A few days ago, I noted President Obama’s remarks at the Easter prayer breakfast that appeared to affirm the resurrection. One wag suggested that the remarks reflected the work of a speech writer and not of the President himself. Amy Sullivan reports for TIME.com, however, that Obama did in fact write the speech himself. She writes:
Obama offered a brief reflection on the Easter story. In the process, he delivered statements of belief that would have outraged liberal critics if spoken by George W. Bush in the White House:
We are awed by the grace He showed even to those who would have killed Him. We are thankful for the sacrifice He gave for the sins of humanity. And we glory in the promise of redemption in the resurrectionâ€¦. As Christians, we believe that redemption can be deliveredâ€”by faith in Jesus Christ.
Obama has always sounded very relaxed when talking about faithâ€”both his own beliefs and the important role he sees for faith in public life. He seemed less comfortable and sounded less himself on Tuesday morning. Or maybe it was just jarring to hear the president use phrases like “our risen Savior” and “the Son of man” in the East Room. Regardless, White House aides say Obama wrote his own remarks.
Sullivan also reports on religious leaders who were invited to attend the breakfast. The list included Bill Hybels, Joel Hunter, Joel Osteen, Brian McLaren, the heads of the National Council of Churches, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and the Salvation Army. The Whitehouse only released the names of 13 of the 90 people invited to the event. The Baptist Press reports that SBC President Johnny Hunt also attended.