Aug 22, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
(POLITICO) In an interview with the Washington National Cathedral magazine, President Obama discussed how his faith influenced his politics — saying that at the end of the day ‘God is in control.’
“First and foremost, my Christian faith gives me a perspective and security that I don’t think I would have otherwise: that I am loved. That, at the end of the day, God is in control,” Obama said.
Obama also tied faith in God to his belief in a compassionate role for government. “Faith tells us that there is something about this world that ties our interest to the welfare of a child who can’t get the health care they need, or a parent who can’t find work after the plant shut down, or a family going hungry,” Obama told the magazine.
“Faith has always provided a moral framework and vocabulary for this country to come to terms with its most pressing challenges. One of the great things about this nation is that it is a place where people from all walks of life can advocate on behalf of their faith and beliefs and be open about what drives and motivates them,” Obama said.
“From slavery to the suffrage movement to civil rights, faith — and the moral obligations that derive from our faith — have always helped us to navigate some of our greatest moral challenges with a recognition that there’s something bigger than ourselves: we have obligations that extend beyond our own self-interest,” Obama said.
Obama also briefly addressed the ongoing doubts about his faith — including rumors that he is a Muslim.
“I have a job to do as president, and that does not involve convincing folks that my faith in Jesus is legitimate and real. I do my best to live out my faith, and to stay in the Word, and to make my life look more like His,” Obama said “What I can do is just keep on following Him, and serve others—trying to make folks’ lives a little better using this humbling position that I hold.” Obama also nodded to religious pluralism in the U.S. — and the idea that there are people of many faiths in the country.
“This country has a rich tradition of seeking to create an environment where people of different beliefs can live together and share common goals. As Americans, I think we understand that—in protecting our ability to advocate for our own positions—we must protect the ability of those who come from different backgrounds and beliefs to do so as well. Faith demands that we see the image of God in one another and respect it,” Obama said.
“Faith can express itself in people in many ways, and I think it is important that we not make faith alone a barometer of a person’s worth, value, or character,” Obama said.