Thursday, February 05, 2015

President Obama: People committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ

During his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning, President Obama said that "people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." Obama made his remarks in comparison to people today using Islam to justify violence.

"We see faith driving us to do right, but we also see faith being twisted and distorted. Used as a wedge or worse sometimes used as a weapon.

"From a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris, we have seen violence and terror perpetrated by those who profess to stand up for faith, their faith. Professed to stand up for Islam but, in fact, are betraying it.

"We see ISIL, a brutal, vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism, terrorizing religious minorities, like the Yazidis, subjecting women to rape as a weapon of war, and claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.

"We see sectarian war in Syria. The murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria. Religious war in the Central African Republic. A rising tide of anti-Semitism and hate crimes in Europe. So often perpetrated in the name of religion.

"So how do we as people of faith reconcile these realities? The profound good, the strength, the tenacity, the compassion and love that can flow from all of our faiths, operating alongside those who seek to hijack religions for their own murderous ends.

"Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the crusades and the inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

"In our home country, slavery, Jim Crow, all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

"Michelle and I returned from India, an incredible, beautiful country. Full of this magnificent diversity, but a place where in past years religious faiths of all types have on occasion been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and believes. Acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhi, the person who helped to liberate that nation.

"So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith," Obama said.



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