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  • President Obama talks personally about his faith and family

    By Michael Wear on

    I thought you’d like to see this.

    In a recent interview with Reader’s Digest, President Obama opened up about his role as a father and husband, and he spoke movingly about his faith. And when asked what his favorite word is, he answered: “grace.”

    The whole interview is worth a read here, but here are a couple excerpts that I thought you’d especially appreciate:

    Reader’s Digest: What’s the most memorable day you’ve ever had at church, excluding weddings and baptisms and things of that nature?

    President Obama: When I was working with a bunch of Catholic churches on the South Side [of Chicago]. I hadn’t been raised going to church regularly. But here I was working with these churches, and I thought, I need to start going to church a little more. I remember the first time that I went to a very small storefront church in Chicago. It was an African American church, a Baptist church. There probably weren’t more than a hundred people in the congregation. They had maybe ten people in the choir. But the joy and the energy that they projected in that church—and everybody was singing. I remember starting to cry during this service just because you could see these were mostly folks who were working-class, never had a lot of money, didn’t have a lot of material possessions. Many of them were middle-aged or older and probably had experienced prejudice in their lives or certainly hardship. To see how their faith and God’s grace could lift them out of their daily circumstances was really moving to me. I think those early visits started my own faith journey.

    Reader’s Digest: We also have a popular column called Word Power. Many people around the world say they improve their vocabulary reading it. So what’s your favorite word in any language?

    President Obama: Grace. I love the word grace because I think it captures what we strive for in life. It’s not just an individual thing. It’s not just a matter of excellence or something you’ve achieved. It’s something internal to you, but it’s also something that’s given to you. It’s not just individual, but it has to do with your relationships with others. You know, those moments of grace that we have—grace notes that we have in our lives.

    We are 19 days out from the election. Time to finish the race.

The Obama Administration's Impact on Faith-Based Communities

The Faith Platform: Leading with Values

President Obama is a committed Christian who knows that faith and values are more than a personal anchor -- they are also a powerful force for the common good. President Obama’s belief that we are all connected—that, as Corinthians says, “if one part suffers...”—has anchored him as he has worked tirelessly to lead with values: basic economic security for everyone who is willing and able to work, including jobs you can raise a family and save for retirement on, affordable health care that’s there for you when you need it most and opportunity through education.

Download the full Faith Platform today.

Economic Security for Families

Economic Recovery—President Obama knows that when the recession hurt our economy, it hurt families. His top priority has always been putting more Americans back to work and restoring economic security for the middle class.

  • We’ve gone from losing 750,000 jobs a month before the President took office to creating them over 28 straight months of private sector job growth.
  • Rescued the auto industry, saving more than a million jobs, and countless families from the strain they would have endured without his decisive action.

Tax Fairness—President Obama believes our tax system should reflect our values, reward hard work and responsibility, and ask everyone to do their fair share. President Obama supports tax reform that reflects the common sense idea that no one making over $1 million should pay a smaller share of their income in taxes than middle class families pay.

  • Over President Obama’s first term in office, the typical family has seen their taxes cut by $3,600.

Health Reform—President Obama fought for health insurance reform so no family will ever have to worry that their child will be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. Obamacare means no family will ever have to worry about how to make ends meet once a loved one hits the lifetime cap on their coverage for a serious disease like cancer, and that no one will have to worry about going bankrupt because he or she got sick.

My Brother and Sister’s Keeper

DREAM Act—President Obama believes that our nation’s immigration policies should be sensible, compassionate and just. The Obama Administration announced a policy to lift the shadow of deportation from young people who came to the United States as children, through no fault of their own, and grew up as Americans. The President announced that young people who meet certain criteria, who are contributing to our country by serving in the military or pursuing an education, can request temporary relief from deportation and apply for temporary authorization to work in this country. Only Congress can provide a permanent fix for these young people, which is why President Obama will continue to advocate for the DREAM Act.

Poverty—President Obama believes we have a responsibility to look out for those less fortunate than ourselves. From housing, Head Start and unemployment insurance, to fighting hunger at home and abroad, the President has stood strong for a budget that maintains the basic American values of opportunity and compassion.

Faith, Family and the Common Good

Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

  • The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships reflects the President’s belief that faith and values are a powerful force for good in the world, and that the government should rely on and partner on these groups to serve the common good.

Strengthening and Supporting Families

  • Increased funding for organizations promote fatherhood and health marriages. Signed the Pregnancy Assistant Fund into law—a $250 million program which helps local organizations support pregnant women who are choosing to carry their pregnancies to term with the services they need.
  • Extended and increased the value of the Adoption Tax Credit and proposes making it permanent.

Faith in Public Life—President Obama started the new tradition of an Easter Prayer Breakfast. He has also hosted events marking the holidays of diverse faiths, including Diwali, the Passover Seder, and continuing the tradition of celebrating Ramadan at The White House.