At today’s National Prayer Breakfast President Barack Obama spoke up for atheists, agnostics and other freethinkers around the world, defending the rights of the godless, the rights of those “with no faith at all.”
During his remarks, the President focused on the importance of freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, not only in America, but around the world, according to a report issued Feb. 6 by the Washington Post.
Speaking on the importance of religious freedom, Obama made a point of highlighting "the inherent dignity of every human being," including those who "practice no faith at all, and to do this free of persecution and fear."
From the speech:
“We believe in the inherent dignity of every human being, a dignity that no earthly power can take away. 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 of persecution and fear.”
Speaking at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, Obama cast his message as an international call for human rights, singling out countries that he said have fallen short, particularly when it comes to extending protections and freedoms to all faiths.
Obama scolded China, Iran, North Korea and other countries known for repressing religious minorities and declared that promoting freedom of faith around the world was a central goal of American foreign policy.
Obama told the non-denominational gathering of political leaders Thursday that freedom of religion across the world is important to national security and is a central tenet of U.S. diplomacy.
Claiming that countries that assure religious freedom tend to be more peaceful, Obama told the bipartisan crowd "nations that do not uphold these rights sow the bitter seeds of instability and violence and extremism."
The Center For Inquiry, an organization dedicated to a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values, applauded Obama’s support of those “with no faith at all.” However, the group also noted:
We believe strongly that the President of the United States should not be taking part in the National Prayer Breakfast, a specifically religious event made official by his participation and endorsement.
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