The National Prayer Breakfast was barely underway and the net was alive with chatter and well… twitter. The discussions ranged from whether President Obama would delve into the personal details of the first family’s spiritual life to whether or not the breakfast violates a separation of church and state.
While on the campaign trail, and repeatedly since stepping into office, President Obama has had to issue statement after statement assuring “God-fearing” Americans that he is, indeed, a Christian- an assurance meant to quell the concerns of many, and outright accusations of others, that he is a Muslim. The fact that Obama has rarely attended religious services has been a source of controversy. And an August 2010 Pew study found that only one-third of Americans identified Obama as Christian, and 43% said they did not know his faith.
During today’s speech Obama cleared things up:
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.
President Obama also spoke of his father, a “nonbeliever,” as well as his mother, a woman he characterized as skeptical about organized religion, yet deeply spiritual. He went on to detail her as a woman who instilled values like “honesty and hard work, and kindness and fair play” although they rarely attended religious services.
“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,” he stated.
President Obama said he is praying for resolution in Egypt 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.”
Other speakers included one of the Chilean mine workers who said his survival and rescue were nothing short of a miracle from God. Mark Kelly, Representative Gabrielle Gifford’s husband, spoke about his wife’s recovery and how the shooting was a part of God’s bigger plan. Allison Kraus sang “Abide With Me”.