Obama jabs Americans ‘who take religion the most seriously’

President Obama interviewed a Pulitzer Prize-winning author for a New York Review of Books piece published Monday, but it was his comment on devout Christians that captured headlines.


Obama and Marilynne Robinson spoke on numerous topics, but the interview took a strange turn when the president brought up “Gilead,” the author’s book about a pastor living in Iowa in the 1950s.


“How do you reconcile the idea of faith being really important to you and you caring a lot about taking faith seriously with the fact that, at least in our democracy and our civic discourse, it seems as if folks who take religion the most seriously sometimes are also those who are suspicious of those not like them?” Obama asked, the New York Times reported.


Robinson told the president that Christians who are “turning in on themselves – and, God knows, arming themselves” do not take their faith seriously when the target is an “imagined other.”


The president also said, “Sometimes Christian interpretation [of scripture] seems to posit an ‘us versus them [mentality].’”


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