President Obama delivered the eulogy for slain pastor and state Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney and it was one of the most incredible moments we’ve ever seen for him. It was more than grieving the nine lives that were lost.
At times it was a call to action, other times it was a sermon. Needless to say, that was an experience like none other. President Obama addressed the uncomfortable conversation about systemic racism in America, gun control and stayed on the topic of faith, grace and God more than we expected.
Here’s some of President Obama’s best and most riveting quotes:
“To the families of fallen, the nation shares in your grief. The church is and always has been the center of African American life. A place to call our own in often hostile world. A sanctuary from many hardships. The Black church is our beating heart. There is no better example of this than Mother Emanuel.”
“[It was] an act that he imagined would incite fear and recrimination, violence and suspicion, an act that he presumed would deepen divisions that track back to our nation’s original sin. God works in mysterious ways. God has different ideas. He didn’t know he was being used by God.”
“God has visited grace upon us for he has allowed us to see where we have been blind. Amazing Grace, how sweet that sound, that saved a wretch like me. He has given us a chance to find our best selves.”
“It’s true that a flag did not cause these murders. The flag has always represented more than ancestral pride. That flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial segregation.”
“Removing the flag is not an act of political correctness, but a sign that the cause for which the Confederates fought, the cause of slavery, was wrong. By taking that flag down, we express God’s grace. I don’t think God wants us to stop there.”
“We guard against not just racial slurs, but also…the subtle impulse to call Johnny back for a job interview but not Jamal.”
“To long we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem gun violence inflicts upon this nation. Sporadically our eyes are open. When eight of our brothers & sisters are cut down in a church basement, 12 in a movie theater, 26 in elementary school, I hope we also see the the lives cut down every single day. Every time another act of gun violence occurs, someone says we need to talk about race. We can’t expect a transformation in race relations over night. There’s no short cut, we don’t need more talk.”
“It would be a betrayal of everything Reverend Pinckney stood for, if we allowed ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again.”
” History must not be a sword to justify injustice, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.”
” We don’t earn grace, we’re all sinners. We don’t deserve it, but God give it to us anyway. It’s our decision how to honor it. May God continue to shed His grace on the United States of America.”
And more importantly, President Obama broke out into song and lead the full congregation in “Amazing Grace.”
Wow! What did you love most about President Obama’s eulogy of Rev. Clementa Pinckney?