“As we pause today to mark the National Day of Prayer, we remember the role prayer and reflection play in our lives and encourage all Americans to exercise the faith of their choice.
“We also remember that faith is not partisan issue to be debated and challenged by Democrats and Republicans. It is a deeply personal subject that provides comfort and strength in all aspects of life.
“Across America today, citizens of many faiths will reflect and pray, as they do each and every day. While great differences exist between many of our faiths, many values are shared, including love for our families and compassion for our neighbors. On this National Day of Prayer, it is these common values that I choose to focus on.
“Recent political debates have seen others choose to highlight our differences, with some even challenging the religious beliefs of those who hold a different political ideology. I believe this is ill-natured, divisive and simply wrong. The values of our many faiths do not divide us; they compel us to lift each other up.
“Let us remember these common values on this National Day of Prayer, and instead of using faith to tear each other apart, let us pray they bring us together in the weeks and months ahead.”