President Obama: 'Nothing Beats Scripture'

While hosting an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House yesterday, President Barack Obama told a group of Christian leaders that "there's something about the resurrection of our savior Jesus Christ that puts everything else into perspective." 

Obama, a Christian, said it was important to praise god for the "gift" of "his son, and our savior," Jesus Christ.

“And that’s why it’s important to have this breakfast,” Obama said. “In the middle of the these critical national debates, in the middle of our busy lives, we must make sure we keep everything in perspective. Children help do that. A strong spouse helps do that. But nothing beats scripture and the reminder of the eternal ... I pray that our time here this morning will strengthen us both individually as believers, and as Americans."

 

Well, here's some perspective, Mr. President: Millions of Americans are not "believers," and millions more practice a religion other than Christianity. So when you, as the leader of our secular democracy, refer to "our savior Jesus Christ," and say that "nothing" is better than your holy text for gaining perspective on life, you alienate millions of constituents who hold different views on life and religion than you. When you make such statements, you don't sound like a civilian leader of a secular nation. You sound like a member of the clergy.

Commemorating a holiday that carries great meaning for you and millions of Americans is one thing, Mr. President, but appearing to place a presidential stamp of approval on one religious view over others is not appropriate for someone in your position, especially while speaking at the White House. 

If you want to truly "keep everything in perspective," please remember that as president you represent not just Christians, but all Americans -- and a growing number of us live fulfilled and meaningful lives without prayer, the Bible, or Jesus.

 

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Comments

Won't happen. He will keep pretending during the second term in my opinion, and perhaps very late into his political career. Maybe as an old man, when he writes his memoir, he will "come out".
My view is that Obama is far too intelligent to take religion seriously. I think he made the (sadly necessary) calculation early in his political life that in order to get anywhere in American politics, one must pretend to be a believer. His mother was an atheist and an anthropologist, and if you read his autobiography, you find almost nothing in it about his Christianity. He started looking for a "church home" only after he became a public figure in Chicago. My hope is that in his second term, when he's safely beyond the reach of the loonies, he'll no longer feel the need to keep up the pretense.
People who are incorrectly defending Obama on the grounds that he is a private citizen speaking to a private religious group about his personal beliefs are ignoring the obvious context that the only reason he is speaking to this religious group from the White House at this time is because he is currently the President of the United States. Obama is speaking to this religious group as the President of the United States from the White House, a government building from which no other person could choose to publically speak without the current president's permission. This event is all about Obama's current government employment status as the President, everything that happened here follows from that fact and therefore is related to that fact, it is not possible to separate this event from his presidency.
I feel quite sick after that video. Is this an official function? Shouldn't he keep his own religious faith to his private life? This man is qualified to represent millions of people? The President of one of the most developed nations on earth bows his head with conviction while a religious leader screeches mumbo-jumbo? Of this we should feel reassured he has a firm grasp of reality? "The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence, from Jerusalem, of a lunatic asylum." - Havelock Ellis
He's a Christian, speaking to other Christians. These are his beliefs and he is entitled to them. If this were a State of the Union address, I would have a totally different opinion.
O.K., I am an atheist, but *you* are being very intolerant about this. He wasn't promoting Christianity to the general public. He was talking about his own religion to fellow members of his own religion. Merely belonging to a religion does not qualify as trying to force Christianity on anybody, no matter who you are. Does the first amendment magically not apply to presidents or something? Secondly, any religious belief (or lack thereof) he adopted would affiliate him with *somebody*. While Obama's Christianity is certainly politically expedient, it would only be "biased" if he were to impose it upon others, which he has been excellent about not doing. (Unlike some presidents I could mention)
I wouldn't get too upset about Obama's comments which in this instance panders to Christianity. He tries to be all things to all people and could just as easily blend in with athiests, agnostics, Muslims, Jews or whoever else he happens to be speaking to with equally appropriate comments.
Sometimes I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. It is amazing and scary that people not only find this type of rhetoric OK, but that anything less soaked in sacred scripture is blasphemous and shouldn't be tolerated.
I'm terribly disappointed that Obama would make such a biased statement.

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