In June of 2006, then-Senator Obama delivered what was called the most important speech on religion and politics in 40 years. Speaking before an evangelical audience, then-Senator Obama candidly discussed his own religious conversion and doubts, and the need for a deeper, more substantive discussion about the role of faith in American life. He has continued to foster open dialogues on faith across the political spectrum throughout his career.
The President believes a healthy discussion of faith in a pluralistic society includes the need for religious people to translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values during public debate, and sincere respect on all sides. President Obama has found common ground in the importance of faith in the global battle against AIDS in particular.