Created and managed by Carnegie Council Senior Program Director and Senior Fellow William Vocke, Global Ethics Corner is a weekly 90-second segment devoted to newsworthy ethical issues.
For President Obama, what is the relation between religion and politics?
This issue ignited arguments during the campaign, given his middle name, and his relationship with Reverend Wright.
On entering office Obama's religious identity was not as distinct as his predecessor's. The President's views place him in the arc of Reinhold Niebuhr, a favorite of Christians who emphasize pluralism and social justice over any doctrine or sect.
Nevertheless, in the President's first high-profile speeches he spoke of his Christian faith and other faiths in more explicit language and greater depth than expected. In Cairo, he concluded with direct quotes from the Koran, the Talmud, and the Bible.
His Nobel lecture reflected the transcendent powers of religion, yet emphasized its limits, saying, "…no Holy War can ever be a just war. For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then...
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