Thursday, February 5

Words from the President spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast

...There is no doubt that the very nature of faith means that some of our beliefs will never be the same. We read from different texts. We follow different edicts. We subscribe to different accounts of how we came to be here and where we’re going next – and some subscribe to no faith at all.

But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.

We know too that whatever our differences, there is one law that binds all great religions together. Jesus told us to "love thy neighbor as thyself." The Torah commands, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow." In Islam, there is a hadith that reads "None of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." And the same is true for Buddhists and Hindus; for followers of Confucius and for humanists. It is, of course, the Golden Rule – the call to love one another; to understand one another; to treat with dignity and respect those with whom we share a brief moment on this Earth.

It is an ancient rule; a simple rule; but also one of the most challenging. For it asks each of us to take some measure of responsibility for the well-being of people we may not know or worship with or agree with on every issue. Sometimes, it asks us to reconcile with bitter enemies or resolve ancient hatreds. And that requires a living, breathing, active faith. It requires us not only to believe, but to do – to give something of ourselves for the benefit of others and the betterment of our world.

In this way, the particular faith that motivates each of us can promote a greater good for all of us. Instead of driving us apart, our varied beliefs can bring us together to feed the hungry and comfort the afflicted; to make peace where there is strife and rebuild what has broken; to lift up those who have fallen on hard times."...

2 comments:

Tony said...

... the implication being, of course, that we have a moral obligation to support the welfare state Leviathan. Now I attended Catholic schools for 13 years, and never once heard "state-mandated redistribution of wealth" enumerated among the Corporal Works of Mercy. Maybe I was sick that day.

And I'm overjoyed to see that the president has finally come around to understanding that "there is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being." I look forward to all the anti-abortion initiatives that this revelation will prompt him to introduce. (Because we know The One would never resort to slick oratorical platitudes or hollow rhetoric.)

Erin said...

You've made it abundantly clear that you don't like this president. But vitriol and uncalled for cynicism isn't going to make this country a better place.

If you don't like welfare, why don't you get your friends who believe in the Corporal Works of Mercy to pool their extra money and feed the hungry in this country. Christ called for us to give cheerfully--it is not our job to determine who deserves our generosity. So if you don't like how the government is mandating generosity--which is a system that I absolutely believe has tremendous flaws--why don't you suggest a better way of taking care of the poor and poor in spirit.

And I have a really hard time understanding how people who are anti-abortion (which I AM)can justify that belief when they also believe in war. The best way to rid this country of unnecessary abortions is through compassion and counseling, not a blanket law that ultimately only raises contention. Taking away choice is not something that God has ever done--but he hopes that through relationship with him we will come to make the RIGHT choice. How about we Christians take the same approach to issues like abortion, instead of counting on the government to mandate morality?

As to this particular post, forgive me for finding something to feel good about in the president's prayer. Something tells me that no matter his shortcomings, God was listening.

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