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Religious Perspectives on President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union

After Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address to Congress, Kim Lawton, managing editor of Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, moderated a panel of religion analysts’ reflections. Howard University School of Divinity’s assistant professor of homiletics, Kenyatta Gilbert; Wesley Theological Seminary’s professor of Christian ethics (and former adviser to the Obama campaign), Shaun Casey; and former Republican U.S. Senate leadership staffer Mark Rodgers commented on aspects of the address, including possible reasons the speech was unusually lacking in moral language; how the country’s economic problem affects the public’s feelings about money allocated to fight poverty abroad; what it means to say America is an “exceptional” nation; and why the speech was missing confessional statements explicitly articulating what the president believes.  Segments of the 20-minute discussion addressing the perception of Obama can serve as conversation starters or as sermon illustrations.

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