Obama Connects Public Policy Decisions to his Faith at National Prayer Breakfast Speech


President Barack Obama mixed faith and politics at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, telling a diverse audience of more than 3,000 that his policies are guided by his Christian faith.
U.S. President Barack Obama attends the 60th annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington, February 2, 2012.

The event has been a Washington institution for more than 60 years and provides a rare opportunity for lawmakers on opposite ends of the political spectrum to unite on one stage.
For the third time, Obama addressed the crowd and discussed the importance of prayer.
“These moments of prayer slow us down. They humble us,” Obama said.
He revealed some of his own spiritual habits, which include morning prayer, a devotion and daily scriptures from pastors like Joel Hunter and T.D. Jakes.
Obama also suggested that his politics of “shared responsibility” and higher taxes for the rich are shaped by the teachings of Jesus.
“For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required,'” Obama said.
“It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.”

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John Jessup
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President Obama took a markedly more political tone in his address at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning than he did at the same event last year.
The president talked about his public policy stances, including barring health insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions and reducing tax breaks for the wealthy, hand-in-hand with his faith, often citing snippets of popular Bible verses.
“[S]o when I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street…or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren’t taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy strong for everybody,” Obama said.
“But I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years, and I believe in God’s command to ‘love thy neighbor as thyself.'”
Obama’s speech last year was much more about his personal faith and family life. He had shared the previous year about the godmother of his two daughters who helped organize prayer groups for him across the country, and his personal prayer habits. He had also spoke about his non-religious upbringing and how he came to become a Christian, which he mentioned in passing at this year’s event.
In contrast to last year’s personal faith stories, attendees of the 60th National Prayer Breakfast – which takes place 10 months before the presidential election – were treated to Obama’s attempt to make a biblical case for his contentious economic policies.
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SOURCE: Christian Post
Michelle A. Vu