- The Washington Times - Monday, December 30, 2013

Noticeably absent from the first family’s Christmas season celebrations, say White House watchers: A trip to church.

The New York Times reported that President Obama and his family celebrated a “low-key Christmas” on vacation in Hawaii, minus the church service.

“Historically, watching the nation’s first family head to church dressed in their Sunday best, especially around the holiday season, was something of a ritual,” The New York Times said. “Yet Mr. Obama’s faith is a more complicated, more private and perhaps — religious and presidential historians say — a more inclusive affair.”

This year, however, it was an attendance-free affair.

Mr. Obama “has not gone to church hardly at all as president,” said Gary Scott, the author of “Faith and the Presidency,” The Blaze reported. “[It is] very unusual for a president not to attend” at least Christmas service.

CBS News reported, meanwhile, that Mr. Obama has only gone to church a total of 18 times during his entire time at the White House.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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