Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, recently the head of the Family Research Council said that judicial filibusters are an attack against people of faith. And I wonder whether you believe that, in fact, that is what is nominating [sic] Democrats who oppose your judicial choices? And I wonder what you think generally about the role that faith is playing, how it's being used in our political debates right now?There you have it! Those who oppose his nominations do so because they don't like the nominations, not because they're bigoted Jesus-haters. Lead us in showing some respect for the opposition, Mr. President!
THE PRESIDENT: I think people are opposing my nominees because they don't like the judicial philosophy of the people I've nominated.
He went on to say some other stuff that I would criticize, so I'll skip that part and move on. Still asking about those who say the opposition is based on faith rather than honest opposition, Gregory asked further:
Q Do you think that's an inappropriate statement? And what I asked is --I admire the delicacy here. He doesn't condemn his allies for saying what they've said (though I wish he would), but he does say he doesn't agree with it.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I just don't agree with it.
Q You don't agree with it.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I think people oppose my nominees because -- because of judicial philosophy.
Q Sorry, I asked you what you think of the ways faith is being used in our political debates, not just in society --It's good to hear our President say something different from what his dad said nearly 20 years ago.
THE PRESIDENT: No, I know you asked me that. Well, I can only speak to myself, and I am mindful that people in political office should not say to somebody, you're not equally American if you don't happen to agree with my view of religion. As I said, I think faith is a personal issue, and I get great strength from my faith. But I don't condemn somebody in the political process because they may not agree with me on religion.
The great thing about America, David, is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want, and if you choose not to worship, you're equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship. And if you choose to worship, you're equally American if you're a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim. That's the wonderful thing about our country, and that's the way it should be.