[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/05/obama.faith/art.obamacap2.gi.jpg caption="President Obama announced Thursday that he is changing the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives."]
The Washington Post
It was striking to hear the similarities in the speeches that Tony Blair and Barack Obama gave at the National Prayer Breakfast last week. They each told their personal stories of growing up in nonbeliever households and finding their way to faith. They each quoted "Golden Rule" type scriptures from different faiths. They each spoke more of faith-inspired service to the world than the inner life of prayer and the soul. And they talked about interfaith cooperation as an antidote to religious extremism.
As Blair said, "If faith becomes the property of extremists, it will originate discord. But if, by contrast, different faiths can reach out to and have knowledge of one another, then instead of being reactionary, religious faith can be a force for progress."
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