Taking a break from deficit negotiations for a whirlwind tour of southeast Asia, President Obama joked as he toured a sacred Buddhist temple that he could use some prayer to help reach a budget deal.
“We’re working on this budget, we’re going to need a lot of prayer for that,” the president told a monk at the Wat Pho Royal Monastery.
The president later explained the quip at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
“I always believe in prayer, If a Buddhist monk is wishing me well, I’m going to take whatever good vibes he can give me to try to deal with some challenges back home.”
Shortly after arriving in Bangkok, Obama, accompanied by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, toured the Viharn of the Reclining Buddha, one of the most famous sites in Thailand, and the Eastern Viharn Phra.
Obama and Clinton talked softly with the robed monk as they walked, shoe-less, through the holy temple.
President Obama has always said that he was rooted in prayers.
So, I’m rooted in the Christian tradition. I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people. That there are values that transcend race or culture, that move us forward, and there’s an obligation for all of us individually as well as collectively to take responsibility to make those values lived.-
First and foremost, my Christian faith gives me a perspective and security that I don’t think I would have otherwise: that I am loved. That, at the end of the day, God is in controlFaith has always provided a moral framework and vocabulary for this country to come to terms with its most pressing challenges. One of the great things about this nation is that it is a place where people from all walks of life can advocate on behalf of their faith and beliefs and be open about what drives and motivates them,
President Barack Obama
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