How Obama's favorite theologian shaped his first year

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How Obama's favorite theologian shaped his first year

Postby denise on Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:35 am ... tml?hpt=C2

How Obama's favorite theologian shaped his first year in office

(CNN) -- In the summer of 1943, when Adolf Hitler's armies marched unchecked across Europe, a pastor in a remote New England village decided to write a prayer.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change," he began, "the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference."

It is now known as the Serenity Prayer. It's been adopted by 12-step recovery programs and cited in numerous self-help books. Yet few people know who wrote it. His name is Reinhold Niebuhr, and he was a Protestant pastor in the mid-20th century whose words tended to unsettle people, not offer comfort.

Niebuhr is getting attention again because he has a fan in the Oval Office.

In a widely cited New York Times column, President Obama called Niebuhr his "favorite philosopher." But how precisely has Niebuhr's philosophy influenced Obama and his handling of everything from health care reform to fighting terrorists?

The answer may be seen by looking at Obama's first year in office, several scholars, and a relative of Niebuhr's, suggest.

Standfast therefore in the Liberty which Christ has made you free
and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.

Galations 5:1
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