"The church offered me a second insight: that faith doesn't mean that you don't have doubts. You need to come to church precisely because you are of this world, not apart from it; you need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away because you are human and need an ally in your difficult journey.
It was because of these newfound understandings that I was finally able to walk down the aisle of Trinity United Church of Christ one day and affirm my Christian faith. It came about as a choice, and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear. But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt I heard God’s spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth," - senator Barack Obama, speaking words that help explain his mysterious but powerful appeal right now.
His full address is well worth reading - and, in my view, the finest public speech on religion in public life in years.
(Photo: Obama and Clinton at the National Prayer Breakfast, 1 February 2007 in Washington, DC., by Brendan Smialowski/Getty.)