Obama Resigns From Trinity Church

From CBS News' Dean Reynolds:


CHICAGO -- Barack Obama has formally resigned from his church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

It had to have been a painful decision, as Obama just cut the line to his religious anchor, but the church had become a weapon for his political enemies. The Trinity Church was the place Obama called his religious home. A place where he was married. Where his children were baptized. Where he was friends with the congregation and its minister, Jeremiah Wright.

When Obama came to Chicago his religious devotion was spotty. His family was not devout. His father, who left the family when Obama was two, was a non-practicing Muslim. So as Obama began his work as a community organizer on the city's South Side he became acquainted with the leaders of neighborhoods. And they were often preachers. Indeed, Obama tells a story of how he was admonished once that if he wanted to be effective with churchgoers in his adopted city, he might do well to join one of those churches.

And so he joined Trinity United.

By all accounts, he was not religious about attending. He says he never heard the incendiary remarks that Wright made infamous, with help from YouTube. Obama was not present when Rev. Michael Pfleger, the pastor of St. Sabina's Catholic Church, offered up his inflammatory comments last Sunday at the same pulpit from which Wright – now retired – once spoke.

Campaign spokesperson, Robert Gibbs, confirmed to the traveling press this evening that Michelle and Barack Obama have "left the church."
  • Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.

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