Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Barack Obama on the Power of God’s Grace in Eulogy for the Honorable Reverend Clementa Pinckney

June 26, 2015

Blinded by hatred, the alleged killer could not see the grace surrounding Reverend Pinckney and that Bible study group—the light of love that shone as they opened the church doors and invited a stranger to join in their prayer circle. The alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court—in the midst of unspeakable grief, with words of forgiveness. He couldn’t imagine that. The alleged killer could not imagine how the city of Charleston, [...] how the state of South Carolina, how the United States of America would respond, not merely with revulsion at his evil act, but with big-hearted generosity and, more importantly, with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life. Blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what Reverend Pinckney so well understood—the power of God’s grace.

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