WASHINGTON--At a press conference in Aberdeen, S.D., Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the likely Democratic presidential nominee, announced tSaturday night that he and wife Michelle decided to quit Trinity United Church of Christ. This comes after Father Michael Pfleger insulted Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) from the Trinity pulpit last Sunday and after he denounced Triinity's Rev. Jeremiah Wright for his controversial sermons.
Obama said the family will not be in any hurry to pick a new church--not until January, when he knows if he will be living in the White House--and in the meantime they will visit other churches.
"I have to say this was one I didn't see coming. We knew there were going to be some things we didn't see coming. This was one. I didn't anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subject to such challenge and such scrutiny," said Obama. He said it has been months since he has been at the church, on Chicago's South Side. "I did not anticipate my fairly conventional Christian faith being subjected to such...scrutiny.
Obama sent a letter to the church with his resignation on Friday; Obama called the press conference after the letter leaked to veteran Chicago journalist Monroe Anderson, a contributor to Ebony and Jet. Otherwise, Obama said, he would have not made his resignation known at this time.
"My faith is not contingent on the particular church I belong to and I do not believe that I am going through a religious test," he said.