm not sure what the point of this poll is. If most people attend church to worship, then does that imply that other motivations for Obama are less likely?

Most people aren't unpopular presidents whose authenticity as a Christian, and as a member of American culture, have been called into question by a large number of voters.

Not that I care whether he's a Christian; it's the charade, the lying, the condescension, that bother me.

AllenS said...

It was the only church that he could find where pews pointed east.

Unknown said...

The people attending for the insurance fall into the "No nonbelievers in foxholes" category, I suppose, but, yes, I think Ann is onto something when she says going to church for that would probably punch your ticket to Hell just on general principles.

Big Mike said...

Actually, I recollect reading somewhere that Barack Obama admitted that he began attending Reverend Wright's church precisely because of reason #1.

Not unlike Willie showing up at church with a dictionary-sized Bible during the Monica thing.

PS The headline about The Zero hitting church reminds me of an old Dilbert about a corporate pilot telling his passengers that, due to budget cuts, they'll be hitting town a little early.

William said...

I'm an agnostic, but every belief system has its seeds of doubt and inconsistencies. I don't attend church services, but every so often I will sit in church and pray. You cannot pass through life without experiencing grief and loss or just being stunned by the futility of it all. Sitting in church can't possibly hurt and truly offers some solace...Catholic churches with their stained glass windows, solemn silence, and subliminal scent of incense are best. Spiritual comfort food for anorexic laspsarians. It's all for nothing, but there are sillier gestures than futiile prayers.

ricpic said...

It's all for nothing...

Enough with the nihilism.

Cedarford said...

"In other news, Obama attended an Episcopal church today and had to leave prematurely, feeling dazed.

It seems that whenever the priest said "Now let us pray", Obama tried to, but kept banging his head on the pew bench in front of him trying to get down on all fours.

Known Unknown said...

There's only one answer on that list that really matters or means anything.

Everything else is show.

Anonymous said...

I attend church every week for a couple of reasons:

1) I'm Lutheran.

2) Fruit suspended in Jello.

3) Fellowship

4) To avoid the stinkeye I'd get from my wife if I were to sit in my favorite chair, drinking coffee and reading the paper as she and the kids went without me. Withering.

5) Oh, and Black Liberation Theology

Joe said...

Where's the "I don't" option?

I haven't been inside a church since 2003. It was for the baptism of my nephew and only because we were staying with my brother-in-law at the time. It reminded me why I disliked church.

(My daughter quite deliberately didn't have a religious wedding. A judge officiated and it was a very nice non-religious ceremony without being nutty.)

(BTW, the problem with Pascal's Wager is it still assumes that God isn't a capricious asshole or that He despises people who think they'll be saved by kissing His ass. Who wants a bunch of sycophants hanging around you for eternity anyway?)

Oregon Country Gardener said...

Oh, Althouse, I love your posts and comments- I always laugh..
(going to church as afterlife insurance actually being the tihing that does you in)
Please come to Oregon and sit on my country porch and discuss the craziness with me. You will enjoy the view I promise!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Catholic ... I find the long winded sermons at Protestant churches mind numbing to the nth degree. I'd quit attending church all together before only attending Protestant services.

You have to balance the long Protestant sermons against the awful Gather hymnal/Marty Haugen drivel sung in the Catholic church today. At least a long sermon doesn't make me hate music.

richard mcenroe said...

He shoulda left the prayer rug home.

jamboree said...

There is a charming chapel on a beautiful locaion where I live. I went there all the time at non-service hours for reflection or to sit in the gardens. The services themselves tended to be awkward since coolness of the location attracted a lot of poseurs.

Now a huge ego rich guy recently built a cheesy rich guy attractor in my neighborhood (like CA needed yet another resort-golf course to muddy up its few remaining patches of open space). This means that a whole new group of poseurs is sometimes about the area.

I was at the church when a pair of these types came up and asked me to take their picture. The woman had a clue, but the guy was oblivious. They were in a rush and had to get to dinner.

The guy actually asked me if I worked there - because his puny little dick brain could comprehend no other reason for a person to be at a church other than they need their picture taken at the tourist trap before their dinner date. The woman mouthed her apologies behind him.

BJM said...

But here's the thing: What if doing religion as afterlife insurance is the one thing that pisses God off?

A case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. Life is comprised of similar trade-offs and choices is it not? We muddle through with or without the comfort of faith.

@MM I thought "hits" an odd choice of words too. Who says that? Combined with the misspelling of alter makes one think that the headline was intended as ridicule.

Especially given that the Obama's suddenly don't mind inconveniencing a congregation or pimping their children out to bolster their declining poll numbers.

I can't decide if Obama is akin to King Lear who discovered too late that he wrongfully distributed wealth to the favored few who flattered him most or Midas who grew to hate the power he most coveted. Obama's ears tend to push me into the Midas column.

fivewheels said...

Apart from "To worship and pray", I'd have to believe the most common reason is the only reason I ever went: Because of family coercion.

I've been an atheist since I was 5 years old, when I read my first book about dinosaurs and started thinking for myself. But I kept that fact to myself for my mom's sake, who was going to make me go throughout my childhood anyway.

I think a lot of people are in that boat (Swede kind of sounds like this). Because it's not that big a deal, and it's not that unpleasant. It's why, unlike a lot of other nonbelievers, I don't have any contempt for the religious: I know them and like them and grew up at Presbyterian pot lucks. But if it had truly been up to me, I wouldn't have been there.

Roux said...

I used to attend weekly until we got a new preacher. I've been absent from that church for about a year and haven't found a new church. I miss my hour of peace every Sunday morning.

el polacko said...

why did the obamas cross the street? to get to the church on the other side for a photo-op definitively illustrating that he's not really a muslim.
it took nearly two years to make the must be a very wide street..but luckily, they made it there before the mid-term elections.

BJM said...

What if Obama's aura of cool sophistication and intellectualism is only a negation that masks an emotional void?

hombre said...

@ Trey and deborah:

"He left out god when quoting the preamble?"

It wasn't the preamble, it was the Declaration of Independence.

hombre said...

I've been an atheist since I was 5 years old, when I read my first book about dinosaurs and started thinking for myself.

Fivewheels has since been an ardent supporter of suffrage for five year olds who are obviously also qualified to make decisions of lesser importance.

Deb said...

Lately I've been going to a Hassidic shul. The rabbi is a hoot. Saturday, he asked us what were the 5 activites you are prohibited from doing on Yom Kippur. Everyone knew (or guessed) four. The one nobody knew (or would say) was "marital relations." "Hmm," said the Rabbi. "I should have given this sermon last night."

Paul Kirchner said...

Obama finally went to church for the same reason he eventually started wearing a flag pin during the campaign. The problem is that you when you start doing something only after everyone has started wondering why you weren't doing it, it's too late to appear sincere.

There's only a couple of times I thought Obama was sincere. One was when he was mad at the Cambridge police, and one was when he stood up for the right to build the Ground Zero Mosque. There were probably a few other instances I can't recall.

I don't go to church because I choose to honor the Lord in my own way, by listening to blogging heads when Ann, Mickey, or that guy Pinkerton is on.