President Obama delivered some graceful remarks at the annual “Christmas in Washington” show, which was taped for broadcast Sunday at the National Building Museum in Washington.
Here’s part of what he said:
Every year, we mark the holiday season with celebrations and good cheer. And I should remind my girls that I like getting Christmas presents as much as anybody. (Laughter.) But this is also a time to remember the story of a child born to two faithful travelers on a holy night, long ago.
The sacred birth of Jesus Christ was God’s gift to man on Earth. And through His example, He taught us that we should love the Lord, love our neighbors, as we love ourselves. It’s a teaching that has endured for generations. And today, it lies at the heart of my faith and that of millions of Americans, and billions around the globe.
No matter who we are, or where we come from, or how we worship, it’s a message of hope and devotion that can unite all of us this holiday season. It compels all of us to reach out and help our less fortunate citizens — our poor, our sick, our neighbors in need — and to serve those who sacrifice so much on our behalf.
It’s nice to see the president dispense with political correctness and express the religious aspect of Christmas instead of some anodyne platitude designed not to offend anyone and be “inclusive.”
This country was founded not based on a particular religion, but nevertheless as a nation under God. It is appropriate, then, that the president honor the nation’s major religions. And as a Christian believer celebrating Christmas, it is natural that he state his belief directly.
It doesn’t threaten anyone else’s right to worship as they please. Rather, for the president to freely express his belief, it honors and supports the free exercise of religion.
I’m glad he did so, and glad he did it well.