Blending politics and religion, Obama says his policies are an extension of Christian faith
By Associated Press, Published: February 2
WASHINGTON — Blending politics and religion, President Barack Obama said his Christian faith is a driving force behind his economic policies, from Wall Street reform to his calls for the wealthy to pay higher taxes.
Obama’s remarks Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast were his most explicit account of how his personal religious beliefs factor into his decision-making on the nation’s pressing problems. The comments came amid election-year criticism from Catholic groups and some Republicans that the president is waging a war on religion following his decision to require church-affiliated institutions to cover free birth control for employees.
Speaking to more than 3,000 people at the annual breakfast, Obama said “faith and values” should play as much as role in tackling the nation’s challenges as sound decision-making and smart policies.
He said, for example, that his own call for fairness in the tax code — a central tenet of his State of the Union address and his 2012 campaign — is both economically sound and consistent with the teachings of Jesus.
“If I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense,” he said. “But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.’ 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.”
[The Bible does not say: take from the rich and give to the poor. It says for each to give, which leaves it up to each individual. What is moral and right for one, does not mean it is moral and right for all.]
He also said the Wall Street reform he championed both “makes the economy stronger for everyone” and abides by God’s command to “love thy neighbor as thyself” because it helped people who had been hurt or treated unfairly by financial institutions.
And Obama said he believed in a “biblical call” to care for the poor and to follow “the responsibility we’re given in Proverbs to ‘Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.’”
The president’s remarks came one day after Mitt Romney, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, created a flap with clumsy comments about the poor.
Romney said wasn’t concerned about the “very poor” because they have a safety net. He also said he wasn’t concerned about the very rich and intended to focus his campaign on the middle class.
“You can focus on the very poor; that’s not my focus,” Romney said.
While the White House said the president’s remarks were not meant to be political, his comments did fit neatly into the Obama campaign’s effort to draw sharp contrasts between the president and Romney.
The former Massachusetts governor is among Republicans who have criticized the president for not exempting religious organizations from a requirement in the 2010 health care law that requires insurers to cover birth control for their employees. Romney said this week that the president was ordering “religious organizations to violate their conscience.”
GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Obama has “declared war on the Catholic Church,” and House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday the mandate violates the Constitution.
Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum castigated the policy and Obama’s remarks during a campaign stop in rural Fallon, Nev.
“He made the claim that his policies of taxing the rich is authorized by the Bible, that he is doing what is biblically called for by taxing the rich, by having the government tax the rich. Now, I’ve read the Bible, and I must have missed that passage,” Santorum told reporters. “This is an administration that attacks religion, and then tries to cloak itself in religion in order to take your money.”
Obama never mentioned the health care controversy in his remarks Thursday, nor did he reference his Republican rivals by name. But his broader defense of his policies was a rare interjection of politics into the annual prayer breakfast. The breakfast is organized by bipartisan congressional lawmakers, but speakers often avoid overt political references beyond calling for civility and respect in Washington.
While Obama speaks often about his faith, he prefers to worship in private. He said Thursday that he starts each morning with a brief prayer, then spends time reading scripture. Sometimes, he said, pastors come to the Oval Officer to pray with him, for his family and for the country.
He also described his own religious transformation in deeply personal language Thursday, from growing up in a non-religious home to finding Christ later in his life. He recalled a visit a few years ago with the evangelist Rev. Billy Graham, which ended with the president feeling compelled to pray for the aging Graham.
Obama said when he found himself at that moment not knowing what to say, the Holy Spirit interceded.
“I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment, asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong,” he said.
I heard this story on the news and then found the article online (link above). My first thought was of being ill that a man could write not one but two books celebrating his Muslim faith and then turn around and claim Christian beliefs and faith out. He usually snubs the annual Prayer breakfast –and honestly, a man who writes so much about his distaste for Christianity (except in election years), really should abstain from the activity.
In this election year, we compare his past to our future. We see his thoughts on his mother’s white race and her faith as being something to rebel against and rise above. We see his pandering to those that have stated repeatedly that they wish to kill us with his edicts to “stand with his Muslim brothers.”
A few quotes from his books:
From Dreams From My Father:
“I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.”
From Dreams From My Father :
“I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mother’s race.”
From Dreams From My Father:
“There was something about her that made me wary, a little too sure of herself, maybe and white.”
From Dreams From My Father:
“It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names.”
From Dreams From My Father:
“I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn’t speak to my own. It was into my father’s image, the black man, son of Africa , that I’d packed all the attributes I sought in myself: the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela.”
And FINALLY ……….. and most scary:
From Audacity of Hope:
“I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
Our president, who is supposed to defend our constitution and promote the spirit and letter of the law in the land, seems to want to punish everyone in our country in order to achieve his agenda. He has lied to us. He has stolen our futures. He is turning us into a 2nd and 3rd class country on all fronts.
We are no longer the home of the free—we are the home of the taxed. I want to see Congress and the President have to live under the same rules they make for the rest of us. Let them have the Obamacare that they are pushing onto every American.
I received this e-mail today from a relative….and found it very interesting. Something for us all to think about as we suffer through more speeches and hot air over the next few months:
The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present Monthly Fee of
$104.20 in 2012, rising to
$120.20 in 2013
$247.00 in 2014.
These are Provisions incorporated in the Obamacare Legislation, purposely
delayed so as not to confuse the 2012 Re-Election Campaigns. Send this
to all Seniors you know, so they will know who’s throwing them
under the bus.
REMEMBER THIS IN NOVEMBER 2012 AND VOTE!!!
From now through November 2012 this should be required weekly, or at least monthly, reading – BY ALL WHO VOTE!!!
Did you notice who Obama threatened when he wasn’t getting his way on raising the debt ceiling?
He threatened to not pay:
Social Security Retirees, Military Retirees, Social
Security disability and Federal Retirees.
Now… Let this sink in really good —
He did not threaten to stop payments to illegal aliens
He did not threatened to take frivolous benefits such as Internet access away from violent inmates
He did not offer to fire some of the thousands of unnecessary federal employees that he hired
He did not offer to cut down on his or his wife’s frivolous gallivanting around
He did not threaten to not pay the senators and representatives or any of their staff
He did not threaten to take benefits away from welfare recipients
He did not threaten the food stamp programs
He did not threaten to not pay foreign aid
He did not threaten to cut back on anything that involves his base voters
The list could go on and on. He is in full political re-election mode!
• Why are we allowing this person to destroy this wonderful country with his selfishness and his lies?
His type of change is killing our country. He needs to be stopped and only our votes can stop him.
• Do not forget about his tactics when it’s election time. Vote Obama out of the Presidency in 2012.
LET’S MAKE 2012 THE END OF AN ERROR!!
“Democracy… Is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
Liberty… Is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.” — Benjamin Franklin
ELECTION 2012 IS COMING!!!
A Nation of Sheep Breeds a Government of Wolves! Let’sTake a Stand!!!
Culture: Constitution, and the Bill of Rights!
Drug Free : Mandatory Drug Screening before Welfare!
NO freebies to: Non-Citizens!
We the people are coming
Only 86% will send this on. Should be 100%. What will you do?
By the way, I do NOT know who I am voting for in November, but I do know who I am not voting for. I want hope and change….but not the kind Obama brought with him.
I don’t care if you are black, white, purple or rainbow flavored….I want a leader.
I don’t care if you are Christian, Jewish or Muslim….I want freedom.
I don’t care if you male, female or transgendered….I want honor.
I don’t care if you are straight, gay, or asexual….I want integrity.
It’s about freedom, economy, and the pursuit of happiness. It’s about faith in country, state and self that makes this country what it can be.