Biden at Easter Breakfast: 'We All Practice the Same Basic Faith'

Vice President Joe Biden said at this morning’s Easter Prayer Breakfast that while there’s “a lot of fear and unease around the world” people should realize “we all practice the same basic faith but different faiths.”

“It’s up to us — and you’ve been the leaders in this country — to recognize that fear, but also try to allay that fear, and to help people understand that what unites us is a lot more than what divides us,” Biden told the breakfast attended by representatives from different faiths. “And it’s embodied in just not what we believe but what we say.”

Biden noted that he’s a practicing Catholic, “but it’s not fundamentally different than a doctrine of any of the great confessional faiths.”

“It’s what you do to the least among us that you do unto me. It’s we have an obligation to one another. It’s we cannot serve ourselves at the expense of others, and that we have a responsibility to future generations,” he said.

“All faiths have a version of these teachings, and we all practice and preach that we should practice what we say. Opening doors to the victims of war, as the president has been trying to do — a war of terrorism and oppression. Accepting people of all faiths and respecting their right to practice their religion as they choose, or choose not to practice any religion. Resisting the urge to let our fears overcome what we value most — our openness, our freedom, and our freedom to practice our faith.”

The vice president added that the faith leaders were needed “to reinforce a sense of confidence and faith in the American people, to appeal, as Lincoln said, to their better angels.”

Introducing President Obama, Biden said he’d “never been with anyone who has more character than this man, and has faith.”

Obama highlighted recent “horrific acts of terrorism, most recently Brussels, as well as what happened in Pakistan — innocent families, mostly women and children, Christians and Muslims.”

“And as Joe mentioned, these attacks can foment fear and division. They can tempt us to cast out the stranger, strike out against those who don’t look like us, or pray exactly as we do,” the president said. “And they can lead us to turn our backs on those who are most in need of help and refuge. That’s the intent of the terrorists, is to weaken our faith, to weaken our best impulses, our better angels.”

“…If Easter means anything, it’s that you don’t have to be afraid.”