First Lady: Jesus 'Was Out There Fighting Injustice and Speaking Truth to Power'

By Eric Scheiner | June 29, 2012 | 5:52pm EDT

( - First lady Michelle Obama discussed her views on faith while speaking to the African Methodist Episcopal Church Conference on Thursday.

“Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal.  It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well. It’s especially in those quiet moments, when the spotlight’s not on us, and we’re making those daily choices about how to live our lives,” Obama said.

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“We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church. We know that. He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives. That is how we practice our faith. You see, living out our eternal salvation is not a once-a-week kind of deal.”

Obama later told the crowd gathered in Nashville,Tennessee, “And to anyone who says that church is no place to talk about these issues, you tell them there is no place better, no place better. Because ultimately, these are not just political issues they are moral issues.  They're issues that have to do with human dignity and human potential, and the future we want for our kids and our grandkids. And the work of inspiring and empowering folks, the work of lifting up families and communities, that has always been the work of the AME Church.”

Religious freedom has become an issue for the Obama administration, last month Forty-three Catholic dioceses and institutions filed lawsuits against the Obama administration over the Department of Health and Human Services “preventive services” mandate in Obamacare, arguing that it violates the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion.

The HHS regulation requires Catholic hospitals, universities and charitable organizations to purchase health insurance plans that cover the costs of sterilization, abortion, and contraceptives.

The Catholic Church holds that sterilization, artificial contraception and abortion are morally wrong.

In a declaration against the HHS regulation, issued in March, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said the HHS mandate not only falsely defines Catholic institutions such as hospitals, schools and charitable organizations as not “religious,” but also violates the “personal civil rights” of individual lay Catholics and members of other denominations who share the same moral convictions.

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