Obama says he became a Christian by choice

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President Obama said Tuesday that he is a “Christian by choice” and that his decision was influenced by gospel teachings about salvation and the importance of loving one another.

His mother and the grandparents who helped raised him weren’t regular churchgoers, Obama told a group of neighborhood residents in the yard of an Albuquerque family. But he became a Christian later in life because of the religion’s basic principles, he said.

“It was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said. “Being my brother’s and sister’s keeper. Treating others as they would treat me.”

Obama also spoke of the doctrine of salvation and of Jesus Christ “dying for my sins,” a set of beliefs many Christians consider fundamental to the profession of faith.

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This post was last updated: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 8:36 AM, Central European Time (CET)