The Boston Globe hypothesizes:
As early as 2007, one poll indicated, Obama was seen as â€?strongly religiousâ€™â€™ by more voters than every presidential candidate except Republican Mitt Romney, whose Mormonism was the subject of intense news coverage.
Obamaâ€™s courtship of religious groups in the 2008 race - the most extensive ever by a Democratic candidate for president - paid off on Election Day with strong support among liberal and moderate religious voters. He won 54 percent of the Catholic vote, a stark reversal from four years earlier, when Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts, himself Catholic, lost the same group to Bush. ...
He named a best-selling book after a pastorâ€™s sermon and was outspoken as a candidate about the value of faith in public life. He infused stump speeches with phrases like â€?I am my brotherâ€™s keeper,â€™â€™ and made his journey to Christianity a central theme of the life story he shared with voters.
But since President Obama took office a year ago, his faith has largely receded from public view. He has attended church in the capital only four times, and worshiped half a dozen times at a secluded Camp David chapel. He prays privately, reads a â€?daily devotionalâ€™â€™ that aides send to his BlackBerry, and talks to pastors by phone, but seldom frames policies in spiritual terms.
The greater privacy reflects not a slackening of devotion, but a desire to shield his spirituality from the maw of politics and strike an inclusive tone at a time of competing national priorities and continuing partisan division, according to people close to the White House on faith issues.
â€?There are several ways that he is continuing to grow in his faith, all of them - or practically of all them - heâ€™s trying to keep as private and personal as possible so they will not be politicized,â€™â€™ said Pastor Joel C. Hunter, who is part of an inner circle of pastors the president consults by phone for spiritual guidance.
On the other, Barack Obama`s golf game has grown dramatically more public once he reached his life`s goal.
Look, wouldn`t the simplest explanation be that Obama was just yanking our chains about the Jesus stuff? That, as he admitted he was told in 1985, he`d need to join a church in Chicago if he expected to have a political career on the South Side. So he picked out the most radically leftist upscale one available? That he gave $53,770 to Rev. Wright`s Church in 2005-2007 in gratitude for helping him establish his blackness? As Alison Samuels reported in Newsweek on why Oprah quit Wright`s Church in the 1990s but Obama would not:
"Friends of Sen. Barack Obama, whose relationship with Wright has rocked his bid for the White House, insist that it would be unfair to compare Winfreyâ€™s decision to leave Trinity United with his own decision to stay. â€?[His] reasons for attending Trinity were totally different,â€? said one campaign adviser, who declined to be named discussing the Illinois senatorâ€™s sentiments. â€?Early on, he was in search of his identity as an African-American and, more importantly, as an African-American man. Reverend Wright and other male members of the church were instrumental in helping him understand the black experience in America. Winfrey wasnâ€™t going for that. Sheâ€™s secure in her blackness, so that didnâ€™t have a hold on her.â€?