We know President Obama hasn’t found a church yet (and no one on this side of the theological fence is upset about that).
Despite the lack of church, Laurie Goodstein of The New York Times writes that Obama has found a circle of religious friends to help guide him.
… [Obama] has quietly cultivated a handful of evangelical pastors for private prayer sessions on the telephone and for discussions on the role of religion in politics.
All are men, two of them white and three black — including the Rev. Otis Moss Jr., a graying lion of the civil rights movement. Two, the entrepreneurial dynamos Bishop T. D. Jakes and the Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, also served as occasional spiritual advisers to President George W. Bush. Another, the Rev. Jim Wallis, leans left on some issues, like military intervention and poverty programs, but opposes abortion.
None of these pastors are affiliated with the religious right, though several are quite conservative theologically…
But as a group they can hardly be characterized as part of the religious left either.
It’s not surprising that Obama would want this, though I’m not how necessary it is. He seems to have emotional support and intelligent people all around him on a constant basis — but this may help keep ties with the evangelical community.
I’m surprised to see that Pastor Rick Warren isn’t on the list given the way Obama stood by him during the Inauguration flap.
As long as these pastors aren’t steering Obama away from making the right decision on the hot-button social issues, I probably won’t give this “circle of five” a lot of thought.
(via Friendly Atheist Forums)