On Friday, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said in an exclusive Newsmax interview that President Obama could deal with doubts about his faith by “leading the example of attending worship.”
The former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate also slammed President Obama, saying he has been treating Muslims better than Jews and Christians. [See story and video: Huckabee: Obama Treats Muslims Better Than Jew, Christians.]
Huckabee's complaint apparently shook up the White House over the weekend.
On Sunday, Obama attended services at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, just the third time he has worshipped in public since he took office.
Politico.com columnist Ben Smith noted the connection, suggesting that the Newsmax story motivated Obama's sudden interest in church.
Smith quoted from Huckabee’s Newsmax interview and provided a link to a website that excerpted a key portion of the interview.
Smith wrote on Sunday: “Since arriving in Washington as president, Obama — who was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago — has largely chosen not to attend public church services because of the possible disruptions his presence, and the increased security, would cause a congregation.
“At the Values Voter Summit on Saturday, Mike Huckabee was quoted as saying that Obama could quell rumors about his faith by ‘leading the example of attending worship’ and mentioned that Obama once talked of finding a home church in Washington. ‘I hope he’s still mapping that out,’ Huckabee said.”
In his Newsmax interview, Huckabee was asked about a recent poll showing that a fifth of Americans are not sure that Obama is actually a Christian.
Huckabee said: “Well, it would be helpful if he would participate in things like the National Day of Prayer that all the other Presidents have participated in.
"He certainly was downtown to host a Ramadan dinner.
“But you know, I'm not going to question his faith or whether he's a Christian or not, but it certainly would be helpful if he would show a little love to the people who are unapologetically Christian, and I think there's some things [like] being part of the National Day of Prayer that would go a long way toward that, and leading the example of attending worship.
“He said one of his highest priorities when he got to Washington would be to find a church. I hope he's still mapping that out.”
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