IMRA sent me the remarks of Barack Obama, President of the United States, spoken at the National Prayer Breakfast event at the Washington Hilton in Washington, D.C.
He noted that
as Americans, we affirm the freedoms endowed by our Creator, among them freedom of religion. And, yes, this freedom safeguards religion, allowing us to flourish as one of the most religious countries on Earth, but it works the other way, too -- because religion strengthens America. Brave men and women of faith have challenged our conscience and brought us closer to our founding ideals, from the abolition of slavery to civil rights, workers’ rights.
I’ve felt the love that faith can instill in our lives during my visits to the Holy Land and Jerusalem -- sacred to Jews and Christians and Muslims...I’ve felt the compassion of so many faith leaders around the world...Yet even as our faith sustains us, it’s also clear that around the world freedom of religion is under threat. And that is what I want to reflect on this morning.and he emphasized:
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...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.
Today, we profess the principles we know to be true. We believe that each of us is “wonderfully made” in the image of God. We, therefore, believe in the inherent dignity of every human being -- dignity that no earthly power can take away. And central to that dignity is freedom of religion -- the right of every person to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith if they choose, or to practice no faith at all, and to do this free from persecution and fear...promoting religious freedom is a key objective of U.S. foreign policy. And I’m proud that no nation on Earth does more to stand up for the freedom of religion around the world than the United States of America. (Applause.)
And then, he noted
...THE PRESIDENT:...As we support Israelis and Palestinians as they engage in direct talks, we’ve made clear that lasting peace will require freedom of worship and access to holy sites for all faiths. I want to take this opportunity to thank Secretary Kerry for his extraordinary passion and principled diplomacy that he’s brought to the cause of peace in the Middle East...
...And in contrast to those who wield religion to divide us, let’s do more to nurture the dialogue between faiths that can break cycles of conflict and build true peace, including in the Holy Land.
That's clear to me: President Obama supports Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.
Thanks you, Mr. President.
Mr. Secretary of State, is that part of your solution?