President Obama's speech upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize is getting a lot of attention for its (ironic for the occasion) defense of war.
But religion pundits are weighing in on what was a very religion-heavy speech.
(There have been a number of these from the President lately: At the lighting of the White House Christmas tree, Obama spoke of the Christmas story as "a story that is as beautiful as it is simple. The story of a child born far from home to parents guided only by faith, but who would ultimately spread a message that has endured for more than 2,000 years—that no matter who we are or where we are from, we are each called to love one another as brother and sister." Then, as Ed Stetzer noted, the President's first words at his first state dinner were to point out that he was the first President to celebrate Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Lights) and the birth of the founder of Sikhism.)
Here's the relevant section, which evokes the "cling to guns and religion" remark that caused a furor during his campaign:
[S]omehow, given the dizzying pace of globalization, the cultural leveling of modernity, it perhaps comes as no surprise that people fear the loss of what they cherish in their particular identities—their race, their tribe, and perhaps most powerfully their religion. In some places, this fear has led to conflict. At times, it even feels like we're moving backwards. We see it in the Middle East, as the conflict between Arabs and Jews seems to harden. We see it in nations that are torn asunder by tribal lines.
And most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted ...1
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