After a few jovial introductories, the President got to the point with a rhetorical question: "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 religious for their own murderous ends?"
Well, even though it is probably unanswerable, that is a good question. So the President addressed the problems we have faced in Europe, in America, and in India.
"Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history. And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. Michelle and I returned from India -- an incredible, beautiful country, full of 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 their beliefs. . . . So it is not unique to one group or one religion. . . . There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. . . ."
There can be no doubt of the factual truth of the President's remarks. Any well-read history student knows this beyond reasonable doubt. So what is the stir?
I'd say it's that folks don't like being told any uncomfortable truth. And they definitely don't like it when they are being called out on their American Christian Exceptional Rightness. But they especially don't like to hear it from a man that they do not like, for whatever reason.
Well, there's a fair amount that the President has done that I don't like, either. But these remarks by the President happen to be the sober truth, and it is a sober truth that American Christians need to hear. And most of us are not hearing it in church.
Say it, Mr. President. Say it again, loud and clear. Loud enough that we can hear it through the walls of our churches -- and synagogues -- and mosques.
"So it is not unique to one group or one religion. . . . There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith. . . ."
I encourage you to read all of the President's remarks, here. I frankly prefer them to the political posturings from the Congress, the arrant nonsense of the so-called "Christian" media, and the often goofy slogans that bounce among Christians on Facebook.