A Response to Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Speech

Prayer Breakfast 2015

For the last six years I have been as supportive of President Obama as my conscious allowed me, attempting to demonstrate civility and understanding towards a leader with whom I share little policy agreement.  I have accepted him as a brother in Christ, as he claims the same grace I depend on for salvation. However, he crossed a line with me as a Christian leader during the February 5, 2015 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.

There were positive aspects to the speech, as it contained some great observations about the importance of religious liberty and the need to respect religious freedom. I also appreciate his acknowledgement of Kenneth Bae’s release form North Korea and the continued struggle that Pastor Saeed Abedeni encounters in Iran.  You can view the speech here:


The troubling part of this speech came with his poorly-timed and inequitable comparison of Middle-Age Christianity to modern, radical Islam. In a time when we need global leadership against the threat of ISIS, Obama chose to minimize ISIS’ danger by generalizing them as a common threat, such as many religions have been.  ISIS is a grave, global threat to peace that the whole world should be concerned about.

Ravi ZachariasOnce you are familiar with the speech, read the reaction from Christian apologist and author, Ravi Zacharias. Zacharias’ response is well stated, and is helpful in defending Obama’s mischaracterization of Christianity.

Citing the Crusades, he used the single most inflammatory word he could have with which to feed the insatiable rage of the extremists. That is exactly what they want to hear to feed their lunacy.  ‎In the Middle East, history never dies and words carry the weight of revenge.” – Ravi Zacharias


Don’t Be Scared to form an Opinion

American culture is reconciling many different social, political and religious issues in our atmosphere of pluralism. While diversity has created a greater understanding of various perspectives, there is also a great lack of confidence in actually taking a position. There are extreme groups on every position, but most Americans desire to find reasonable conclusions on complex issues. However, we often get stuck in the middle ground. If we are not careful, every discussion on difficult subjects is simply an exercise of identifying opposing views, with no personal conclusion on the matter.

What is my point? Take a position. Study. Discuss. Debate. Empathize. But, let those exercises lead you to an informed opinion. We cannot be a nation of “undecideds.” Though the middle ground may seem desirable in order to avoid labels and misunderstandings, it is not a productive place to stay.