K. Lo, the classiest woman with three names working at the National Review and writing on a regular basis for the Corner:
I'll give this to Obama: It's all bogus, his quitting Trinity doesn't exonerate him. But at least he didn't quit his church over a bike trail like another Dem we know.
Ha! Get it? No, me neither.
Lopez is referring to Howard Dean's leaving his church over their opposition to a bike path that would have crossed through a railroad bed that the church had partial control over. The lawsuit, incidentally, was a big deal, lasting over a decade before the church eventually dropped their opposition to the path.
Was it something worth leaving a church over? Much like the initial decision to join a church, that's up to each individual believer. But, in our ridiculous discourse, we pretend like leaving your church over anything short of your preacher making national news as 2008's Scariest Negro is evidence of a lack of seriousness about your faith. The rub, though, is that as a Democrat, Obama's fundamentally fucked no matter which way he goes. He only joined the church (and stayed there for 20 years) as a cheap political ploy; he only stuck with it to avoid political shame and is only leaving because he can't afford not to. Look for his faith to be roundly mocked by the same Kool Kids Klub that found Dean's choice so roundly hilarious...and found themselves roundly ignorant of the purpose of faith.
The intersection of politics and faith finds itself largely dominated by the same dynamic that dominates anything the media thinks us regular Frito-eaters do - stuck firmly in a view of idyllic 1950s America, theorized about by our pundit class and revolving around a narrative that's largely driven by the communal desire to be Tim Russert, there's a whole list of Things Regular People Do And Don't Do.
Regular People don't eat arugala. They don't even know what it is.
Regular People can tell you down to the cent how much they paid for milk.
Regular People pick a church and stick with it forever. And ever. And if you try to pull them out of it, you'll probably be faced with some sort of heartwarming community action involving a wacky carnival, a fat kid finally losing the weight that he's been hiding behind all his life, and the town tomboy finally letting her hair down and having her first kiss with the boy of her dreams.
That, or a shotgun to the face. Really depends on if you're talking about Chris Matthews or Maureen Dowd.
However, in actual real life as not imagined by cable news, people leave churches all the time, for reasons far less defined than a church's