tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 4, 2016 8:28am-10:01am EST
>> on john bozeman from arkansas, at i can promise you one thing. neck she wen when tim and i are running the show we will not be following that. simply remarkable. how does anybody do that? it really is a pleasure to be with you all and be with my colleague, senator tim kaine. i greatly appreciate his friendship and have had the pleasure of working with him this last year. as co-chair of the senate prayer breakfast. so the fellows who are going to put this on next year, together we realize we are part of a very, very long, great tradition. it's humbling to think the prayer breakfast we are a part of is come has been meeting longer than any of us have been alive. in my case that's been a while. it's exciting to think also that
learned from that experience the power of a small group in advancing your spiritual life. it has been my blessing to have opportunity in my parish in richmond in with group of legislators when i was lieutenant governor and positive. now in the senate working with john bozeman and the senate in this sinatra digs. there is greatness in a large room but i think a lot of us are here because there is greatness in small rooms and small groups. like john i would encourage you to advance your spiritual life by joining a small group that focuses on spiritual fellowship. now a word of introduction. when i came to the senate in january 2013 within nine months of the united states shut down. because i'm catholic i was tempted to blame myself. [laughter].
when, when the government reopened, when the government reopened we had a hard task on our shoulders which congress was charged with finding a budget deal by the end of the calendar year and i'm on the budget committee and i got to watch my chairwoman, my great friend, senator patty murray work with the house then budget chair paul ryan. i came to know in that work by observation as paul a person of strong principle but a person who knows we are not to express our opinions louder than the next person but be principled and respect work with the principles of others and we found a deal to move forward. i want to offer a prayer to the speaker, a letter from paul a letter to the galatians. let us not grow weary in doing good for in season we will not give up. ladies and gentlemen, speak of the house, paul ryan.
[applause] >> that was quite nice. thank you very much. first of all i want to express my gratitude to my friends robert aderholt and juan vargas for hosting us here today. thank you. thank you for what you've done. [applause] and i want to applaud their work to raise awareness of the plight of the persecuted christians around the world. [applause] i also want to welcome all of you to washington. you could not have come here for a better reason. this breakfast is a national tradition because prayer is a part of our national heritage. it goes all the way back to the declaration of independence. we believe that our rights come
from god and our job as officeholders is to protect those rights. so it is only natural that we should ask for his guidance as we seek to do his will. i have noticed a growing impatience though with prayer in our culture these days. you see it in the papers or you see it on twitter, when people say we're praying for someone or something, the attitude in some quarters these days is, don't just pray, do something about it. the thing is, when you are praying, you are doing something about it. [applause] you are revealing the presence of god. whenever people are in grief, or even when they're about to start some great undertaking, they feel the worst pain of all, they
feel alone. how am i going to get through this? why is this happening to me? my god, my god, why have you forsaken me? that is why there is nothing more comforting or more humbling, really, than to hear someone say, i'm praying for you because when you hear that, you realize you're not alone. god is there. and hundreds, if not thousands, if not millions of people are all speaking to him on your behalf. they're not praying for some abstract notion. they're praying for you, the person. you know it says a lot about our country that people of both parties and of all faiths will drop everything and pray for their fellow americans. what it says is, we believe in
the dignity of the individual, of the human person. and that is why prayer should always come first. all americans believe this. but as christians we especially can appreciate this truth. we believe in jesus christ. we believe god came down from heaven became a man, with a name and a body so we could know him, we could begin to understand. he walked among the poor and the lowly of this world so that he could raise us to new heights in the next. it's a miracle. it inspires us every single day, and that is why we should rejoice always. pray without ceasing and in all circumstances give thanks. thank you and welcome. [applause]
>> welcome, rabbi. >> i think in these few days that we're together there's such a spirit of love and joy and affection, a sense that an environment is produced these days that elicits the very best in us and there is a constant struggle in everyone to find a way in which our bestselves emerges and the self that manifests the love of god and the love of one's fellow human
being and it calls us to something higher to a calling that gives us the nobility of what it means to be a child of god. in this spirit i would like to read from the book of isaiah, chapter 58. it's a reading that is done every yom kippur, every day of atonement in every synagogue throughout the world. it is a day, incidentally, where jews fast, yet on this very day when jews fast they read this. is such the fast that i choose a day for a man to humble himself? is it to bow down his head like a rush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast? and a day acceptable to the lord? is not this the fast that i
choose to loose the bonds of wickedness, to reduce the bonds of the yoke and let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring homeless poor to your house? when you see the naked to cover him and not to hide yourself from your own flesh. then shall your light break forth like the dawn and your healing shall spring up speedily. your righteousness shall go before you. the glory of the lord will be over your god and then you shall call and the lord will answer, you shall cry and he will say, here i am. if you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the pointing of the finger and the speaking wickedness, if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy
the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noon day and the lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire with good things, make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters fail not and your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt. you shall raise up the foundations of many generations. you shall be called the repairers of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwelling. thank you. [applause] >> good morning.
>> good morning. >> to president and mrs. obama, cochairs congressman vargas and congressman aderholt and to all distinguished guests with us this morning. on this day of hope and of harmony let us pray. dear lord, we gather here as one, connected by the strength of our faith, by our pride in this great nation, and by our common bond as children of god. let us remember that each of us is beloved equally in the eyes of our lord and let us serve as instruments that spread your mercy to our brothers and our sisters. jesus told the disciples in the book of matthew that what we do unto the least among us we do unto him. so just as the grace of god
provides nourishment to our souls and sanctuary for our spirits we must provide food to the hungry, care for the ailing, shelter to the poor. the bible instructs us to find unity in our faith and compassion for all men and women through the example of christ. and i pray that we will find inspiration from the second chapter of phillipians which reads, so if there is any encouragement in christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. do nothing from rivalry or conceit but in humility. count others more significant than yourselves. let each of you look not only to
his own interests but also to the interests of others. have this in mind among yourselves which is yours in christ jesus, who though he was in the form of god did not count equality with god a thing to be grasped but emptied himself by taking the for of a servant and being borne in the likeness of men. amen. thank you. may god bless. [applause] >> good morning. >> good morning. >> mr. president, and mrs. obama, all of the distinguished guests gathered here in prayer, i know we all want to thank congressman juan vargas and congressman robert aderholt for their leadership making this morning's brake fast such a success and i thank them
for giving me the opportunity to read the following reading from the gospel of john. in those gospels of john we see the golden rule that stands at the heart of the gospel and as we hear these words from john 15:13 and 17, we know this message of and this command of love is not confined to the new testment. the same message stands at the center of the torah and teachings of the prophet mohamed too. from the torah, it says love your neighbor as yourself the and from muhammad, none of you has faith until he loves for his brother or his neighbor what he loves for himself. and now from the gospel of john. before the feast of the passover when jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the father jesus knowing that the father had
given all things into his hands and that he had come from god and was going to god rose from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waste. after that he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with a towel. when he had finished washing their feet and put on his clothes and returned to his place. do you understand what i have done for you he asked them? you call me teacher, and lord, and rightly so for that is what i am. now that i, your lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another's feet. i have set you an example that you should do as i have done for you. very truly i tell you no servant is greater than his master, nor is any messenger greater than
the one who sent him. now you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. a little while later jesus said, as the father has loved me so i have loved you. now remain in my love. if you keep my commands you will remain in my love just as i have kept my father's commands and remain in his love. i have told you this so that my joy may be with you and that your joy may be complete. my command is this. love each other as i have loved you. greater love hath no one than this, to lay down his life for one's friends. finally, listen to jesus's prayer for us. he went on to say, my prayer is not for them alone. i pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, father, just as you are in me and i am in you. may they also be in us so that
the world may believe that you have sent me. i have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one. i and them and you in me. so that may, they may guide to bring us to complete unity. that is the gospel of the lord. may god guide us to answer this prayer of togetherness, unity and love. we may be from many faiths we be united by our service to god and to one another. amen. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. >> morning. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> mr. president, our first lady, this is truly the day the
lord has made. let us rejoice and be glad in it. let us pray. thank you, father, for allowing us to live in a country where we can come together in your precious name in peace, fellowship, and communion and offer you praise, glory, and honor. father, we ask that you watch over our president, barack obama, as he literally carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. continue to lead andfied him and bless him with the courage of david and the wisdom of solomon. bless all of our national leaders from all branches of our government. father, bless the leaders from around the world who are charged with a great responsibility to bring hope and in the midst of hopelessness, calm in the midst of chaos, and peace in the midst of war. father, infuse in our leaders a call to action to protect those who can not protect themselves for as dr. king said, our lives
began and end the day we become silent about things that truly matter. father, let our leaders never forget that as a global community our strength, our dignity, and our hue mapty are all closely linked to our willingness to help each other. father, i pray that our leaders are led by faith because our faith lets us know you hear us. father, because we've been granted this awesome responsibility to lead, we have legal and moral obligation to strive to better conditions worldwide. father, your word and our faith provide us guidance. the gospel of matthew teaches that we must first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, then you shall see clearly to cast out the mote in thy brother's eye. father, express upon our leaders the profoundness of that passage. i pray our leaders to earn our positions of leadership we must
constantly sit in judgment of ourselves. this is not an easy or comfortable task but it is one that is essential. whether it's at a prayer meeting or during times of self-reflection, we must examine our actions in the crucible of our faith. in first kings solomon reminded of promise that god made to david, that is if our people remain faithful, then when in need our god would hear them. father, faith is essential to all we do and faith has been vital to me. i am so proud to share my faith with our national leaders because this nation has invested so much in me. i'm humbled and honored to have served in afghanistan and iraq as the united states army officer. my unwavering faith sustained me while i served in combat zone away from my wife and my son. more importantly my faith sustained me when i was paralyzed shortly after returning from afghanistan.
my wife anna and i relied on our faith to sustain us and keep us. without faith i know i would not be standing here today. i literally would not be standing here today. father, remind our leaders that you told us to have faith in all we do, not some of what we do, but all we do. not just when it's pop or convenient. let our leaders know that it is through prayer and faith that our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines that work to secure our homeland will return home when war will be no more. father, remind our leaders that faith will sustain them. faith will keep them. and faith will guide them. for i know first-hand that it is because of my faith in the power of prayer, that i stand before you today. i also pray that with continued faith and perseverance our president will be strengthed, fortified, guided and directed
to lead this great nation and be a beacon of justice and peace around the world. in the precious name of jesus, i gave thanks. amen. [applause] >> thank you, judge rigsby, and thank you god for the answer to our prayers and we thank you for, again for this morning and we offer all those prayers up to the father. mark byrne net and roma down any are two of television's most successful producers. they have made over 3,000 hours of american tv that airs in over 70 countries and received eight emmy awards. you know them from their productions of some of television's most iconic shows including the "the voice," "shark tank", "sure ," the bible
series and major motion picture, son of god. mark burnett is president of mgm television and digital and his wife roma is chief content officer of light works media. many know roma as star in roll monica, in the long running tv show, touched by touched by an . to get an idea of some much their work we'll look at clip from their hit television series "the bible." >> i believe your son is the promised king of his people. what is his name? >> jesus. >> you said there was trouble. people flocking to this wild man, john. they think he's a prophet. some even call him the messiah. >> i am just a voice in the wilderness preparing the way for -- look.
>> what are we going to do? >> change the world. >> he's here. >> who? >> jesus. he's back. >> blessed are the poor for theirs is the "kingdom of heaven." blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. >> what are you saying the you are the messiah, the chosen one, sent by god? >> you will be healed. >> 5,000 came to see him. >> the king comes to you riding on a donkey. >> there is something unusual about him. >> there is nothing unusual about the ability to cause havoc. >> the disturbance took place today -- >> i will crush any rebellion. ♪ >> forgive them, for they know
not what they do. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the first husband and wife couple to ever address this brake fast, roma downey and mark burnett. [applause] >> thank you. [laughter]. >> okay. [laughter]. >> we are married. good morning. mr. president. madam first lady. senators, congressmen. members of our armed forces. esteemed foreign representatives
and guests. roma and i are so greatful to be here this year. we're used to sitting out there and have been for many years and love this prayer breakfast. we're especially grateful this year to be speaking at president obama's last prayer breakfast. it is such an honor. we're also really, really glad to be here to share with you a little of our story about immigrant, blue-collar roots coming to america. >> yes. it's a great blessings also for us to be here as a married couple and to get do this together. as we her, we're the first husband and wife team ever to speak at the national prayer breakfast. mark and i have been working together side by side for years and most couples we know can't even do yard work together without arguing.
[laughter] and yet, we have been together every day, producing the "the bible ," a. d. soon to be released epic feature film, "ben hur." i have to acknowledge mr. morgan freeman who is here today, who is one of the stars of "ben hur." [applause] spending so much time together as a husband and wife is a blessing and a challenge and perhaps the real miracle is that we're still speaking to each other. [laughter] as business partners we have different styles and approaches. i might tap gently on a door and my husband might kick the door down and both can be effective. like all partnerships we learned to work as a team. there is an art of course to
public speaking, to feel like a graceful dance and speaking today we will try not to step on each others toes. i'm reminded of some of the great dancers from the past like fred astaire and ginger rogers, and they moved so well together. and remember that ginger did everything fred did but she did it backwards and in high heels. [laughter] of course -- yes. to the girls. of course as you may be able to tell from our accents i am irish, my husband is english but we don't hold that against him. [laughter] >> okay. i admit it, i was born in england but i'm very lucky now as roma to be an american citizen. so we can officially celebrate 4th of july. [applause]
i do, i'm also lucky, i'm the only person in the room who is marryied to an actual angel. i know what you're thinking. yes, i have been "touched by an angel." but we are married. >> i was born and raised in derry city, northern ireland near the bogsite section. derry is the second city of the north. as you all know it was home to a great deal of violence and unrest particularly in the 1970 east and '80s. our city was divided by a river flowed through the middling segregating the communities. catholics lived on one side and protestants lived on the other and never did the twain meet. we hardly ever crossed the river to the other side. those were scary and often dangerous times when shootings and bombings became a way of life. when i was just 10 years of age
my mother died and i remember going to visit her grave when a fierce gunbattle broke out in the cemetery. and i narrowly missed being shot. the bullet hole sinked coat i was wearing and missed my head by inches. surely i must have had an angel watching over me that day. through my teenage years, i remember sitting in my little bedroom on the street we lived and looking out to the rain and listening over and over to one of the cassettes i owned. it was simon and garfunkel's greatest hits. i loved the lyrics for they create ad poetic world where you could hear the sounds of silence and it seemed possible that you could really build a bridge over troubled waters. and the lyrics painted a picture for me, a picture of america and
a seed was planted. the american dream represented freedom and opportunity and there, as a young irish teenager, an american dream was born in my heart. like so many immigrants before us this great country has provided us with the opportunities to make our dreams reality. >> yet we both came seeking that same american dream. 30 years ago i left the british army parachute regiments and i moved to los angeles with zero skills but i did need a job and a place to live and i had a friend from home who lived in beverly hills and worked as a chauffeur or a rich family. he suggest ad chauffeur might be a good job, at least i could drive a car but there were no chauffeur jobs available. but there was a job advertised. it sounded great. it was a live-in position in
beverly hills. got paid $125 a week and the job did come with a room, a car, and even cable tv. the trouble woos, there were two words right at the front of the job description which made no sense with a guy from a parachute regiments. the two words, were child care. [laughter] my friend nick told me it was a waste of time even going for the interview but i remember him saying, mark, come on, how are you going to be a commando yesterday to "mary poppins" tomorrow? really. latch laugh. but i knew i was desperate so i showed up that night at 624 north beverly drive in beverly hills for a job interview. it was crazy. keep in mind, i was 22 years of age, had just come out of the army. erving, the husband, began by
asking what on earth i thought i was doing there. here he had a 3-year-old from this marriage, a 17-year-old, 19-year-old from his other marriage and what did he possibly need another 22-year-old kid for? [laughter]. what he said he needed was a nanny and a housekeeper. just then his wife patty cut him off and said, well you have an accent. where are you from? ma'am, i'm from london. irv, we love london. irv did not crack a smile. he was annoyed. he started drilling me to get rid of me. he said this job isn't just about chasing a 3-year-old around a beverly hills estate. you need to do some cleaning. can you clean, mark? i said, sir, i just left four years in the british army. they came around with a white glove to inspect our lockers every day. no one ever found a speck of dust on my locker.
patty smiled and i've got even more annoyed. okay, can you do laundry? sir, laundry, did our own washing and ironing, i could iron a shirt with a crease so sharp you could shave with it. [laughter] patty was loving this. but then irving finally got me, he said, mark, can you cook? i said, sir, i'm british. my mum can't even cook. [laughter] anyway, i thought i wasn't getting job. a few hours later patty called, the number i left with my friend nick left, it was a very tough sell but you got the job. can you start tomorrow? then i began the next day in america as a domestic help nanny
housekeeper at 624 north beverly drive, beverly hills. it was really amazing. last year, roma and i, as a lot of you know merged our company into mgm, which made me the president of mgm television. i was given an office on the top floor of mgm right next to gary barber the chairman and ceo of mgm i walked in there and looked at this incredible view over l.a., hollywood sign, beverly hills, it dawned on me, the address of this building is two 45 north beverly drive. i looked out the window up beverly drive and i could actually see the house where i was a nanny at 624 north beverly drive. [applause] you have to know this can only happen in america. it is the american dream. >> yeah, there are certain things that could only happen in
america. back when i emigrated from ireland i lived in new york city and the very first job i had there was checking coats in a very fancy upper westside restaurant. the meals were lovely but so expensive, and i never could have afforded to eat there myself. when i checked a coat, i used to get maybe a quarter a quote or sometimes a dollar on average. and one night i checked the coat of regis philbin. he was very first celebrity that i ever met. and he gave me a 20-dollar tip. i thought i died and went to heaven. [laughter] and just a few years later i was living in los angeles, starring on a tv show called, "touched by an angel" and the show had millions of viewers each week and it was a big hit on cbs and soon i was invited to fly back to new york and be a
guest on the regis philbin show. checking coats one moment, starring on television the next. only in america. and i remember i told regis that story and he laughed and he laughed. he was just so glad that he hadn't stiffed me. [laughter] anyway, for almost 10 years i had the privilege of playing the angel monica on television opposite the great della reese. and we were undercover angels, thank you, we were undercover angels who showed up at a crossroads in people's lives. often when they had hit the bottom. and in their brokenness they had reached out to god for help. and every week i got to deliver
a message of god's love on national television to millions of people. and as a believer myself this was such an honor to share with the audience that there is a god, that he loves us, and that he wants to be part of our lives. and before we filmed these angel revelation scenes each week we would pry a very simple prayer. less of me, god, more of you. less of me, more of you. and we prayed because we hoped we would be used to touch peoples hearts and to open their lives to god. thankfully that happened thousands of times. both mark and i have been so blessed with our careers here in the united states and we are both so fortunate and incredibly grateful. >> yes, we are really fortunate and we're very grateful but our
faith has in fact led us to entirely build our tv careers, and film careers on family friendly franchises. like shows just mentioned. [applause] but, the voice, "apprentice," "shark tank," "survivor," often every week, four nights out of seven, we have the number one show in america. it is a lot of leverage which is what matters in hollywood. we took that leverage and we told hollywood, we wanted to make a brand new series called, the bible." yes the bible on prime time american tv. [applause] of course our friend told us we will destroy our great careers because mixing entertainment and
religion was going to make people really angry but worst of all, they said we were idiots because nobody is going to watch the bible on prime-time tv. they know the story and they can get that in church. well as the americans in this room know, the bible became the most talked about television show in america, the number one series of the year and 100 million of you watching. [applause] and here's what is really great. so "the bible" was shown in canada but they showed up against the first game for the national hockey league. but head-to-head "the bible" beat hockey. [laughter] [applause] i guess we do know now up in canada we can officially say, the hockey is not god. [laughter].
>> at that time "the bible" was up against the show called the walking dead and we won, my favorite headline ran on cnn, god beats zombies. [laughter] but far more important, than the ratings, were the stories of families sitting together in their living rooms watching "the bible." the stories of how god's love for us unfolded through ages, moved them and engaged them. because faith was and is alive and well in america. [applause] and the series helped to ignite a much larger conversation about god and faith in this country. and we were also humbled that people were inspired to see us, a hollywood couple of producers daring to speak out about our love of jesus, daring to talk
about our faith in god, and our sincere belief in the power of prayer. i can honestly say that i have never made a decision in my life big or small, that i didn't pray about first. the bible series began with a prayer that started as a whisper in our hearts. our dear friend, rick warren, has said to us once, the most dangerous prayer you can pray is lord, use me. because then you have to be ready that he might just do so. all we did was ask him to use us. >> and use us he did, trust me. yes, it was a tv show but we're still telling the story of the most sacred book of all time, the bible, and we knew we had to get it right. it was really important, huge responsibility on our shoulders. so the first thing we did was
sign up 40 scholars and advisors, by the way, many of you are in this room right now. you know who you are, and you backed us from the very beginning, stood shoulder to shoulder with you, with us and we thank you so much, all of you in this room that backed us. [applause] it was difficult to bridge all the theological gaps between the denominations but we prayed our way through the process and managed to create a series that brought people together and glorified god. i think it's fair to say we have become hollywood's noisiest christians. [laughter] you know, at least 90 million americans attend church each sunday in this country. millions more find inspiration and hope in the person, the story, and the teachings of
jesus christ. the christian community is a mainstream community. they watch the nfl. they watch "the voice." they buy tickets to "star wars" and go to beyonce concerts. it is a community loves jesus, loves their country. it is a very cool community, made up of millions of young believers that have tattoos, earings, they ride skateboards and tweet and entrepreneurs and vibrant part of the new american economy. it is a very broad audience indeed. as a community that we are really proud to be a part of, and a community that is covered us in prayer, as to our own surprise we almost became international spokespeople for the bible. >> the making of the bible series was covered in prayer every step of the way. i can still remember sitting in the moroccan desert under the shade of a rock and reading scripture with actors. or praying together with them as
they prepared for a scene. when we were getting ready to shoot the crucifix scene i sent out email that prayers would be sent ahead of us to clear the way. there were emotional and spiritual challenges of filming such a scene as well as the physical challenge of, because we had to hang an actor on a cross. and that day the winds were very high and the sun was scorching and we prayed for safety and the that god would use the series to open hearts to him. and we had a man on the set whose job it was to wrangle snakes and scorpions from each of the locations and normally he found about one or two snakes a day. but on the morning of the crews crews -- crews fiction, he removed 48 snakes from the
hillside of golgatha. we believe that the power of prayer at work and symbolism much the snake wasn't lost on any of us. and we also prayed as we cast the series, we were only a few months away from beginning filming and we still hadn't cast the most important role of jesus. so i sent out an email to all of my contacts with the header, looking for jesus. [laughter] we asked in prayer that the right actor would show up. and through a series of remarkable coincidences we came across portuguese actor diego morgado as he walked up our garden path to meet us for the first time, i said to mark, there he is, there's our jesus. he was answer to a prayer. his touching and affecting performance as jesus helped to inspire millions of people around the world.
>> yes. [applause] that role of jesus was so important and it was last minute casting and it was the answer to prayer and incredible hispanic actor, diego morgado beautifully portrayed as you saw on the screen jesus in "the bible" series and everyone in the country was talking about this hispanic actor and reminds me of a greater to. a couple of old men who were christians lived next door to each other. one was an old black man, one was an old white man. they loved each other and did everything together. they only had one disagreement. the old black man was sure jesus was black and the old white man was just assures. >> discuss was a white man. neither could ever convince the other. one day these great friends died together in a car accident. on the way up to heaven the old
black man said, buddy, you're about to find out i was right all along. is. >> sus is black man. the white man said i'm sorry you find out this day because when you see him you will find out is. >> sus is in fact a white man. they got there in great anticipation and jesus walked up to meet them, he smiled at them and said bain -- buenos dias. [laughter] >> you know i suppose when you think about it, jesus could have been irish. he lived at home until he was 30. [laughter] he never got married. around his mother thought he was god. [laughter] you know, as a husband and wife,
producer team, not only do we get to do what we love to do, but we get to do it together, and we have fun, you can tell. we have fun. but we also know being in media comes with responsibility for those who whom much is given, much is expected. we're so pleased our step of faith has reinvigorated faith and family programing in this country. and has hopefully -- [applause] and hopefully inspired a whole new generation of artists to invest their talent in content that inspires and unifies. this is why we named the company that produced "bible," light workers media. because we have always believed it is far more effective to light a candle than to curse the darkness. let me say that again.
we believe it is far more effective to light a candle than curse the darkness around that's what we try to do. to light as many candles as we can. we just keep lighting candles and as often very dark, hostile and hurting world. >> you know it's very -- people, it is very difficult to bring them together. do you know what we learned making "the bible," just among christians alone there are over 30,000 denominations? think about that. it is crazy, right? and many have argued about their views of jesus for thousands of years. so for us working across the protestant and catholic community, working very detailed way with the jewish community, it was very, very challenging to make everybody happy as we told the story of the bible but we
worked very, very hard and many people here advised us so closely and we learned to become bridge builders and bridge building became our mission. >> building bridges has become so much of our mission. and i know the power of a bridge from my own life's journey growing up in war-torn northern ireland. but today if you go to derry, you will find something new there. peace has been restored there and there is now a walking bridge built across the river foyle. it is aptly called the peace bridge and it stands in defiance of all that once divided us, our very own bridge over troubled water. protestants and catholic children now play together but more than that, the old hurts are healing. the leaders in northern ireland finally sat down and talked to
each other and listened to each other and started to work things out together. we are at a time in the world's history where there is so much pain and fear and division everywhere. and these divisions show up in race, and in religion, and in politics. the dividing lines are easy to find. the bridges to peace are harder to build. may we all find our dividing lines and work until we have built our own bridges of peace across them. on this day of the national prayer breakfast we pray that with god's help our world can heal some of the hurts that wound us and the confusion that divides us. but it begins with us. perhaps a good place to start is to simply see the image of god
in the eyes of everyone you meet. as jesus said, by this everyone will know that you follow me, that you love one another. for in this spirit is the power of true faith, that we learn to love each other. we know that television and film can be powerful ways of bringing inspiration and hope through emotional stories that open your heart. as my dear friend, the late maya angelou said, people will forget what you said. people will forget what you did. but people will never forget how you made them feel. thank you so much. and may god bless you. [applause]
problems in the world and ask for the lord's help. in that vein we came together to pray for the president of the united states and his family. we do this with all our hearts and appreciate the message that you brought today to us. it was so uplifting. mr. president, when we were in law school together i had lunch with our one of our smartest classmates, in fact i mentioned his name to you and i asked him who i thought was really, really smart and he said, this guy named barack obama. he's really, really smart. and he may even become a supreme court justice some day. so there's still time, mr. president. there's still time. you're a young man. [applause] but all kidding aside, mr. president, we honor you for your dignity. we honor you for your integrity. we honor you for your faith. the way you honor god with your
life and your service to all of us. ladies and gentlemen, for one last time at our national prayer breakfast, it is my honor to introduce the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you very much. their. thank you so much. thank you so much. thank you. thankthank you very much. thank you so much. [applause] thank you very much. good morning. >> good morning, mr. president. >> giving all praise and honor to god for bringing us together here this morning, i want to thank everyone who helped organize this breakfast, especially our cochairs, robert,
juan, who embody the tradition of friendship, fellowship, and prayer. i will begin with a confession. i have always felt a tinge of guilt motorcading up here at the heart of d.c.'s rush hour. i suspect that not all the commuters were blessing me as they waited to get to work. [laughter] but it is for a good cause, a national prayer brunch doesn't have the same ring to it. [laughter]. and michelle and i are extremely honored, as always, to be with so many friends, with members of congress, with faith leaders from across the country and around the world. to be with the speaker, leader. i want to thank mark and roma for their friendship and their
extraordinary story and sharing those inspiring words. andrea sharing his remarkable gifts. on this occasion i always enjoy reflecting on a pies of scripture meaningful to me or otherwise sustained my throughout the year. and lately i've been thinking, and praying on a verse from ii timothy. for god has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. for god has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
we live in extraordinary times, times of extraordinary change. we're surrounded by teutonic shifts in technology and in our economy. by destructive conflict, disruptions to our environment, and it all reshapes the way we work and the way we live. it's all amplified by a media that is unceasing and that feeds 24/7 our ever-shrinking attention spans. and as a student of history i often remind people the challenges that we face are not unique. that in fact the threats of previous eras, whether civil war or world war or cold war, depressions, or famines, those
shines a brighter light on those who still struggle, reveals a gap and prospects that exists for the children of the world. and that gap between want and plenty gives us vertigo. they can make us afraid. not only the possibility that progress will stall, but that maybe we have more to lose. and fear does funny things. fear can lead us to lash out against those who are different,
or lead us to try to get some sinister other under control. alternatively, fear can lead us to succumb to despair or paralysis, or cynicism. fear can feed our most selfish impulses, and erode the bonds of community. it is a primal emotion, fear, one that we all experience. and it can be contagious, spreading through societies and through nations. and if we let it consume us, the consequences of that fear can be worse than any outward threat.
for me, and i know for so many of you, faith is a great cure for fear. jesus is a good cure for fear. god gives believers the power, the love, the sound mind required to conquer any fear. and what more important moment for that faith than right now? what better time than these changing tumultuous times to have jesus standing beside us, studying our minds, cleansing
our hearts -- steadying -- pointing us towards what matters? [applause] >> his love gives us the power to resist fierce temptations. he gives us the courage to reach out to others across that divide rather than push people away. he gives us the courage to go against the conventional wisdom and stand up for what's right, even when it's not popular. to stand up not just to our enemies but sometimes you stand up to our friends. he gives us the fortitude to
sacrifice ourselves for a larger cause. or to make tough decisions knowing that we can only do our best. less of me, more of god. and then to have the courage to admit our failings and our sins, while pledging to learn from our mistakes and to try to do better. certainly during the course of this enormous privilege to have served as the president of the united states, that's what faith has done for me. it helps me deal with the common everyday fears that we all share, the main what i'm feeling right now is that our children
to a -- grow up too fast. they are leaving. that's a tough deal. and so as a parent you are worrying about will some harm befall them? how are they going to manage without you? did you miss some central moment in their lives? will they call? [laughter] or text? each day we are fearful that god's purpose becomes elusive, cloudy, try to figure out how we fit into his broader plan. universal fears that we have.
and my faith helps me to manage those. and then my faith helps me to deal with some of the unique elements of my job. as one of the great departed heroes of our age, nelson mandela once said, i learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, that he who conquers that fear. and certainly there are times when i've had to repeat that to myself while holding this office. when you hear from a parade of experts just days after you're elected that another great depression is a very real possibility, that will get your attention. [laughter] when you tell a room full of young cadets that you have made a decision to send them into
harm's way, knowing that some of them might not return safely, that's sobering. when you hold in your arms and mothers and fathers of innocent children gunned down in their classroom, that remind you there is evil in the world. and so you come to understand what president lincoln meant when he said, that he had been driven to his knees by the overwhelming conviction that he had no place else to go. and so like every president, like every leader, like every person, i've known fear. but my faith tells me that i need not fear death, that acceptance of christ promises everlasting life and the washing away of sins.
[applause] >> if scripture instructs me to put on the full armor of god so that when trouble comes on able to stand, and surely i can face down these temporal setbacks. surely i can battle back doubt. surely i can rouse myself to action. and should that faith waiver, should i lose my way, i have drawn strength not only from a remarkable wife, not only from incredible colleagues and friends, but i have drawn strength from witnessing all across this country and all around this world good people of
all faiths who do the lord's work each and every day. who wield that power and love and sound mind to feed the hungry, heal the sick, to teach our children, and welcome the stranger. think about the extraordinary work of the congregations and faith communities represented here today, whether fighting global poverty are working to end the scourge of human trafficking, you are the leaders of what pope francis calls this march of living hope. when the earth cleaves in haiti, christians, sikhs and other faith groups sent volunteers to
distribute aid, tend to the wounded, rebuild homes for the homeless. when ebola ravaged west africa, jewish, christian, muslim groups responded to the outbreak to save lives. and as a news fans the flames that shoot, churches and mosques responded with a powerful rebuke, welcoming survivors into their pews. win nine worshipers were murdered in a charleston church basement, people of all faith came together to wrap a shattered community in love and understanding. wins syrian refugees seek a century of our shores, synagogues, mosques, temples and churches who welcomed them. the first to offer blankets and food and open their homes.
even now people of different faiths and beliefs are coming together to help people suffering in flint. and then there's the most less spectacular more quiet efforts of congregations all across this country, just helping people, seeing god in others. and we are driven to do this because we are driven by the valley of so many of our faith teaches us that i am my brother's keeper. i am my sister's keeper. as christians we do this compelled of the gospel of jesus, the command to love god and to love one another. and so yes, like every person there are times when i am
fearful, but my faith and more importantly, the faith that i've seen in so many of you, the god i see in you, that makes me inevitably hopeful about our future. i have seen so many who know that god has not given us the spirit of fear. he has given us power and love and a sound mind. we see that spirit in people like pastor saeed abedini. in prison for no other crime other than holding god in his heart. last year we prayed that you might be freed, and this year we give thanks that he is home safe. [applause] we pray for god's protection for all around the world who are not free to practice their faith.
including christians were persecuted or who have been driven from their ancient homelands by unspeakable violence. and just as we call on other countries to respect the rights of religious minorities, we, too, respect the right of every single american to practice their faith freely. [applause] >> for this is what each of us is called on to do, to seek our common humanity in each of there. to make sure our politics and our public discourse reflect that same spirit of love and sound mind. to assume the best in each other, not just the worse. and not just at the national prayer breakfast.
to begin each of our works from the shared belief that all of us want what's good and right for our country and our future. we can draw such strength from the quiet moments of heroism around us every single day, and so let me close with two such stories that i've come to know just over the past week. a week ago i spoke at a ceremony held at the israeli embassy, for the first time. honoring the courage of people who saved during the holocaust -- saved the jews greenhalgh after one of the recipients was the grandson, or the sun of an
american soldier who had been captured by the nazis. so a group of american soldiers are captured, and their captors ordered jewish pows to identify themselves. and one sergeant, a christian from tennessee ordered all american troops to report alongside him. they lined up in formation, approximate 200 of them. and not the colonel said, i asked only for the jewish pow
pows. and said these can't all be jewish. and master sergeant edmonds stood there and said, we are all jews. and the colonel took out his pistol and held it to the master sergeant said and said, tell me who the jews are, and he repeated, we are all jews. and faced with a choice of shooting all those soldiers, the nazis relented. and so through his moral clarity, through an act of faith, sergeant edmonds saved lives of his jewish brothers in arms.
[applause] group second story, just yesterday somebod some of you me aware i visited a mosque in baltimore. to let our muslim-american brothers and sisters know that they, too, are americans. [applause] >> and welcomed them. and there i met a muslim-american who runs a nonprofit working for social change in chicago, and he formed coalitions with churches, latino groups of african-americans, poor neighborhood in chicago. and he told me about how the day after the tragedy in san bernardino happened he took his three young children to a playground in the market park
neighborhood. and while they were out the time came for one of the five daily prayers that are essential to the muslim tradition. and on any other day, he told me, he would immediately put his rock out on the grass right there and prayed. but that day he paused. he feared any unwelcome attention he might attract to himself and his children. and his seven year old daughter asked him, what are you doing, dad? isn't it time to pray? and he thought of all the time he had told her the story of the day that dr. martin luther king, jr. and rabbi robert marks come
and 700 other people marched to the very same park, enduring hatred and bigotry, dodging rocks and bottles and hateful words in order to challenge chicago housing segregation, and to ask america to live up to our highest ideals. and so at that moment, drawing from the courage of men of different religions, of a different time, he refused to teach his children to be afraid. instead, he taught them to be a part of that legacy of faith and good conscious. i want them to understand that sometimes faith will be tested, he told me. and that will be asked to show the encourage like others have before us to make our city, our country, and the world a better
reflection of all our ideals. and he put down his rugged and he prayed. [applause] now, those two stories, they give me courage, and they give me hope. and they instruct me in my own christian faith. i can't imagine a moment in which that young american sergeant expressed his christianity more profoundly than when confronted by his own death. he said we are all jews. [applause] i can't imagine a clearer expression of jesus teachings. i can't imagine a better expression of a peaceful spirit of islam then with a muslim father, filled with fear, truth
an example of a baptist preacher and a jewish rabbi, to teach his children what god demands. [applause] for god has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love, and of a sound mind. i pray that by his grace we all find the courage to set such examples in our own lives. not just during this wonderful gathering and fellowship, not just in the public piety we profess, but in those smaller moments when it's difficult, when we are challenged, when we
are angry, when we are confronted with someone who doesn't agree with us. when no one is watching. i pray, as you so beautifully said, that our differences ultimately are bridged, that the god that is in each of us comes together. and we don't divide. i pray that our leaders will always act with humility and generosity. i pray that my feelings -- failings are forgiven. i pray that we will uphold our obligation to be good stewards of god's creation, this beautiful planet. i pray that we will see every
single child as our own, each worthy of our love and of our compassion. and i pray we answer scriptures call to lift up the moment and to stand up for justice, and ensure that every human being lives with dignity your that's my prayer for this breakfast and for this country. in the years to come. may god bless you and may he continue to bless this country that we love. [applause] all right, thank you, everybody. [applause] [applause]
>> thank you so much, mr. president. thank you for your encouragement and also your challenging word this way. as you know, this breakfast began with one of your predecessors, dwight eisenhower, and over the ages we appreciate you being with us all eight years. and now let us get ready for the world that awaits us outside the walls of this hotel, and let's hear again from our friend and our brother from italy, singing amazing grace.