President Barack Obama wants Christians to know Islam is not the only religion that has inspired violence and terror.
“Unless 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,” Obama said Wednesday. “And in our home country, slavery, and Jim Crow, all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”
Obama made the comments while giving a major speech on religion at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Citing Islamic, Jewish, and Christian scripture, Obama touted his own faith.
“This prayer tradition has brought us together, giving us the opportunity to come together in humility before the Almighty and to be reminded of what it is that we share as children of God. And certainly for me this is always a chance to reflect on my own faith journey,” he said. “No matter the challenge He has been there for all of us. He certainly strengthened me through the power of his spirit.”
Obama went on to condemn violent jihadists who are “betraying” Islam. He specifically called out the Islamic State group that has “carried out unspeakable acts of barbarism” in the Middle East and the militants who recently massacred the employees of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
“This is not unique to one group or one religion,” Obama cautioned. “There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency, that can pervert and distort our faith. And in today’s world when hate groups have their own Twitter accounts and bigotry can fester in hidden places in cyberspace, it can be even harder to combat such intolerance. But God compels us to try.”
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