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President Obama delivered a moving eulogy last night for the victims, families and survivors of the Tucson assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
Somewhat surprisingly, given presidential precedent and Obama’s own efforts lately to reassert his Christian bona fides, the 33-minute address was light on scriptural references, focusing more on memorializing the dead, comforting the living, praising the heroes and expressing his hope for a better future, with America living up to the kind of democracy that little Christina Taylor Green, the youngest victim, had imagined.
Nevertheless, National Catholic Register and other religious outlets have praised the eulogy, calling Obama “as much priest as president in what was essentially a spiritual reflection on how people should conduct their lives and care for each other.”
Here’s the Psalm the president did end up quoting:
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
And in his closing:
May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in restful and eternal peace. May He love and watch over the survivors. And may He bless the United States of America.
Edited to add: On a related note, check out this letter to Congress from a range of faith leaders, calling for ” soul searching and national public dialogue about violent and vitriolic political rhetoric. “
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