Obama Talks (and Talks) about Easter

April 11, 2012

Over the past week, President Barack Obama has on multiple occasions utilized confessional politics by testifying about his Christian beliefs and connecting them to his public policy positions. Last week, he hosted the annual White House Easter Prayer Breakfast. During his remarks, Obama talked about the importance of Easter:

It's an opportunity for us to reflect on the triumph of the resurrection, and to give thanks for the all-important gift of grace. And for me, and I'm sure for some of you, it's also a chance to remember the tremendous sacrifice that led up to that day, and all that Christ endured--not just as a Son of God, but as a human being. ... We all have experiences that shake our faith. There are times where we have questions for God's plan relative to us--but that's precisely when we should remember Christ's own doubts and eventually his own triumph. Jesus told us as much in the book of John, when He said, "In this world you will have trouble." I heard an amen. Let me repeat. "In this world, you will have trouble." "But take heart!" "I have overcome the world." We are here today to celebrate that glorious overcoming, the sacrifice of a risen savior who died so that we might live. And I hope that our time together this morning will strengthen us individually, as believers, and as a nation.
The Religious Herald has an article with thoughts from some pastors who attended the prayer breakfast. Obama offered similar Christ-focused remarks a few days later during his weekly address. He stated:
And tomorrow, my family will join Christians around the world as we thank God for the all-important gift of grace through the resurrection of His son, and experience the wonder of Easter morning. ... Yesterday, many of us took a few quiet moments to try and fathom the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for all of us. Tomorrow, we will celebrate the resurrection of a savior who died so that we might live.
Then, yesterday, Obama spoke via video to the Q conference, which is an annual gathering of evangelical thinkers and activists. He again reflected on the importance of Easter and and then connected his faith to some public policies:
In all these efforts, I want you to know that you have a partner in the White House. My Administration is committed to meeting many of the same needs and addressing many of the same injustices that you are. Through our summer food program, we're making sure kids in this country don't go hungry. Through our budget, we're focused on giving a hand to those who are suffering, at home and abroad. But we also know that government isn't the only answer. So many of the challenges we face are also problems of the heart, and without committed individuals, thriving families and strong institutions, any attempt to address them will be incomplete. We need all hands on deck.
In each of these speeches, clearly demonstrates that confessional politics is not merely a political tactic of the Republican Party and that he plans to fight for the votes of evangelicals and other religiously-minded voters this November.

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