I understand that this is the political season. GOP candidates are crisscrossing the country, and Barack Obama is preparing himself to take on the winner. But is nothing sacred any more? And by sacred, I mean SACRED... as in prayers and references to God and Jesus. Apparently the answer is no, because at Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast, Obama used the occasion to basically state that Jesus was on his side.
First, we have Obama's shot at Mitt Romney. In an interview with CNN following his election victory in Florida, this is exactly what Romney said:
By the way, I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine. I'm concerned about the very heart of the America, the 90, 95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling and I'll continue to take that message across the nation.
Of course, any left wing media operative stopped listening to the quote as soon as Romney hit the word "poor." It's become the "Romney is not concerned about the poor" gaffe. And Obama used the National Prayer Breakfast to take his jab at Romney.
As noted in The Hill, Obama said during the gathering of about 3,000 people that "It's ... about the biblical call to care for the least of these, for the poor, for those at the margins of our society," Obama said on Thursday. "To answer the responsibility we're given in Proverbs to 'speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.'"
When questioned about the statement at Thursday afternoon's White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney had one of the lamest responses I've ever heard:
At the White House on Thursday afternoon, spokesman Jay Carney said the "poor" reference was not a direct response to Romney, adding that that would suggest that every conversation about the poor in houses of worship would have a political context. The president "was explaining how his faith guides him. It was not a political event," Carney said.
Hello! There's a difference in talking about the "poor in spirit" and the reference that Obama made. But he didn't stop there. As noted in the Washington Post, Obama added the following:
"I think to myself, if I'm willing to give something up as somebody who's been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that's going to make economic sense," Obama told the audience. "But for me, as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus's teaching that 'for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.'"
Who funds the government? Who pays the VAST majority of taxes? Much already is required, and for Obama to suggest that Jesus would be on his side in supporting even higher taxes is simply wrong.
The comments particularly riled Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Hatch also references Obama's direct attack on the Catholic church with his mandate to require religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for abortive drugs and other services for their employees that are in clear violation of those institutions' religious beliefs.
Hatch summed up his feelings by saying:
The President's comments this morning share more with political strategy than they do the religious beliefs of most Americans. In 2008, the President declared that his nomination was the world historical moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. Someone needs to remind the President that there was only one person who walked on water. And he did not occupy the Oval Office.
For someone who is so overtly anti-religious -- remember his 20 years under the guidance of Jeremiah Wright? -- Obama has no business interjecting politics into a prayer breakfast. He should stick to what he knows... dividing the country on race, income, gender, and whatever else that can score him political points.