At an event in Albuquerque New Mexico today, a woman in the crowd asked President Obama why he is a Christian. In response, President Obama said the following: (this is a rush transcript and the video is below)
President Obama: "I’m a Christian by choice. My family didn’t ... frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week. My mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me into church. I came to my Christian faith later in life. ... It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life I would want to lead. Being by brother’s keepers ... treating others as they would treat me ... also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings. ... We’re sinful, and we’re flawed, and we make mistakes, and we achieve salvation through the grace of God. ... We can still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace. So that’s what I strive to do and pray to do every day. ... I think my public service is a part of that effort to express my Christian faith."
President Obama: "But the one thing I want to emphasize ... as President of the United States, I’m also someone who deeply believes part of the bedrock strength of this country is that it embraces people of many faiths and of no faiths. This is a country that is still predominantly Christian, but we have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own, and that’s part of what makes our country what it is."
The video is below. (It is long because it contains the woman's question and his answer. It also includes President Obama's answer to her question on abortion which I'm sure you will be interested in as well)
President Obama: "There are laws, both federal and constitutional, that are in place."
President Obama: "This is where Bill Clinton had the right formulation a couple of decades ago, that abortion should be safe, legal and rare,"
President Obama: "All of us should recognize ... a difficult and oftentimes tragic situation that families are wrestling with ... families and women involved should make the decisions, not the government. ... Interests shift and you can have some restrictions on late-terms abortion."
President Obama: "People still argue about it and deeply disagree about it. And that’s part of our democratic way."
OK, Brody File readers. What do you make of his comments? It definitely sounds more Evangelical than any of his previous statements about his faith. Having said that, to some people it's not going to matter what he says. They are going by his actions (his views on abortion, marriage, etc) and what they see as his distorted view of the Gospel message.
Bottom line: Has the train already left the station on how people view the faith of this President? The words today may not change people's minds at all. Unlike the 2008 campaign when President Obama was in the process of telling America about himself, it's now 2010. Conservative Evangelicals may have a harder time buying this and secular liberals have no desire to hear all of this "God" talk in public. This President may not be able to win either way.