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Des Moines Register: Obama Talks Faith, Politics In Sioux City

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Location: Sioux CIty, IA

Des Moines Register: Obama talks faith, politics in Sioux City

By Maggie O'Brien

Barack Obama is a longtime member of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. But these days, the Democratic presidential candidate rarely attends religious services there.

Obama instead finds himself visiting churches in other cities, as he did today while on the campaign trail in Sioux City. He joined the 300-member, predominantly African American congregation of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in their Palm Sunday celebration.

The event was part of a weekend western Iowa debut that also included Saturday stops in Council Bluffs, Denison and Onawa.

"What a wonderful church you have," Obama said after relaying a hello from his pastor in Chicago. "I miss my own church. ... I've been going to everyone else's churches."

Obama, a member of the 10,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ since 1988, has spoken about his faith, the socially progressive United Church of Christ and the need for Democrats to listen to the thoughts of religious Americans.

"Of all the churches he could have gone to in Sioux City, he chose to come to Mt. Zion and we're blessed by that," the Rev. Dr. Floyd E. Brown said of Obama's visit.

Obama gave his remarks immediately following a late-morning service. He talked politics; namely, his positions on health care, the war in Iraq and education.

But the majority of Obama's comments before churchgoers revealed a personal side to the celebrity candidate. The U.S. senator from Illinois touched on his faith and talked about early days as a young man living in Chicago.

Obama challenged the congregation to get involved in the race for the White House, regardless of which candidate they support.

"I want you to be involved in this election. ... There is too much at stake," he said. "This is your country and we shouldn't settle for less. We shouldn't settle for a situation in which it only works for a lucky few.

"At every juncture in our history, when ordinary people asked for change, change has come."

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