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President Obama: "Christian By Choice...Jesus Spoke To Me"

Photo Courtesy - The White House(ALBUQUERQUE, NM) -- At a backyard town hall in Albuquerque on Tuesday, President Obama was asked why he is a Christian.

“I’m a Christian by choice,” the president said. “My family didn’t -- frankly, they weren’t folks who went to church every week.  And my mother was one of the most spiritual people I knew, but she didn’t raise me in the church.”

Obama said he came to his Christian faith later in life "because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead."

"I think also understanding that Jesus Christ dying for my sins spoke to the humility we all have to have as human beings, that we’re sinful and we’re flawed and we make mistakes," the president said. "What we can do, as flawed as we are, is still see God in other people and do our best to help them find their own grace.”

“That’s what I strive to do," Obama said. "I think my public service is part of that effort to express my Christian faith.”

Because of his Muslim roots – his father was born Muslim, though was not observant – the president’s religion has long been a topic of conversation and smears. Last month a poll indicated that a growing number of Americans mistakenly believe that he is a Muslim.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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