Obama at Christmas Tree Lighting: Christ 'A Manifestation of God's Love'
President Obama highlighted his faith in his brief speech at the White House Christmas tree lighting Thursday night.
"More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born to two faithful travelers who could find rest only in a stable, among the cattle and the sheep," Obama said. "But this was not just any child. Christ's birth made the angels rejoice and attracted shepherds and kings from afar. He was a manifestation of God's love for us."
As he has in the past, Obama widened his address to focus on what religions have in common. (His remarks begin at minute 2:23 in the embedded video).
"And He grew up to become a leader with a servant's heart who taught us a message as simple as it is powerful: that we should love God, and love our neighbor as ourselves. That teaching has come to encircle the globe," Obama said. "No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it's a message that can unite all of us on this holiday season."
Obama's address comes after some criticism that he did not mention God in his Thanksgiving address. On his show, comedian Jon Stewart showed clips of Fox News contributors criticizing the president. The network also noted that President Clinton mentioned God in half of his Thanksgiving addresses and that President George W. Bush left God out of one of his addresses.
"Any Christian that voted for Obama in 2008 should be repenting [and voting differently] in the next election," Perkins told the Christian Post. "This administration has been the most hostile toward religious freedom."
Bob Jones III, who is chancellor of Bob Jones University, told Mother Jones last month, "I've no reason to think [Obama is] Christian."
"Some people will say whatever they think the politically helpful thing would be," Jones said. "I say, ‘Where is the evidence that he is a Christian?'"
Earlier this year, Obama hosted an Easter prayer breakfast with several pastors like Tim Keller, Leith Anderson, and Andy Stanley.
Holy Week is a reminder of God's grace, Obama said during the breakfast. "This ‘Amazing Grace' calls me to pray," he said. "It calls me to ask God for forgiveness for the times that I've not shown grace to others, those times that I've fallen short. It calls me to praise God for the gift of … his Son and our Savior."