Obama's Faith a Private Influence

Obama's spirituality is a private matter, but largely influential in his decision making...

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President Obama has a private relationship with his god, but one that influences his job. From The Washington Post

More than a year into his presidency, Obama has not chosen a church in Washington, and has attended services just four times. No single figure has assumed the role of spiritual adviser -- publicly, at least -- or filled the vacancy created when Obama disavowed his former Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

When Obama appears at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Thursday morning -- a regular presidential ritual -- it will mark the rare occasion when he puts religion in the foreground. In that appearance, he will discuss "the need for civility in the public square, and how Americans can work together in a spirit of goodwill," a senior administration official said.

Yet close advisers to the president said the role of faith, while subtle, has been noticeable in and around the Obama White House. One senior official described the president as "a prayerful guy." Another said that Obama has consulted religious leaders less often for his own personal guidance than for help walking through major public decisions -- such as during the Afghanistan review process, when he sought advice on the ethical implications of war.

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