News / USA

Obama Promotes Helping Needy

President Barack Obama speaks during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 5, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks during an Easter Prayer Breakfast in the East Room of the White House in Washington, April 5, 2013.
In remarks to Christian leaders gathered at the White House for an annual Easter prayer breakfast, President Barack Obama spoke about the importance of helping the needy.

The prayer breakfast drew some 150 pastors and Christian leaders from across the country for what the White House calls "a time of prayer [and] reflection."

Obama has hosted the event since 2010.  He has used it, and a separate larger National Prayer Breakfast each year, to reflect on the importance for him of religious faith and humility in grappling with the nation's problems.

This year, he recalled his recent trip to the Middle East and visit to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus.

He said he prayed and reflected there about the life of Jesus and lessons of his teachings, and how they can be applied to daily life.
 
"I thought of all who would travel to this place for centuries to come, and the lives they might know and I was reminded that while our time on Earth is fleeting, he is eternal, his life, his lessons, live on in our hearts, and most importantly in our actions, when we tend to the sick, when we console those in pain, when we sacrifice for those in need," said President Obama.

The message mirrors the essence of the approach Obama has taken in tackling the complicated and politically divisive challenges of the nation's debt and deficit challenges.

In negotiations with opposition Republicans, Obama  has insisted on maintaining programs for the poor and the middle class, though he says reforms are needed to strengthen such programs.

Vice President Joe Biden called looking out for the disadvantaged in society one of the major principles of the Obama administration.

"We all know that we are connected by much more than divides us, though the focus is always on what divides us," said Vice President  Biden. "As we move forward as a nation I do believe we are going to be judged on how we answer that call, that call of moral responsibility of whether we stand up for those who have the least among us, whether we act on their behalf."

President Obama drew some laughter Friday when reflecting on his visit to the Church of the Nativity.  

He said it was useful to see how "managing different sections of the church and different clergy "feels familiar" - a reference to the difficulties of dealing with a sharply divided Congress in pushing his agenda forward.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dwight from: dc
April 05, 2013 1:59 PM
i'm tired of the liberal media protecting obama. god forbid we constantly read fawning stories about republican leaders

In Response

by: Shelli from: Portland
April 07, 2013 11:21 PM
Remember how Mom always said, "if you can't say something nice - don't say anything at all?" Perhaps if republicans did something other than vilify the poor, minorities, women...or worked for someone who made less than $1m per year, people would say something nice about them.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid