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For me, and for countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal. We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him. We recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross – all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life. And we recommit ourselves to following His example, to love and serve one another, particularly “the least of these” among us, just as He loves every one of us.
Worst. Muslim. Ever.

President Obama used the occasion of his weekly address to wish listeners of all faiths an inspired celebration of holy days and a joyful weekend. He emphasized his own faith and that of his family, and discussed the universal messages for believer and non-believer alike, of hope, responsibility for our fellow beings and the spirit of human endurance.

The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.  

Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission.

To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
April 19, 2014

Hi, everybody. For millions of Americans, this time of year holds great meaning.  
Earlier this week, we hosted a Passover Seder at the White House, and joined Jewish families around the world in their retellings of the story of the Exodus and the victory of faith over oppression.

And this Sunday, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, and I will join our fellow Christians around the world in celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, the salvation he offered the world, and the hope that comes with the Easter season.

These holy days have their roots in miracles that took place long ago. And yet, they still inspire us, guide us, and strengthen us today. They remind us of our responsibilities to God and, as God’s children, our responsibilities to one another.

For me, and for countless other Christians, Holy Week and Easter are times for reflection and renewal. We remember the grace of an awesome God, who loves us so deeply that He gave us his only Son, so that we might live through Him. We recall all that Jesus endured for us – the scorn of the crowds, the agony of the cross – all so that we might be forgiven our sins and granted everlasting life. And we recommit ourselves to following His example, to love and serve one another, particularly “the least of these” among us, just as He loves every one of us.

The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. To remember, I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.  

Whatever your faith, believer or nonbeliever, there’s no better time to rededicate ourselves to that universal mission.

For me, Easter is a story of hope – a belief in a better day to come, just around the bend.
So to all Christians who are celebrating, from my family to yours, Happy Easter. And to every American, have a joyful weekend.

Thanks, God bless you, and may God bless this country we love.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As an a-religious person, agnostic, (8+ / 0-)

    atheist, skeptic or whatever is the preferred term, I find this offensive coming from a leader who is supposed to serve the entire country.

  •  Thanks Susan nt (7+ / 0-)

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:13:34 AM PDT

  •  Another thing which joins us together in Community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rikon Snow, commonmass

    regardless of faith, and which allows us to better understand the diverse history and cultures of our fellow travelers, is Art.

    To that note, I remind folks that the Jean Cocteau Cinema is hosting an exhibit by Wings through May 11 - please help make it a success by letting others know about it, and attending yourself if you can.

    More here: Simple Things: Art, history, and culture in Santa Fe [Aji & Wings]

    Spreading the word is a simple thing, yet it can have such a big impact. (Plus, you'll see a picture of me and Mr. Max the Husky in the comments...it's like Christmas at Easter, or somesuch.) ;)

  •  Christians should stop the anti-muslim (5+ / 0-)

    thing. Christians have done no less damage to their fellow man than the Muslims. This is just an excuse to hate. And, for every thing we want to accuse the Muslims for doing, there is a match for what we have done in the name of Christ , all over the world.

    If Christians really believe in the Prince of Peace, then they should put their efforts toward promoting Peace. But,try telling the "Christians" at Fox Propaganda what Jesus said.

     

  •  diary up about RC church & right wing links (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    indres

    a history lesson

    From then on, the Roman Catholic Church was allied with European emperors and monarchs. In return for the legitimacy bestowed on them by prelates and popes, the civil governments made the religious leaders wealthy and powerful. The emperors and monarchs also enslaved their populace, executed the innocent, conquered indigenous populations and waged war in the mutual interests of church and state.

    When Pope Pius IX lost his last feudal territories in the unification of Italy in 1870, other aristocrats who had also lost their hereditary lands advised him how to use money instead of land to produce income and wealth. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire - the last Catholic monarchy - was defeated in the First World War, Vatican officials sought alliances with new states.

    Popes opposed democracy as a dangerous influence on their own absolute sovereignty. Socialism was unacceptable to the new capitalists. Communism, which prohibited both religion and private property, became the Vatican’s chief enemy. But fascism was both totalitarian and capitalist.

    linking RC (Roman Catholic) church to Europe and last RC state falls and RC links to Nazi and other fascists and then going with the RC to Latin America

    which leads to the current pope and the Opus Dei connection

    an article after 2004 election claimed that RC put down of Kerry cost the dems the presidential election

    conservative RC support anti gay effort in CA and have been against abortion

    here is the excellent diary

    A Holy Week Reflection on Church and State and Pope Francis

    •  Catholic bashing? Really? Right now? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Portlaw

      Reason to remain agnostic #37.

      And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

      by Pale Jenova on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:40:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The problem with TRUTH seems to be that it is, (0+ / 0-)

        so often, taken as "bashing", especially by those for whom the TRUTH is unpalatable today, because they prefer to live in some kind of happy fantasy, where all is sweetness and light.

        TRUTH ITSELF, however, refuses to simply disappear in the presence of saccharine delusions.

        Vide:  John Cornwell, Hitler's Pope, the Secret History of Pius XII, Viking/The Penguin Group, New York, NY, 1999.  One might want, especially, to read the 2 introductory paragraphs - one by the German Chancellor 1930-32, and the other by Thomas Merton.

        And, in simple point of fact, what better time to present the TRUTH - however unpleasant it might be to a world of saccharine delusion - than at the Celebration of a religion's greatest Holiday?

        Perhaps pointing out just how far, Far, FAR away from the premises and principles of that Holiday a group - claiming TO BE the sole, only, true, and righteous followers of the Faith based upon that Holiday - has fallen, IS NOT all that out of place.

      •  how is that a reason to be agnostic? n/t (0+ / 0-)

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:23:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Our new pope Francis is a Jesuit, not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Portlaw

      Opus Dei.  That is a BFD.

  •  Jesus. (Sorry about the religious reference.) (14+ / 0-)

    Somebody can't express good wishes on a religious holiday without their fucking head getting bitten off.

    Give it a rest, O righteous indignation ones. Have a hard boiled, tie-dyed Easter egg.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:32:22 AM PDT

    •  If that is all Obama did, then there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LtPowers

      wouldn't be such an uproar.  He doesn't just "wish" people happy holidays.  He gets right into the thick of theology and makes claims about "all people" being God's children. He conducts prayer breakfasts and seders in the White House (conveniently forgetting to celebrate Samhaim).  He is a church/state violator of the worst kind.  If you don't believe me, just ask the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State what kind of marks they give him on this issue.

  •  It's a trick! (0+ / 0-)

    He was praising Satan in his heart! And later feasted upon the unborn.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 07:45:12 AM PDT

  •  This address demonstrates that it is possible (4+ / 0-)

    for an elected official (in this case, the highest elected official in the land) to acknowledge that some Americans are religious without trying to coerce them.

    It also demonstrates that the President can acknowledge the fact that some Americans are NOT religious.

    Pretty classy, IMO.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:33:52 AM PDT

  •  I used to think that atheists were people who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portlaw, mjd in florida

    didn't believe in God. What I have learned on Daily Kos is that, apparently, atheists are people who HATE people who believe in God.

    This is Holy Saturday. In Western Christianity, the Easter Vigil--the "Queen of Feasts"-- is held tonight.

    Hate it if you want to, but for decency's sake, respect people's right to worship. I respect your right to be atheist. Respect my right to my religion.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:39:48 AM PDT

    •  It's why I don't like Bill Maher. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass

      I accept his atheist point of view but he feels the need to belittle different opinions on religion.

      •  I don't think Maher is funny either. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mjd in florida, Portlaw

        I'm a practicing Episcopalian. Our three-legged stool, as we call it, is Scripture, Tradition, and REASON. We're less removed from Roman Catholicism than some people think, especially we Anglo-Catholics with our rosaries and our Adoration and Benediction.

        The Episcopal Church today is leading in civil rights and marriage equality. We're a progressive bunch, people that I suspect Dorothy Day (who's picture hangs in my office) would recognize.

        Many religious people strive for social justice, as the Jesus of the Gospels tells us to.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 09:29:21 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If religionists don't want their ideas (0+ / 0-)

        to be ridiculed, then they need to stop promoting silly ideas.

    •  I do not respect any rights to use (0+ / 0-)

      government to promote YOUR religion or anyone else's.  As for your martyr complex about what atheists feel towards believers, that may be something you want to work on.  When people challenge your religious ideas or expressions and hold them to the same fire of scrutiny that we hold political ideas, it is not because they HATE the people expressing the ideas.  

      Now go to your church and practice your faith.  I help pay for your church, so when you pray, thank an atheist.

  •  Breaking news: Republican house members (4+ / 0-)

    decide to call for an immediate repeal of Easter now that Obama has supported it.

  •  Jefferson made sure that at least the principle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Portlaw

    that all humans are created equal with certain inalienable rights was established here following the philosophy of Jesus (which Jefferson called the most sublime philosophy extant) and his call for universal love of all mankind. Only with fore brain thinking like Jefferson who clearly read and thought about the words of Jesus while literally cutting out all of the supernatural aspects added later can find the meaning intended. Mid brain thinkers, like baggers, are big on belief and magic and lose all meaning.

    Search for the Jefferson Bible to find his take on religion.

    The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine. In the New Testament there is internal evidence that parts of it have proceeded from an extraordinary man; and that other parts are of the fabric of very inferior minds. It is as easy to separate those parts, as to pick out diamonds from dunghills.

    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 08:55:33 AM PDT

  •  Best wishes to (5+ / 0-)

    the President and his family,and all good people out there in the world.

    Peace be with you.

  •  Being kind to one another (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Portlaw, commonmass

    should never go out of style. Thank you Mr. President.

  •  Pastor-in-chief? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    Whatever happened to the separation of church and state? It's great that the president's underlying message is one of tolerance and all that, but very sad in my view that these days politicians need to outdo each other with displays of religiosity, including the president. Apparently, he's not only the Commander-in-chief, but the "Pastor-in-chief."

    Ginny Mayer, Ph.D. Democrat CA State Senate Candidate - SD-35 (Orange County)

    by Ginny Mayer on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:11:05 AM PDT

  •  This is NOT his job! (0+ / 0-)

    Hasn't Obama taken any time to read what Jefferson said about activities like these taking place in the White House or the roll of a civil leader when it comes to religion? Apparently he skipped that part of his Constitutional law classes.

    Obama has been one of the worst Presidents when it comes to using his office to promote religion and the not settled theological question of whether there is a "God".  He makes statements like "we are ALL children of God".  Well, I'm not, Mr. President, and it's not your job to be minister in chief.  In fact, you yourself said that years ago when you debated Alan West.

    May 1 is National Prayer Proclamation Day.  The President is required by law to issue a Proclamation regarding prayer.  It is, for those of us who UNDERSTAND what separation of church and state means (and have bothered tor read what Jefferson said) an extremely sad day.

  •  The arrival of an antagonist, in the form of (0+ / 0-)

    an angry atheist, makes the point of my initial comment.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 11:48:42 AM PDT

  •  As a member of the National Leadership Council (0+ / 0-)

    for Americans United for Separation of Church and State (an interfaith group) I can tell you that the views that I express here on the President's role in terms of religious endorsements is not just the views of an "angry atheist".  You have some learning to do when it comes to church/state and when it comes to the rights of all people to challenge any ideas put forth in a public forum, whether religious, political, culture or general.

    •  And may I add to this that my personal (0+ / 0-)

      views and statements as an atheist are not representative of the two groups I mentioned, except for the fact that they would endorse my right to share them.  What I am saying about how the President behaves in terms of separation of church and state IS representative of these two groups views, and they have expressed it many times to the President in letters, which he ignores

  •  Reading his comments carefully, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doroma

    he is clear in pointing out that the religious beliefs he espouses are his personal views, or those of his fellow Christians, and only calls on the rest of us to share in the universal humanistic views of shared responsibility and compassion. As someone who is both an atheist and part of a religious tradition, I think his speech was well done.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 12:44:11 PM PDT

  •  Obama's acknowledgement of nonbelievers is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01, AaronInSanDiego

    refreshing. It's a shame, however, that a president of a free country feels compelled to proclaim his religion and specific gospel doctrines in an official address. It would be nice to get back to the core values of our founding fathers, who actually held sessions of Congress on Christmas day, because they felt thay had established a Democracy, not a Theocracy.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 01:08:53 PM PDT

    •  Refreshing? (0+ / 0-)

      Bush also offered similar "shout-outs" to non-believers, just like Obama does.  Neither has gone beyond that barest of gestures.

      http://content.usatoday.com/...

      •  That link is not very convincing. It may be that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Portlaw

        Bush II once mouthed some words in an obscure press conference about how it was ok for people to choose to have "no faith" (which I think is an incredibly poor way to put it, because I have faith in many things, just not gods or religions). However, Obama has repeatedly mentioned nonbelievers in both his inaugural address and weekly address. His mother was pretty clearly an atheist. He seems to have been raised with secular values and went through a period of searching in which he was not firmly wedded to any religion. The religion he settled on is considered so tame, it is often referred to as a net for catching falling atheists. Bush's father, on the other hand, was infamous for saying that atheists should not be considered patriots nor even good citizens, because "this is one nation under God." So, I doubt the sincerity of some off hand comments Bush II once made at a press conference, while everything in his background, and his actual actions seemed to contradict that view.

        Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

        by tekno2600 on Sat Apr 19, 2014 at 03:35:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They look the same to me (0+ / 0-)

          Bush "repeatedly mentioned" non-believers too.  It's clear that he felt the need to distance himself from his father's tone-deaf remarks on the subject.  So on this issue I really don't see much distance between Obama and Bush.

          And I really wanted to.

          •  Bush repeatedly said words in one press conference (0+ / 0-)

            about people having "no faith." Even in that one example, I don't feel his words meant much. Obama has expressed far more support for non-believers in far more high profile speeches. No one had to search through old new archives to find it. Now, I wish that this had translated into more action at the federal level. I want the office of faith-based initiatives abolished, for instance. But, getting one particular policy position passed is a complex thing that requires time and frankly more work than I see the atheist community truly doing to achieve this. So, I don't know that I can blame Obama for not reading our minds and doing what we wish he would do. We need to show him very clearly what we want and then show that we can deliver the political power to back up what we ask for. Then, we will begin to advance an agenda.

            Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

            by tekno2600 on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 01:38:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  After reading these comments it is no wonder (0+ / 0-)

    AU, the ACLU, FFRF and countless other religious and non-religious groups are having trouble getting their message across to the President that he is violating church/state separation at every turn.  They obviously can't even get progressive democrats on sites like this to understand it.

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