Values on Video

  • President Obama talks personally about his faith and family

    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.