David Brody has the video and transcript of President Obama addressing those in attendance at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast so you can watch and read the whole thing there.  Some thoughts.

After giving a background of the history of the breakfast… which I wonder why they do that like those in attendance don’t know.  He said this:

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.

I always find it curious as to why Atheists are even addressed at the National Prayer Breakfast.  President Bush did this too.  Like are they listening?  Possibly.  Should it be understood that a National Prayer Breakfast is not for them?  I would think so.  Who would they pray to?  Themselves?

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.

I am also glad that it finally dawns on President Obama that God is not in favor of abortion.  So I guess we can now safely assume that the Freedom of Choice Act is off the table.  I’m excited by this development.  His paygrade has been risen so he now knows when life begins.  Awesome.

He mentions the golden rule and then speaks of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (wonder why he changed the name?).

The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another – or even religious groups over secular groups.  It will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state.  This work is important, because whether it’s a secular group advising families facing foreclosure or faith-based groups providing job-training to those who need work, few are closer to what’s happening on our streets and in our neighborhoods than these organizations.  People trust them.  Communities rely on them.  And we will help them.

Communities do rely upon them, but I wonder how effective the Faith-Based Organizations will be if he doesn’t allow a religious hiring exemption given by the 1964 Civil Rights Act?  Thereby taking faith out of the faith-based organizations.  He will effectively neuter those who take the money, and I’m sure taking the grant money in this economy will be tempting for many.

We will also reach out to leaders and scholars around the world to foster a more productive and peaceful dialogue on faith.  I don’t expect divisions to disappear overnight, nor do I believe that long-held views and conflicts will suddenly vanish.  But I do believe that if we can talk to one another openly and honestly, then perhaps old rifts will start to mend and new partnerships will begin to emerge.  In a world that grows smaller by the day, perhaps we can begin to crowd out the destructive forces of zealotry and make room for the healing power of understanding.

This statement scares me since it is so ambiguous.  What does he mean by this?  In the United States while we have theological disagreements we are peaceful.  Is he talking about religious violence overseas?  One root cause for that lately – militant Islam, but that isn’t politically correct to say.

What long-held views and conflicts is he talking about?  Theological ones?  Since when did we elect a theologian-in-chief?  There will always be theological differences among Christianity, Judaism, Islam and others because they are different faiths.  They disagree and contradict one another.  There will be no theological agreement.  Can there be tolerance, sure.  Agreement no, at least not without somebody shedding central tenants of their faith.

With the “destructive forces of zealotry” I’m sure he is talking about Islamic terrorists who blow themselves up in marketplaces.  He couldn’t possibly be talking about religious conservatives with whom he disagrees.

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