Obama says his policies are rooted in Christian faith

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WASHINGTON — Presi­dent Obama drew on the Bible and his interpretation of the Christian faith Thurs­day to deliver a sharp critique of his chief Republican rival’s economic program, speaking at a forum that in the past has been largely free of electoral politics.

"We're required to have a living, breathing, active faith," President Obama said Thursday during the National Prayer Breakfast.  SUSAN WALSH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
SUSAN WALSH/ASSOCIATED PRESS
"We're required to have a living, breathing, active faith," President Obama said Thursday during the National Prayer Breakfast.

Speaking to about 3,000 people at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama emphasized the importance of his Christian beliefs in his pol­itics and personal life, ar­guing that his efforts to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, promote health-insurance reform, help families with college tuition and send troops to prevent human rights abuses in Uganda were grounded in his faith.

“I think to myself, 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 … 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.’ ”

Obama’s remarks injected religion, a treacherous issue for him and Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, into the center of the race.

A Christian, Obama has faced voter doubts about his religious convictions for years. On Thursday, he affirmed his relationship with the Christian mainstream, which is terrain that Romney, a Mormon, has had some trouble navigating.

Obama described his “faith journey” in terms that coincide with the central themes of his re-election effort, drawing on biblical passages that have helped underpin what he has called “the social gospel.”

“The Bible teaches us to ‘be doers of the word and not merely hearers,’ ” he said. “We’re required to have a living, breathing, active faith in our own lives. And each of us is called on to give something of ourselves for the betterment of others.”

Although the Obamas have not regularly attended church in Washington, he noted Thursday that he prays each morning and speaks frequently with ministers and religious advisers.

Some conservative leaders reacted with disappointment to his remarks, saying that the president chose to politicize the prayer event.

Obama also has come under fire for his decision not to exempt faith-affiliated organizations, such as Catholic hospitals and universities, from a provision in the health-care law that requires employers to cover birth control without out-of-pocket costs in insurance plans. Churches and in­sti­tutions of worship are exempt.

The decision is emerging as a campaign issue, and some religious conservatives have argued that he is hostile to the practice of religion.

In his remarks Thursday, Obama did not directly join the debate. But he laid out a simple scriptural grounding for his policies: caring for the least of these, being one’s brother’s keeper, demanding much of those to whom much has been given. He went on at length about a meeting with the Rev. Billy Graham.

“I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment, asking God for guidance not just in my personal life … but in the life of this nation,” he said.

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howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/04/12 - 10:51 am
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Mr. President, last time I

Mr. President, last time I looked Christianity taught that you should not kill an innocent human life. You and your administration are demanding that even Catholic medical centers provide abortion services.

You can claim to be a Christian until you run out of breath, but the truth is always evidenced by your actions.

Until you stop promoting the murder of unborn babies, your politically-motivated claims to be a Christian are falling on deaf ears.

smbga
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smbga 02/04/12 - 06:07 pm
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christian???? not hardly.

christian???? not hardly.

Jane18
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Jane18 02/05/12 - 11:13 am
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Let's get that part of the

Let's get that part of the verse(Luke12:48) correctly said, "............For unto whomsoever much(plenty) is given, of him shall much be required(Greek meaning-seeking, worshipping--thankful to GOD):......... Obama needs to learn "if a man won't(not can't) work, don't feed him"(do not enable, personally or governmentally), and "But if any provide not for his own, and especially for his own house,he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel(heathen, unbeliever)". Anyone can say they are a Christian(in fact is a hypocrite), and ridicules, oppresses those that are trying to be a true Christian, is to blaspheme the word Christian. I'm sorry folks, everything I have ever seen and heard from Obama does not make me believe he is a Christian man. Not judging, just a thoughtful conclusion. "The social gospel"??? Where does that come from?

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Joyce Sanchez 02/05/12 - 05:53 pm
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He who does not sin cast the

He who does not sin cast the first stone...every last one of you need to calm down because last time I checked, noone has been the perfect Christian. And yes, I am Christian and I do not believe in abortions but at the end of the day, a woman will do what she wants with her body..

howcanweknow
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howcanweknow 02/06/12 - 01:31 pm
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"A woman will do what she

"A woman will do what she wants with her body." has absolutely no bearing on whether or not "what she wants" is morally correct. That's an odd statement.

Joyce, if I wanted to go next door and kill my neighbor, is that my right? Do I have the right to do what I want to an innocent human life?

No one is claiming to be perfect. Again, you are off-topic.

I don't care what a woman does with her body. That's not my business. Where I draw the line, however, is I believe a woman has no "right" to destroy the body of the person growing insider her. Any woman that demands the right to choose, yet then denies that same right to her unborn child is the worst hypocrite. Murder is not a right. It's not her body. It's the child's body that is relevant to the issue.

I say again, no "Christian" can willfully agree with the concept of abortion. That is a terrible contradiction in terms.

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