Religious values underpin his policies, Obama says
By Lesley Clark
Feb. 3, 2012
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, who rarely speaks of his faith, defended some of his administration’s policies Thursday by saying they reflect his religious convictions.
Speaking at the annual National Prayer Breakfast . . . Obama, who has proposed a tax on the richest Americans to pay for a payroll tax break for the middle class, suggested religious underpinnings to his call for “shared responsibility,” saying that asking those who have been “extraordinarily blessed” to give up some tax breaks makes economic sense.
But, he added, “For me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’ teaching that ‘For unto whom much is given, much shall be required.’ It mirrors the Islamic belief that those who’ve been blessed have an obligation to use those blessings to help others, or the Jewish doctrine of moderation and consideration for others.” . . .
Obama offered a glimpse of his spiritual life Thursday, telling the crowd that he says a brief prayer upon waking each morning and spends time “in Scripture and devotion.” He said he prayed “from time to time” in the Oval Office or by phone with several pastors who were present.
He alluded to his own religious upbringing, noting that he grew up in a household “that wasn’t particularly religious” and found Christ “when I wasn’t even looking for him.”
He recounted visiting the Rev. Billy Graham while on a family vacation in Asheville, N.C., calling it “one of the great honors of my life.
“I have fallen on my knees with great regularity since that moment, asking God for guidance not just in my personal life and my Christian walk, but in the life of this nation and in the values that hold us together and keep us strong.”