By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
The New York Times reports that President Obama, having cut ties to his longtime pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, has assembled a circle of five evangelical spiritual advisers:
It's curious that the most recent evidence the story presents for a prayer-based phone call between these men and Obama dates back to early November. That's five months ago. Jakes was also present at a private Inauguration Day service that the president attended. But the Times offers no evidence of regular or more recent contact between Obama and what the article calls an "intimate inner circle" of spiritual advisers. So how much is Obama really relying on these folks for "spiritual succor," as the story claims?
Also worth noting: Two of the advisers, Kirbyjon Caldwell and T. D. Jakes, were (and still may be) close to former President George W. Bush. Jakes shadowed Bush on the president's belated trips to the South to respond to Hurricane Katrina. Caldwell presided over Jenna Bush's wedding. Like Bush, President Obama appears to be a man of strong faith and with a deep understanding of religion as a helpful political force. What better way for Obama to appeal to Bush's religious base than adopting some of W's spiritual advisers as his own?
Read the Times story here.