Ryan to Hispanic Prayer Breakfast: 'Too Often, Faith Is Used to Divide Us'
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told the National Hispanic Prayer Breakfast this morning that "too often, faith is used to divide us -- it is used as a wedge, a cudgel for judging each other."
"And social media is a self-appointed jury that speeds all this up until it feeds on itself," he added. "These debates often end up focused on the individual and the government. It diminishes what comes in between, which are the great mediating institutions in our lives."
The breakfast at the Grand Hyatt coincided with a conference and lobbying effort that focuses on issues critical to the Hispanic community. Vice President Mike Pence gave the keynote address.
Ryan stressed that "whether we are Republican or Democrat or independent, it does not matter" when it comes to religious freedom.
"We should all want our faith-based organizations to have the maximum freedom to carry out their mission -- whether it is changing lives ravaged by opioids, empowering people to find a steady job, or building charter schools so more children can get a decent education," he said. "The ‘little platoons’ can be the great equalizer. We should be an example for the world on this."
He added, "When I announced my retirement from Congress, much of the media focused on what I was giving up. All I could think about was what I was gaining. What I am most grateful for these days is the chance to spend time with my kids."
Raising three teenagers, Ryan said, is "why this revival of civil society, of these mediating institutions, is so important to me."
"In the New Testament, the Apostle Peter says: 'As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace.' It all begins with a grateful heart, with planting those mustard seeds of grace," the Speaker said. "I truly believe that if we all do our part, if we start this recovery in our civil society, if we make room in our hearts, make time for one another, we can have a new time of thanksgiving, and a new birth of freedom in this country."
"I pray for this. I pray for you," he added. I pray that we all have more days to rejoice and be glad, to work together to ‘transform the outside.’"