Wednesday, January 12, 2011

President Obama's Finest Moment

Tonight President Obama delivered an important speech at the memorial service for the 6 slain victims of the awful massacre on Saturday in Tucson.

I believe this speech represented President Obama's finest moment to date. While his use of Scripture was loose, he certainly meant well. His tone was authoritative, yet humble. His words were careful and well balanced. He said it well-

You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations -- to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we've seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized -- at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do -- it's important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, "when I looked for light, then came darkness." Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man's mind.

We should all continue to pray for the families affected by this terrible act.


Rick Calohan said...

Up and until the President spoke, it seemed more like a college pep rally instead of a memorial and there is no denying his great oratory skills. Had he gave this speech at the National Cathedral I think it would have resonated more much in the same manner when former President Bush gave his remarks there at 9/11 memorial service and at the Reagan funeral. However, I must say given the circumstances and the venue he did remarkably well. Even Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder did respectfully well in lecturing the Scripture verses. In that regard I set politics aside as tempted as I was in the beginning to draw negatives, I realized this was a time to focus on the positives.

As I stated upon learning of the tragedy:

“Our sincerest thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to Representative Gabrielle Giffords, her family, and the other victims of this senseless violence that took place today. We live in a republic where we the people are represented by the consent of the people and not mob rule. Violence against any person or elected officials regardless of political persuasion is never the answer.”

I think President Obama stated it well, regarding nine year-old Christina Taylor Green who died at the hands of a deranged man of total depravity.

“If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.”

That is my prayer for the nation and our children, to forge a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

Reepicheep said...

I agree with you Rick, I wasn't keen on the pep rally atmosphere before he spoke. Obviously he didn't have anything to do with that venue and format however.

Woody Woodward said...

He did indeed allow his remarks to be focused upon the tragedy of their senseless murders. May the Lord use this tragedy to show all of us how precious one life is as well as the importance for each of us to seize every moment, speaking the word in truth and in love, striving with all our hearts to bring glory to His Name.

Roger Mann said...

I have to agree with the rest of you. This was most definitely "President Obama's Finest Moment." Of course, that doesn't obscure the fact that it was obviously Palin's fault that these murders took place! :-)

John D. Chitty said...

You may be right, and forgive me if I'm too cynical, but all I have to add to the point that this is his finest moment is...just wait until next week. I don't say that with relish (or mustard, for that matter).