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February 3rd, 2011
04:07 PM ET

President Obama's remarks at National Prayer Breakfast

Here's the White House transcript of President Barack Obama's address Thursday morning to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington:

I want to begin by just saying a word to Mark Kelly, who’s here. We have been praying for Mark’s wife, Gabby Giffords, for many days now. But I want Gabby and Mark and their entire family to know that we are with them for the long haul, and God is with them for the long haul.

And even as we pray for Gabby in the aftermath of a tragedy here at home, we're also mindful of the violence that we're now seeing in the Middle East, and we pray that the violence in Egypt will end and that the rights and aspirations of the Egyptian people will be realized and that a better day will dawn over Egypt and throughout the world.

For almost 60 years, going back to President Eisenhower, this gathering has been attended by our President. It’s a tradition that I'm proud to uphold not only as a fellow believer but as an elected leader whose entry into public service was actually through the church.

This may come as a surprise, for as some of you know, I did not come from a particularly religious family. My father, who I barely knew - I only met once for a month in my entire life - was said to be a non-believer throughout his life.

My mother, whose parents were Baptist and Methodist, grew up with a certain skepticism about organized religion, and she usually only took me to church on Easter and Christmas - sometimes. And yet my mother was also one of the most spiritual people that I ever knew. She was somebody who was instinctively guided by the Golden Rule and who nagged me constantly about the homespun values of her Kansas upbringing, values like honesty and hard work and kindness and fair play.

And it’s because of her that I came to understand the equal worth of all men and all women, and the imperatives of an ethical life and the necessity to act on your beliefs. And it’s because of her example and guidance that despite the absence of a formal religious upbringing my earliest inspirations for a life of service ended up being the faith leaders of the civil rights movement.

There was, of course, Martin Luther King and the Baptist leaders, the ways in which they helped those who had been subjugated to make a way out of no way, and transform a nation through the force of love. But there were also Catholic leaders like Father Theodore Heshburg, and Jewish leaders like Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Muslim leaders and Hindu leaders. Their call to fix what was broken in our world, a call rooted in faith, is what led me just a few years out of college to sign up as a community organizer for a group of churches on the Southside of Chicago. And it was through that experience working with pastors and laypeople trying to heal the wounds of hurting neighborhoods that I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace Him as my lord and savior.

Now, that was over 20 years ago. And like all of us, my faith journey has had its twists and turns. It hasn’t always been a straight line. I have thanked God for the joys of parenthood and Michelle’s willingness to put up with me. (Laughter.) In the wake of failures and disappointments I've questioned what God had in store for me and been reminded that God’s plans for us may not always match our own short-sighted desires.

And let me tell you, these past two years, they have deepened my faith. The presidency has a funny way of making a person feel the need to pray. Abe Lincoln said, as many of you know, “I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had no place else to go.”

Fortunately, I'm not alone in my prayers. Pastor friends like Joel Hunter and T.D. Jakes come over to the Oval Office every once in a while to pray with me and pray for the nation. The chapel at Camp David has provided consistent respite and fellowship. The director of our Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership’s office, Joshua DuBois - young minister himself - he starts my morning off with meditations from Scripture.

Most of all, I've got friends around the country - some who I know, some who I don’t know, but I know their friends who are out there praying for me. One of them is an old friend named Kaye Wilson. In our family we call her Momma Kaye. And she happens to be Malia and Sasha’s godmother. And she has organized prayer circles for me all around the country. She started small with her own Bible study group, but once I started running for President and she heard what they were saying about me on cable, she felt the need to pray harder. By the time I was elected President, she says, “I just couldn’t keep up on my own.” “I was having to pray eight, nine times a day just for you.” So she enlisted help from around the country.

It’s also comforting to know that people are praying for you who don’t always agree with you. Tom Coburn, for example, is here. He is not only a dear friend but also a brother in Christ. We came into the Senate at the same time. Even though we are on opposite sides of a whole bunch of issues, part of what has bound us together is a shared faith, a recognition that we pray to and serve the same God. And I keep praying that God will show him the light and he will vote with me once in a while. It’s going to happen, Tom. A ray of light is going to beam down.

My Christian faith then has been a sustaining force for me over these last few years. All the more so, when Michelle and I hear our faith questioned from time to time, we are reminded that ultimately what matters is not what other people say about us but whether we're being true to our conscience and true to our God. “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well.”

As I travel across the country folks often ask me what is it that I pray for. And like most of you, my prayers sometimes are general: Lord, give me the strength to meet the challenges of my office. Sometimes they’re specific: Lord, give me patience as I watch Malia go to her first dance - (laughter) - where there will be boys. (Laughter.) Lord, have that skirt get longer as she travels to that dance. (Laughter.)

But while I petition God for a whole range of things, there are a few common themes that do recur. The first category of prayer comes out of the urgency of the Old Testament prophets and the Gospel itself. I pray for my ability to help those who are struggling. Christian tradition teaches that one day the world will be turned right side up and everything will return as it should be. But until that day, we're called to work on behalf of a God that chose justice and mercy and compassion to the most vulnerable.

We've seen a lot of hardship these past two years. Not a day passes when I don't get a letter from somebody or meet someone who’s out of work or lost their home or without health care. The story Randall told about his father - that's a story that a whole lot of Americans have gone through over these past couple of years.

Sometimes I can't help right away. Sometimes what I can do to try to improve the economy or to curb foreclosures or to help deal with the health care system - sometimes it seems so distant and so remote, so profoundly inadequate to the enormity of the need. And it is my faith, then, that biblical injunction to serve the least of these, that keeps me going and that keeps me from being overwhelmed. It’s faith that reminds me that despite being just one very imperfect man, I can still help whoever I can, however I can, wherever I can, for as long as I can, and that somehow God will buttress these efforts.

It also helps to know that none of us are alone in answering this call. It’s being taken up each and every day by so many of you - back home, your churches, your temples and synagogues, your fellow congregants - so many faith groups across this great country of ours.

I came upon a group recently called “charity: water,” a group that supports clean water projects overseas. This is a project that was started by a former nightclub promoter named Scott Harrison who grew weary of living only for himself and feeling like he wasn’t following Christ as well as he should.

And because of Scott’s good work, “charity: water” has helped 1.7 million people get access to clean water. And in the next 10 years, he plans to make clean water accessible to a hundred million more. That’s the kind of promoting we need more of, and that’s the kind of faith that moves mountains. And there’s stories like that scattered across this room of people who’ve taken it upon themselves to make a difference.

Now, sometimes faith groups can do the work of caring for the least of these on their own; sometimes they need a partner, whether it’s in business or government. And that’s why my administration has taken a fresh look at the way we organize with faith groups, the way we work with faith groups through our Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

And through that office, we’re expanding the way faith groups can partner with our government. We’re helping them feed more kids who otherwise would go hungry. We’re helping fatherhood groups get dads the support they need to be there for their children. We’re working with non-profits to improve the lives of people around the world. And we’re doing it in ways that are aligned with our constitutional principles. And in this work, we intend to expand it in the days ahead, rooted in the notions of partnership and justice and the imperatives to help the poor.

Of course there are some needs that require more resources than faith groups have at their disposal. There’s only so much a church can do to help all the families in need - all those who need help making a mortgage payment, or avoiding foreclosure, or making sure their child can go to college. There’s only so much that a nonprofit can do to help a community rebuild in the wake of disaster. There’s only so much the private sector will do to help folks who are desperately sick get the care that they need.

And that's why I continue to believe that in a caring and in a just society, government must have a role to play; that our values, our love and our charity must find expression not just in our families, not just in our places of work and our places of worship, but also in our government and in our politics.

Over the past two years, the nature of these obligations, the proper role of government has obviously been the subject of enormous controversy. And the debates have been fierce as one side’s version of compassion and community may be interpreted by the other side as an oppressive and irresponsible expansion of the state or an unacceptable restriction on individual freedom.

That's why a second recurring theme in my prayers is a prayer for humility. Now, God answered this prayer for me early on by having me marry Michelle. Because whether it’s reminding me of a chore undone, or questioning the wisdom of watching my third football game in a row on Sunday, she keeps me humble.

But in this life of politics when debates have become so bitterly polarized, and changes in the media lead so many of us just to listen to those who reinforce our existing biases, it’s useful to go back to Scripture to remind ourselves that none of has all the answers - none of us, no matter what our political party or our station in life.

The full breadth of human knowledge is like a grain of sand in God’s hands. And there are some mysteries in this world we cannot fully comprehend. As it’s written in Job, “God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways. He does great things beyond our understandings.”

The challenge I find then is to balance this uncertainty, this humility, with the need to fight for deeply held convictions, to be open to other points of view but firm in our core principles. And I pray for this wisdom every day.

I pray that God will show me and all of us the limits of our understanding, and open our ears and our hearts to our brothers and sisters with different points of view; that such reminders of our shared hopes and our shared dreams and our shared limitations as children of God will reveal the way forward that we can travel together.

And the last recurring theme, one that binds all prayers together, is that I might walk closer with God and make that walk my first and most important task.

In our own lives it’s easy to be consumed by our daily worries and our daily concerns. And it is even easier at a time when everybody is busy, everybody is stressed, and everybody - our culture is obsessed with wealth and power and celebrity. And often it takes a brush with hardship or tragedy to shake us out of that, to remind us of what matters most.

We see an aging parent wither under a long illness, or we lose a daughter or a husband in Afghanistan, we watch a gunman open fire in a supermarket - and we remember how fleeting life can be. And we ask ourselves how have we treated others, whether we’ve told our family and friends how much we love them. And it’s in these moments, when we feel most intensely our mortality and our own flaws and the sins of the world, that we most desperately seek to touch the face of God.

So my prayer this morning is that we might seek His face not only in those moments, but each and every day; that every day as we go through the hustle and bustle of our lives, whether it’s in Washington or Hollywood or anywhere in between, that we might every so often rise above the here and now, and kneel before the Eternal; that we might remember, Kaye, the fact that those who wait on the Lord will soar on wings like eagles, and they will run and not be weary, and they will walk and not faint.

When I wake in the morning, I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to give me the strength to do right by our country and its people. And when I go to bed at night I wait on the Lord, and I ask Him to forgive me my sins, and look after my family and the American people, and make me an instrument of His will.

I say these prayers hoping they will be answered, and I say these prayers knowing that I must work and must sacrifice and must serve to see them answered. But I also say these prayers knowing that the act of prayer itself is a source of strength. It’s a reminder that our time on Earth is not just about us; that when we open ourselves to the possibility that God might have a larger purpose for our lives, there’s a chance that somehow, in ways that we may never fully know, God will use us well.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may He bless this country that we love.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics • Prayer

soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. W247

    John Jay, it's best not to take things out of context and twist it to make your point. Ms. Wyman divorced him, he did not divorce her, this was not her first divorce either. This was Nancy's first marriage.

    Let's talk about being judgmental here. You do not know the situation around their divorce. You do not know how hard Ronald may have tried to stop Ms. Wyman from divorcing him. So don't judge until you know the facts. Take that wood plank out of your eye my friend.

    February 4, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  2. JohnJay60

    President Reagan specifically violates Jesus' prohibition on divorce in Matthew 5:31.

    IIf we'd had an internet in the 1980's, would the right wing be criticizing Reagan for hypocrisy in attending a prayer breakfast while in violation of Jesus' commandments? Nancy is guilty of adultery by marrying Ronald, apparently, if we read this literally as we are told we should.

    February 4, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  3. Sir Craig

    By the way, for anyone here who believes prayer actually accomplishes anything other than being a short-term "warm fuzzy" one gives one's self, ask yourself this question: Who are the HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people who go to bed each night, praying that poverty endures and increases, starvation and tyranny remain rampant, and people will continue to fight and kill one another because someone's idea of a god doesn't match their own? Because if prayer actually worked, then there must be an awful lot of people out there who are praying for exactly that.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  4. Sir Craig

    "For almost 60 years, going back to President Eisenhower, [prayer breakfasts have] been attended by our President. It’s a tradition that I'm proud to uphold not only as a fellow believer but as an elected leader whose entry into public service was actually through the church."

    Someday I hope to see a president be able to say to the country, "No, I'm not attending a prayer breakfast because I believe personal involvement, not prayer, will actually accomplish something. If you wish to have a prayer breakfast, fine, go right ahead, but in the meantime I will be doing what I can to improve this country through actions and behavior."

    Somehow I doubt I will ever see that in my lifetime.

    February 4, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  5. PrayingWoman

    Him confessing what he believes isn't good enough for "some people" I believe that it comes from personal prejudices and personal opinions rather than facts that they have seen (read the speech) heard (listened to the speech) and know to be true...Praying for everyone because we need it. Tell me this, what was John McCain's religion and where did Sarah Palin go to church? Do they even believe in God? Ok..i'll wait....

    February 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • W247

      Let's put it this way PW. If I tell you that I am a Christian, that I have confessed all my sins to the Lord. Then go out and have an affair, get drunk on Saturday night at the Adult club and then come home and beat my kids, and I allowing the Lord to work in my life?
      Again, there is a difference between having God as your Savior or having Him as your Lord. He saved my from my sins, in turn I am constantly seeking to have a better relationship with Him. If I am trying to have a better relationship with Him, then I am less likely to want to go to the bars or beat my kids – or support legislation that is in direct conflict to what He teaches me.

      February 4, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  6. Lizabet

    You folk in the US are blessed to have Barack Obama as your president. What a remarkable man. Good for the American people who brought him to the White House. -God's continuing grace on him.

    February 4, 2011 at 11:21 am |
  7. Liz

    "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life." -Barack Obama

    How was that not enough?

    February 4, 2011 at 9:11 am |
    • W247

      Liz, there is a difference between asking to be forgiven of your sins, and actually making God the Lord of your life. He will forgive you if you ask Him, but He also gives you the option to walk away and not accept Him as your Lord as well. Very distinct difference there.

      February 4, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  8. sgayres

    I'm an atheist. I'm not completely sure if Obama believes in a god. We know very little about him. He is an expert at effectively relaying a pre-written speech to targeted groups, but he is a failure at effectively telling us where he actually stands on a given issue until (I'm assuming) he is told what stand is advantageous. A good recent example is his severe miscalculation when he decided to finally "rule" on the situation in Egypt. This is what happens when you speak to get votes and are guarded about your true feelings. Say what you will about Republicans – at least you know how they feel on minute issues.

    A good religious Obama example is gay marriage. All Obama supporters who voted with the "gay hot button" should know how both he and Biden answered the gay marriage question during their respective pre-election debates. If you are gay, voted for Obama, but need to Google this info, you deserve what you are going to get if you intend to rely on this administration to set the stage for the US's security – both military and financial.

    February 4, 2011 at 5:55 am |
    • John ad

      Would you like to have the likes of George W. back in office?
      In addition to your bias your political naivety is also showing.
      Give Obama some time,’ Rome wasn’t built in a day’. ("Et tu, Brute?")

      February 4, 2011 at 11:20 am |
  9. Wutend

    I wonder why CNN removed all the previous comments.

    February 4, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  10. Reality

    BO still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian i.e. one who respects and protects human life in all its forms.

    February 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm |
    • Darryl

      Does that comment make any sense?

      February 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
  11. Dana

    Praise God for a Christian President. Let us continuously keep him in our daily prayers. It is obvious that the Lord has preordained him to be in office at such a time as this one. Therefore, he will lead, protect and guide him in every area of his life and career. It's sad that through blindness and ignorance some american's believe he is a muslim.

    February 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm |
    • W247

      Why is it obvious that the Lord "pre-ordained" him as the president? Do you presume to know what the Lord is doing or the decisions He is making? Remember, historically we asked for a king and that didn't go to well, same thing when we had judges. He gave us what we (as a country) asked for.

      February 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm |
    • paulm5545

      He was not pre-ordained – he was voted into office. He is a professional politician – not a religious figure, example or leader. He tells his audience of the day what they want to hear. Let us not forget the "Christian" pastor he once called friend and mentor and who blessed his marriage and kids. The ONLY reason he no longer belongs to that church is because the "gospel" of the pastor were brought to light...and even then Mr. Obama said he could not disown him anymore then he could disown his own grandmother. Even the pastor ("Rev." Wright) said the main reason Obama left his parish was because of politics. Could Obama have changed? I suppose so, but pre-ordained by God? That is outright silly and reminiscent of the Middle Ages. What's next...sainthood?

      February 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Pam

      Dana, if he is such a Christian, then why did he omit the word "God" twice when reciting our Declaration of Independence? He is the far left and probably Muslim's "Weapon of Mass Deception"!!!!!!

      February 4, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  12. Louis Demetriades

    President Obama said,"Jesus Christ is my personal Savior." The President said it, I believe he told the truth, from his heart. Amen! Judge not lest ye be judged!

    February 3, 2011 at 9:49 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Louis Demetriades,
      We cannot judge hearts...only actions.

      February 4, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • W247

      There is a huge difference between having the Lord as the Savior of your life versus having him be the LORD of your life. By asking Him to forgive you of your sins, He has saved you, now allow him into all parts of your life so that He can be the Lord of your life. Not sure if Obama has gone that far yet.

      February 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Dee

      Agree with the statement there is a difference between asking Christ into your life and your Lord and Savior, and actually letting him be THE Lord of your life... well said!
      and YES there is a huge difference. Lets just remember to pray without ceasing for our president, and the government ALWAYS!

      February 6, 2011 at 12:53 am |
  13. Muneef

    Obama means what he says.

    February 3, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
    • W247

      But it's what he is not saying that worries me. There is a bit of slickness about him that causes me to take a step back and really wonder what he means or what he is doing. I am not saying that it is a false humility or honesty, but there are times when his words and actions do seem to be carefully contrived to the audience he is addressing. Who is the real Obama?

      February 4, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well I find leaders speaking less achieve more than those who talking all the time. Another thing your media is so concentrated that he would to explain and reexplain each word he said and if any mistake he says they will fuss of as happened to few that had to appologise for saying or choosing to say the wrong words or if mistranslated they become in trouble with media... And there are things not every thing you can speak of openly as a leader or as personal informations ?! Such case of sensitivity it is wiser to speak less and do more...

      February 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  14. Kent Kloter

    President Obama appears to be willing to tell any audience what he believes they want to hear.
    When with Christians, talk about their God, when with Muslims, talk about their god.
    Much of what he has championed is in direct contradiction to the Jesus has claims is his Lord.
    It's one thing to fail in weak moments, it is entirely something else to consistently pursue something that is diametrically apposed to what you claim to believe.
    Based upon the overwhelming evidence of his consistent choices over his years in public life, I don't believe this speech reveals who he really is.

    February 3, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
  15. sealchan

    This speech reinforces something that I have suspected about Obama...that he really is a fairly humble person. I think he put himself out there in a way with this speech a little more than I have seen from most public figures. He was not afraid to show something of his weaknesses and his daily struggles. I think that that may be why his public image has been somewhat under-managed...he isn't obsessed with public perception...not as much as most Presidents. His staff may be, but not so much himself.

    February 3, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • Patrick

      It was a carefully crafted speech,. . . . . .

      February 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Let Us Prey

      He marginalizes his father, ignores a huge aspect of his childhood by stating "despite the absence of a formal religious upbringing," and then parades a litany of people before us in an effort to cement our perception of his 'faith...' Then he 'seals the deal' by telling us that his "earliest inspirations for a life of service ended up being the faith leaders of the civil rights movement." Who would dare argue with that?

      You know that creepy, uncomfortable feeling you get when the pieces obviously don't fit together, yet 'people' continually tell you differently – and it just serves to reinforce your apprehension?

      Oh, right... that's it. I'm crazy. You too? I guess that we're all just nuts....

      February 4, 2011 at 1:13 am |
    • Bob7

      Nice speech, but written for him. I doubt Obama believes much of what he said (after all he is a politician). But with 2012 coming up and the fact that in order to get elected you have to be a holy roller, this is the kind of talk that will pull in the religious independents. The religious right will never vote for him, even if the alternative is Palin.

      February 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  16. EGBERIBO Neumann

    I couldn't help but bowed down and thanked God for President Obama and the USA. Now let us hear from the GOP on "Christians values".

    February 3, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  17. Reality

    Forget what the illiterate, simple preacher man aka Jesus might have thought about BO, we can make our own judgements. Obviously, BO won the presidency on the backs of 35 million aborted womb babies and therefore is the leader of the Immoral Majority i.e. the fastest growing USA voting bloc: The 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year.

    2008 Presidential popular vote count 69,456,897 for BO 59,934,814 for JM

    What BO can do to at least lift part of the Immoral Majority label?

    He says abortions should be "safe, legal and rare" but says nothing about the basic tenet of proper human conduct i.e. Thou Shalt Not Kill. And where is BO's sense of indignation that abortions are not rare and that these acts of horror demean the Golden Rule considering that he says he is a Christian. And where is his sense of indignation that women who use the Pill do not use it properly resulting in an failure rate of 8.7% as per the Gu-ttmacher Inst-itute statistics.

    Using these and other Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute data, this failure of women to use the Pill properly results in ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year. And the annual abortion rate in the USA is?? ~1,000,000 as per the CDC.

    And do males use co-ndoms properly? No, as said failure rate for this birth "control" method is 17.4%!! Again using Gu-ttmacher data, said failure rate results in another ~1,000,000 unplanned pregnancies every year.

    The Gu-ttmacher Insti-tute (same reference) notes also that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate (35,000 unplanned pregnancies) and for the male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies).

    Bottom line: BO is still not aware of the basics of birth control and still remains the leader of the Immoral Majority and will remain so until he becomes a true Christian and one who respects and protects human life in all its forms and who at least emphasizes the proper use of birth control methods!!!

    February 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • jeff

      So what does a "true Christian" look like to you?

      February 4, 2011 at 10:56 am |
    • Reality

      Jeff,

      Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa who showed that even a flawed theology and history does not mean you cannot be a "saintly" person.

      February 5, 2011 at 12:49 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      'So what does a "true Christian" look like to you?'
      Well thats an obvious answer Jeff, its one that agrees with him I would guess.

      February 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      "aborted womb babies?" Trash talking like that makes Christians look more stupid and unkind. It is your ilk that is creating the great divide between your kind of bigoted and ignorant Christian and the secular members of society. You know nothing about the New Testament and the true meaning of Jesus teachings. Love is the bottom line and you are hateful. Like so many Christians, you are likely trying to get brownie points in heaven and avoid hell by making such hateful statements. I had seen enough of this to last a lifetime by the time I was 17 and bolted out the door of my Baptist Mother and her church. Had another run at it as an adult and found it even more hateful and bigoted.

      Also, according to the NT Jesus amazed scholars with his knowledge and understanding of the Jewish religious books. Hardly illiterate or simple. If this is your view of Jesus then you are in a state of deep blasphemy, almost as bad as your attempts to get rid of those whom you do not agree with.

      February 5, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • suzanne

      This is in response to the comment by reality on Feb.3rd. Jesus was not illiterate or a preacher which shows that you don't know much about the teachings of Jesus. Secondly you were wrong about the popular vote numbers. Obama won the popular vote and the electoral college vote by much more than Bush did either time, Bush didn't even win the popular vote.

      February 6, 2011 at 10:56 am |
  18. john dahodi

    Looks like Obama has started his 2012 campaign from this Church Breakfast. He is from Chicago and very clever in using the time and place. He has started his campaign making full stop to his middle name problem. He knows that now Obama's campaign speeches may bring less votes than right wing's religious, conservative and less government philosophy.

    February 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  19. merachefet

    Obama if you genuinely desire to be an instrument for the will of the one and great God who rules this world, you will do everything in your power to protect the Jewish people and the state of Israel

    February 3, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
    • john dahodi

      That what all the American Presidents including Obama are doing for the last 60+ years but can Israel and Jewish people have moral and religious duty to save their own motherland by making it fair, just, humane, pluralistic, free and democratic for all natives and foreigners,Arabs and Non-Arabs, Palestinians and non-Palestinians leaving greed for wealth and land grab aside making it a grand united Israel.

      February 3, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Brian

      Is this what you meant to say, merachefet? "God bless the current secular state of Israel?"

      February 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • JohnJay60

      Where in the Catholic, Protestant, or Mormon version of the bible does it say that the modern 1948 state of Israel is the successor nation to the promises and obligations of 2000 to 3000 years ago? There is no biblical obligation to help a particular country, only to help individuals.

      February 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • CalgarySandy

      Supporting Israel is to leave the Palestinians to rot in concentration camps and see Zionists take over lands that are within the paltry bits of earth the Palestinians now inhabit. I believe we gave Palestine to the European Jews because we felt guilty about sending shiploads of them away who were trying to flee Germany. The Palestinians are the original inhabitants and had been in sole possession of the land for 2000 years since the Romans threw the Jews out. The myth that this is the promised land that God gave the Jews is disgusting. They were told by their God to kill every man, woman, child and animal and then they could have the land. Genocide. Unless you actually believe that God ordered this big slaughter and that the land does not belong to those who lived there for 2000 years you have no reason to defend Israel. They have become what we cursed the Germans for and yet we go along with it.

      I am not anti-semitic. I am opposed to Zionists and the lie that the land belongs to them because it says so in their history books. I have no issue with main stream Jews or Arabs; who are also Semites.

      February 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • Dee

      Our president must ALIGN, PROTECT, AND SUPPORT ISREAL or there will be reprocussions from God himself! I agree with you
      Marachefet!

      February 6, 2011 at 12:47 am |
  20. Steve the real one

    Obama's words: I came to know Jesus Christ for myself and embrace Him as my lord and savior.

    All I will say is the man said what he said! None of us are perfect! I believe God hates the taking (murder) of the unborn! Romans Chapter 1 verses 22-32 covers a lot, to include the g-a-y lifestyle. Yet our mandate as Christians is to pray for those who have authority over us. You may not always agree with him, as I don't BUT the mandate to pray for him DOES NOT change! Sure, we can look at the fruit (actions) of the man. BUT While we look, pray for him!

    February 3, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.