During the National Prayer Breakfast at the White House, President Barack Obama called for the release of two American missionaries imprisoned overseas, adding his voice to the growing number of deeply concerned voices. Kenneth Bae, who has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea; and Saeed Abedini, who has been sentenced to eight years of prison in Iran, were both named by the President. “History shows that nations that uphold the rights of their people, including the freedom of religion, are ultimately more just and more peaceful and more successful,” Obama said. “Nations that do not uphold these rights sow the bitter seeds of instability and violence and extremism. So, freedom of religion matters to our national security."
The President's speech covered a variety of topics, from his feelings about the state of the American church to his gratitude for the Church's influence in his own life. "I'm grateful not only because I was broke and the Church fed me, but because it led to everything else," he said. "It led me to embrace Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. It led me to Michelle, the love of my life, and it blessed me with two extraordinary daughters" ... Discuss
Speaking at the Siri Fort auditorium in India, President Barack Obama addressed some of the accusations of his personal faith and encouraged religious tolerance in India. “In our lives, Michelle and I have been strengthened by our Christian faith,” he said. “But there have been times that my faith has at times been questioned by people who don’t know me or they’ve said I adhere to a different religion—as if that were somehow a bad thing.”
Obama went on to encourage India to embrace those of all faiths. “Our nations are strongest when we see that we are all God’s children—all equal in His eyes and worthy of His love,” he said. “Across our two great countries, we have Hindus and Muslims, Christians and Sikhs, and Jews and Buddhists, and Jains and so many faiths. And we remember the wisdom of Gandhi, [who said], ‘For me, the different religions are beautiful flowers from the same garden, or they are branches of the same majestic tree.'" You can hear the full speech here ... Discuss
Apparently, The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has a list of cults on its website for people who are interested in knowing who the Billy Graham Evangelical Association believes to be cults. And their list was recently updated to remove Mormonism, which happened about the same time Graham took out a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal, that read "As I approach my 94th birthday, I realize this election may be my last. I believe it is vitally important that we cast our ballots for candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel. I urge you to vote for those who protect the sanctity of life and support the biblical definition of marriage between a man and a woman." In the meantime, Graham's son, Franklin Graham, wrote a column in which he asked, "So, can an evangelical Christian vote for a Mormon? My answer is yes, for if a biblically faithful evangelical could only vote for a candidate who was perfectly aligned theologically, he or she would be unable to cast a vote for president on November 6" ... Discuss
You never know what the Internet is going to give you on any given day, which is why it's important to stay on your toes. Tomorrow it might be a ferret who correctly predicted the Super Bowl, and next week it might be Anna Kendrick unwrapping a Starburst with her tongue. Today, however, it's President Barack Obama being edited to sing "Shake It Off." Why? Don't ask why. It's the Internet. You figure it out ... Discuss