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Washington - Did Obama Tweet During Church Service?

Published on: January 21, 2013 07:47 PM
By: Reuters
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Washington - There was preaching, praying and singing at President Barack Obama’s church service on Inauguration Day on Monday. But was there tweeting, too?

As Atlanta pastor Andy Stanley wrapped up his sermon at St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House by urging Obama to leverage his power for the greater good, a tweet went out from the president’s own Twitter feed.

“I’m honored and grateful that we have a chance to finish what we started. Our work begins today. Let’s go. -bo,” said the tweet, which went to more than 26 million Obama followers.

Obama typically designates tweets that he writes himself by signing his initials in lowercase: “-bo.” That led to questions over whether the president had tweeted from church - and perhaps provided a new chapter in the debate over the appropriate use of social media.

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But a White House spokesman said Obama did not send the tweet in the middle of the church service.

That means it could have been done by Obama in advance and timed for release while he was in church, or that it was posted by Organizing for Action, the non-profit group that now operates the president’s Twitter account.

The new group, which is led by Obama’s former campaign team, plans to try to build public support for the president’s policies.

The group did not immediately comment on the authorship or timing of the tweet.

Even if Obama had sent out the tweet from church, such messages from the pew are no longer taboo, said Scott Williams, a pastor and consultant from Edmond, Oklahoma, who works with ministries to use social media to spread the word and engage members.

“It’s definitely OK - it’s relevant,” he said. He cited a verse from the prophet Isaiah: “Like a crane or a swallow, so did I twitter.”

“‘Thou shalt twitter in church’ is a way that I present it,” Williams said in an interview, noting that many people now used Bible apps on their mobile devices in the pews.

Stanley’s North Point Community Church in Atlanta produced a Christmas music video for iPhones and iPads that has been viewed 3.7 million times on YouTube, said Williams, who is familiar with the 33,000-member ministry.

Stanley delivered his sermon in a very “old-school” setting. St. John’s, a yellow church with white trim, was built in 1816 and often is called the “Church of the Presidents” because every president since James Madison has attended it at least occasionally.

The service included a mix of traditional hymns such as “Oh God, Our Help in Ages Past,” a gospel solo by singer Ledisi, and an African-American spiritual, “Great Day.” It also included readings and prayers from Jewish, Christian and Catholic clergy.

Stanley talked about a passage in the Bible where Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, setting an example of equality.

“What do you do when it dawns on you that you’re the most powerful person in the room? You leverage that power for the benefit of other people in the room,” Stanley said.

“Mister President, you have an awfully big room,” the pastor said. “It’s as big as our nation. At times, as you know, it’s as big as this world.”


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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 21, 2013 at 08:07 PM PashutehYid Says:

When that happens, you have to re-eat the wafer.

2

 Jan 21, 2013 at 08:23 PM Samuel Says:

Interesting that the goyim think it is ok to witter during services and lectures but try that in a schule on shabbat and see what happens where is their Havana or even respect. I also have to say i am surprised to see this article on vine full of non Jewish biblical quoted from non Jewish biblical clergy.

3

 Jan 21, 2013 at 08:45 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Samuel Says:

Interesting that the goyim think it is ok to witter during services and lectures but try that in a schule on shabbat and see what happens where is their Havana or even respect. I also have to say i am surprised to see this article on vine full of non Jewish biblical quoted from non Jewish biblical clergy.

Isaiah is in the Jewish Bible

4

 Jan 21, 2013 at 08:55 PM Kzler Says:

Reply to #1  
PashutehYid Says:

When that happens, you have to re-eat the wafer.

The wafer is given during catholic services

5

 Jan 21, 2013 at 09:13 PM DRE53 Says:

Time for a citifield kinus

6

 Jan 21, 2013 at 09:23 PM aaron Says:

Reply to #2  
Samuel Says:

Interesting that the goyim think it is ok to witter during services and lectures but try that in a schule on shabbat and see what happens where is their Havana or even respect. I also have to say i am surprised to see this article on vine full of non Jewish biblical quoted from non Jewish biblical clergy.

yeah, but frum Jews use their cells during weekday minyanim all the time (in many shuls I've seen at least)

7

 Jan 21, 2013 at 09:58 PM Gabbai Says:

Let's be Don L'Kaf Z'chus ... Maybe he tweeted Bein Gavroh L'Gavroh (L'havdil).

8

 Jan 21, 2013 at 11:50 PM Ahuvah54 Says:

Talk about being l'havdil dan l'chaf zchus, the writers of this article, after calling him out on something may very well have done, then gave every possible excuse for how it didn't have to be him -- but even if it was it's okay.
You know, it's a real mussar shmuess--a lesson in how we can go out of our way, bend over backwards even if it's ridiculous, to judge someone favorably, even while evidence to the contrary is staring us straight in the face.
Yes, I *am* being sarcastic.
This day did not bring me joy.

9

 Jan 22, 2013 at 05:14 AM Anonymous Says:

the pres has no time for Hashem since he thinks he is Paroah and created the world. the pres is so in love with himself it stinks

10

 Jan 22, 2013 at 08:40 AM Anonymous Says:

Great to see a president really exclaim his way of life in a church service. I am all for Mr. Obama. I like to read that he has something different than a lie called Jesus on his mind when he is supposed to be 'praying'. He is lifting the world. Good job.

11

 Jan 22, 2013 at 09:01 AM Kzler Says:

Reply to #7  
Gabbai Says:

Let's be Don L'Kaf Z'chus ... Maybe he tweeted Bein Gavroh L'Gavroh (L'havdil).

I wonder what you achieved with your nonsensical posting and could you give a logical and succint reply

12

 Jan 22, 2013 at 11:46 AM FinVeeNemtMenSeichel Says:

What a typo! Dontcha mean "mosque?"

Anyhow I was appalled to see so many oisgehaltene yidden on their wireless devices during the asifeh.

13

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