Obama At National Prayer Breakfast: Religion twisted to justify anti-gay rhetoric

Fri. February 7, 2014 10:10 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Washington, D.C. - At Thursday's annual National Prayer Breakfast, President Barack Obama chided leaders who use religion to justify homophobia.

The Washington tradition, which dates back to 1953, has been attended by every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

"Yet even as our faith sustains us, it's also clear that around the world freedom of religion is under threat," Obama said. "And that is what I want to reflect on this morning. We see governments engaging in discrimination and violence against the faithful. We sometimes see religion twisted in an attempt to justify hatred and persecution against other people just because of who they are, or how they pray or who they love. Old tensions are stoked, fueling conflicts along religious lines, as we've seen in the Central African Republic recently, even though to harm anyone in the name of faith is to diminish our own relationship with God. Extremists succumb to an ignorant nihilism that shows they don't understand the faiths they claim to profess – for the killing of the innocent is never fulfilling God's will; in fact, it's the ultimate betrayal of God's will."

"Nations that uphold the rights of their people – including the freedom of religion – are ultimately more just and more peaceful," he added.

Obama called on the faithful to help "advance human rights" and combat HIV/AIDS.

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine