President Obama wove politics through his speech at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast, echoing themes from his recent State of the Union address and calling for economic fairness.
“When I talk about our financial institutions playing by the same rules as folks on Main Street; when I talk about making sure insurance companies aren't discriminated against those who are already sick; or making sure that unscrupulous lenders aren't taking advantage of the most vulnerable among us, I do so because I genuinely believe it will make the economy stronger for everybody but I also do it because I know that far too many neighbors in our country have been hurt and treated unfairly over the last few years. And I believe in God's command to love thy neighbor as thyself.” Obama said.
The president also shared a part of his own faith journey, as his Republican opponents have done on the campaign trail, recalling reflections spurred following his visit with the ailing Rev. Billy Graham.
“Growing up in a household that wasn't particularly religious; going through my own period of doubt and confusion; finding Christ when I was not even looking for him so many years ago; possessing so many shortcomings that have been overcome by the simple grace of God. That simple fact [of praying for Graham] humbled me to my core," he said.
Obama has attended each National Prayer Breakfast held during his presidency. This year, Occupy D.C. protesters held their own counter event called "The People's Prayer Breakfast," where attendance was free. Seats at the National Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the Fellowship Foundation, are $175 each.