From this month’s Ebony magazine:

The Obama Family Still Hasn’t Found a Church
an unsolicited recommendation
February 2, 2009
By Eric Easter

Dear Mr. President:

Now that you’ve become President and an official resident of
Washington,D.C., you’ll be looking for another place to call your
church home. It won’t be easy, wherever you go it’s going to be tough
on the pastor and the congregation. Anything said from the pulpit will
be scrutinized, and every utterance the pastor has made on video or in
print will be gone through with a fine-tooth comb.

You don’t need that kind of hassle. No, my friend, you need to just go
a whole other route. No more shouting, no more histrionics, no more
politicking from the pulpit.

May I suggest a lovely solution? The Episcopal Church. And no, I don’t
mean A.M.E. they’re still a little loud. I mean the full-on candles,
incense, altar boys and stained glass Anglican experience. It’s been
the default solution for “quietly political” Black folk for nearly two
centuries now. The list of powerful and influential Episcopalians is
miles long. You won’t have to worry about militants,  that just
wouldn’t be polite. Episcopalians don’t agitate, they negotiate.

Here are a few more reasons:

1. Plenty of time for reflection. Unwarranted noises like
hand-clapping and “Amen” are pretty much frowned upon. Episcopalians
run things during the week; we want a nice nap, not a show. And
anyway, if we wanted a show we’d
go see “Jersey Boys.”

2. None of that pesky theology stuff. “Christ has died. Christ has
risen. Christ will come again. Allelulia.” That about sums it up. You
can fake the rest.

3. Real wine. Nothing says communion like a tawny port.

4. Catholicism without the guilt. All the pomp and circumstance and
none of the confession.

5. Good exercise. Kneel. Get up. Kneel. Get up. Kneel. Get back up
again. Great training for basketball.

6. Ambiguity. Half the church wants gay priests, the other half
doesn’t. But people are way too polite to say which side they’re on.
You’ll never have to decide. Perfect!

7. Nobody questions your faith. Most of us Episcopalians are
borderline atheists hedging our bets just in case all that God stuff
turns out to be true. Who are we to cast stones?

8. Flattery. The congregations are so old, you’ll feel wonderful when
the Senior Warden asks you to head up the new Youth Fellowship group –
even though you’re 46.

9. Fast services. 90 minutes -2 hours tops. You can hit the 8am mass
and be back in time to pick up croissants, The New York Times and
watch Meet the Press. Or better, get in 9 holes, hit the 10:30 service
and still have friends over for brunch.

10. It’s press-friendly. Juan Williams. Bernie Shaw. Clarence Page.
Jack White. Carol Randolph. William Raspberry – and that s just at one
church in DC.

11. History. 26.2% of all former presidents have been Episcopalian,
despite only being 15% of the population. That’s great company.

12. No fancy preachers. Father David wants to get paid how much? Fire him!

13. Only four required days of attendance. Show up more if you want,
but remember these dates: Palm Sunday. Easter, Christmas Eve, Golf
Outing. Other than that, send a check and you’re good.

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.

Eric Easter is Chief of Digital Strategy for Johnson Publishing, Co.,
Inc. He writes about politics, culture and technology for


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