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December 17th, 2012
01:16 PM ET

My Take: Obama's Newtown remarks show presidents as pastors in chief

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

Presidents wear a lot of hats. They serve as commanders in chief. They nominate Supreme Court justices. They veto congressional legislation. Increasingly, they are also coming to serve as our pastors in chief.

In his remarks Sunday night at an interfaith service at in Newtown, Connecticut, President Barack Obama vowed to use “whatever power” he has to prevent more mass shootings, and he all but promised to push for stricter gun control laws in the next U.S. Congress. But policy was not top of mind yesterday for either the president or a grieving nation.

Obama began by quoting from the second letter of the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians:

Do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away ... inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands (2 Corinthians 4:16-5:1).

He then reminded us that, as the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once put it, we are all “caught in an inescapable network of mutuality tied in a single garment of destiny.” The tragedy that visited Sandy Hook Elementary School could have been visited on any school in any town in America, Obama said. So Newtown’s grief is not its alone: “All across this land of ours, we have wept with you."

As a pastor among pastors at Sunday's interfaith event, Obama spoke of sadness and comfort and evil and inspiration. As a parent among parents, he referred to "caring for our children" as “our first task” as a nation.

Presidents are often tasked with posing difficult questions about foreign or domestic policy. In this speech, Obama asked philosophical and theological questions instead: “Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose?” He then spoke, as Lincoln did at Gettysburg, about moving through the darkness, without easy answers, “often unable to discern God’s heavenly plans.”

In his famous hymn to love in his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote that "the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). For me, the most surprising turn in Obama's speech came when our president did the same.

"Love" is not a word that typically comes flowing off the tongues of our chief executives. But on Sunday, Obama spoke of love nearly a dozen times. In an uncertain world, he said, love is the “one thing we can be sure of."

Then he read the names of the 20 children who died.

Earlier, Obama had spoken the names of the six teachers and administrators who were killed. As he did so, the wailing in the auditorium was audible. When he read this litany of the children, the wailing returned. He read the names slowly. He read them surely, like someone looking out loud for a fallen friend on the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. He then asked for the blessings of the Almighty on those who were killed and his comfort on those who are grieving.

It wasn't a speech. It was a sermon. And it is worthy of the talents of our current pastor in chief.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Barack Obama • Bible • Christianity • Opinion • Politics • Schools • United States • Violence

soundoff (1,110 Responses)
  1. Really??

    Obama a "pastor" - the guy who ran the most divisive, nasty, hateful campaign (and past four years) in our history? What are you people smoking? Just how hypnotized are you?

    December 18, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Actually?

      You're the one smoking something and if we had to guess, fox news.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're not too good with thought, are you?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:31 am |
    • Bev

      The most divisive, nasty, hateful campaign amongst Democratic candidates, maybe, but compared to standard Republican tactics his was a Teddy Bear's picnic.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Bill Collins

      All the liberals have are lies and hate. Guns kill? They also protect! Drugs as in illegal drugs kill. Meth and heroine kill more people than all of the guns in the us combined year in year out. Where is the national tragedy spokesmen on this issue. Oh Hollywood would be really upset if you took their drugs away. It's a choice they say, then so is it my choice to defend myself against you and yours. But that's not ok with them. They live in secluded getaways and guarded neighborhoods. But as for me and mine, they "the liberals" want me to live in a combat zone where innocent little killers and rapist steal and murder with impunity. Look at the gang problems in Chicago, LA, Tacoma, DC, Baltimore and oh yes the White House. Keep your filthy liar in chief. I will cling to my guns and BIBLE!

      December 18, 2012 at 9:44 am |
    • Bill Collins

      So true, why is it now that the liberals can't take the credit for this antagonistic hate filled course they have charted? Oh it is easier to blame Christians than to look into the mirror and face the truth. How many of the bloggers here are attacking Christianity? Many!!!

      December 18, 2012 at 9:56 am |
    • Huebert

      "Drugs as in illegal drugs kill. Meth and heroine kill more people than all of the guns in the us combined year in year out."

      What is your source for that?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @BIll Collins
      In 2003, the death rate due to firearms in the US was 10.4 per 100,000 people.
      In the same year, drugs deaths averaged 9.9 per 100,000.
      Separated by gender, guns killed 18.3 males per 100,000 while drugs killed 12.9.
      (Source: National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics Reports, vol. 54, no. 13, Apr. 19, 2006)

      December 18, 2012 at 10:22 am |
    • sam stone

      1 "e" in heroin

      hollywood are not the only folks who do not want to give up their drugs

      December 18, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • sam stone

      "How many of the bloggers here are attacking Christianity? Many!!!"

      How man of the bloggers here are purporting to know the mind of god? Many!!!

      See, Billy Boy, we can all play that game

      December 18, 2012 at 11:25 am |
  2. FatherGump

    COLUMBINE STUDENT'S FATHER 13 YEARS LATER !!
    Guess our national leaders didn't expect this. On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Columbine, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

    They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every Sociologist, every Psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness.. The following is a portion of the transcript:

    "Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

    "The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

    "In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA – because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent

    I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy - it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.

    Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
    Your words are empty air.
    You've stripped away our heritage,
    You've outlawed simple prayer.
    Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
    And precious children die.
    You seek for answers everywhere,
    And ask the question "Why?"
    You regulate restrictive laws,
    Through legislative creed.
    And yet you fail to understand,
    That God is what we need!

    "Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact. What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs - politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

    "As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America , and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA - I give to you a sincere challenge.. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone! My daughter's death will not be in vain! The young people of this country will not allow that to happen!" – Darrell Scott

    December 18, 2012 at 9:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You don't do much research, do you, FatherG?
      http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/scott.asp

      December 18, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • BobbyGB

      @Tom, Beat me to it. Good speech, he actually gave it, just 13 years ago to a smaller House Committee.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, he gave it. The rest of the story is false.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:43 am |
    • Sandy

      How very sad this is what people have become. Full of hate writtings. When will we as a nation care? When its your child, when its your grandchild, when its your brother or sister, father or mother? Only then will you care? When its your family. We need stricter laws, we need mental health for people. We need to be vigalant with others who you think are suffering. We need each other. Whether you belive in God or No God, republican or democrat, gun totter or not...these are our kids. All our kids. We need to come together.All i can say is psychiatrists across this country should be alot busier, because what i have read, many of you need one.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:47 am |
    • FatherGump

      please add link if you have it I would love to read it. this was somthing I go via the internet and I figure if CNN and Fox could report news with out research we could. But I want to know the truth and if you have the link to his speach please share it so I can correct myself. Please forgive my error.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The link is right there in my post. The man gave the speech. The rest of the story is fabricated. The speech elicited very little reaction at all. The next person to speak to the group advocated gun control.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • FatherGump

      Here is the link and if its is different then yours please replay http://www.nrawinningteam.com/scotttext.html

      December 18, 2012 at 9:57 am |
    • FatherGump

      here is the true story and link with links to what he said and its close to what I post http://www.snopes.com/politics/guns/scott.asp you can also read what Byrl Phillips Taylor said about gun control.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:09 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      His is one opinion about gun control, Gump. The next woman who spoke was also the mother of one of the Columbine victims and expressed the opposite view.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  3. Al M

    It is really sad to see the comments on here...I see nothing but hate, politics, and nothing about the 20 poor little angels and 6 adults who were masacared...does anybody see something wrong with this picture. Why have you already forgotten these children??

    God Bless America Just happy to be Canadian and not have to deal with assault rifles and hand guns in our homes.

    December 18, 2012 at 9:09 am |
  4. SAMBO

    HE INTERJECTED POLITICS INTO HIS SERMON FROM THE MOUNT

    December 18, 2012 at 9:03 am |
  5. 1word

    So glad we have a president who can quote scripture of PEACE. God is Love and all who follow him is for PEACE for all mankind.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:56 am |
    • sam stone

      god is omniscient
      god knows who will accept his son as a savior before they are born
      why does he allow those who will not to be born in the first place, if not to torture them?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  6. LeeCMH

    While hateful Christians blame teaching of evolution, prayer in schools, and even gays for the killings, the truth is a lot of violence is perpetrated by hateful Christians.

    They are "militia training" right now to "take back America."

    December 18, 2012 at 8:32 am |
    • Liberals ARE Hate

      Nice bithate you're spewing there. Are you a troll or just that stupid?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • LeeCMH

      http://www.salon.com/2012/12/17/huckabee_blames_gays_for_the_newtown_massacre/

      December 18, 2012 at 8:47 am |
    • medallon

      Interesting, with a name like "Liberal Hate" – you fall right into what he is describing, most specially with your insults.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:49 am |
    • FatherGump

      I love you and Pray for those who hate. Jesus told us to love one another, sin is the same for all, we have all sinned but God still loves us so we must love one another. God Bless you.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  7. Steven Campbell

    I think he briefly referenced Jesus once.

    I didn't think that the people who installed him into power after half a term as a senator whose greatest accomplishment was writing 2 autobios would have allowed that.

    We aren't even allowed to mention Jesus at Christmas.

    Nor are we allowed to have a nativity scene at the white house.

    Oddly, a giant menorah lit by ultra-orthodox jews who think that non-Jewish life and souls are worthless compared to those of Jews.... that's just fine.

    Cute.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      And had he referenced Mohammad, you would be in an uproar. Hypocrisy be thy name sir.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      And had he referenced Jesus more than "once" you would be screaming about him forcing HIS religion down our throats, too.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      @ Joe from CT, not Lieberman
      Wait… so…you’re saying I’m tolerant enough not to complain about him reference his god. But had he done so more than once I would reach my limits? Wow… you are really stretching to make a point there ..i’m sure it…

      December 18, 2012 at 8:58 am |
  8. angel

    Man believes he can save the world with wars of guns and bombs,but only the Cross and Gospel of Jesus Christ can save man in body,mind,and soul,in this life and in the life to come. Satan tempted Jesus' flesh in the desert,a stone to bread for his flesh,angels will save his body from a fall,and riches to please his flesh. Satan tempted Adam and Eve's flesh to eat the forbidden fruit and sin the sin of pride. In wars Satan tempts man's flesh to kill the flesh with guns and bombs,killing even the innocent,including children and fetuses,even by mistake,God doesn't kill the innocent,and God doesn't make mistakes. So wars with guns and bombs are not of God,but of Satan,of the flesh and the devil.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      You condemn ‘wars, guns and bombs’ yet say that the cross which is a torture device will save us? lol

      December 18, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Mirosal

      Would you like a glass of Kool-Aid to go with that? You are so deluded you can't see the world around you. There's more to life than a moldy book written by man that is unverified, unsubstantiated, edited, translated, and not accepted as evidence by any legal means.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:39 am |
    • angel

      On the Cross God's Son died for man's sins,God's Son endured it so that man can be forgiven of his sins,even the sins of wars with guns and bombs,and so man can restore his relationship to God which was lost at Eden when Satan tempted man's flesh to sin.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Mirosal

      Please show us your evidence of "Eden", and more inportantly, please show us that your "god" actually exists. I'd really REALLY like to know how to propagate a species with only 2 viable beings, and then their offspring (as stated in your own book) were ALL male?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      @angel
      Nice dodge. Prove it happened and we can have a discussion. Until then, you’re just another crazy person basing their life on mythology. Please don’t hurt anyone because the voices in your head told you to..okay?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:53 am |
    • sam stone

      angel: not at all convincing. but, if it makes you feel all pious, go for it

      December 18, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Kelly

      angel
      It's also said that God helps those who help themselves, so what's so wrong with trying to help ourselves with better gun control?

      December 18, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • Tn Ken

      You Know. Jesus didn't DIE on the cross. He slept there for maybe three days. Then went back to his home in heaven. You really can't call that dieing.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  9. Emma in Baltimore

    I hadn't thought of him as Pastor-in-Chief, but I guess that's one of the many hats he has to wear.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  10. FatherGump

    To all, here is something to think about. Guns only kill when the trigger is pull, a car kills when a drunk driver is behind the wheel. I hate it that anyone dies from either one and before you say it I have dealt with both. The Morals of the nation has to change. We took God out of school and put first person shooter games in every house hold. You can't turn on a sports event without seeing alcohol being glamorized. I could keep going but till the nation turns back to what made it strong "God" we will keep making bad decision and not looking for the really issues in our life’s. Seeking peace through the Ten Commandments which us to be taught in schools up till 1964 then the first school shooting was in 1969. My heart goes out to all who Died and the families affected. So if you go after the Guns you must go after Alcohol and shooter games to be fare.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • sam stone

      If you want your kids to learn about the Ten Commandments, teach them at home, or take them to church. They do not belong in the public school system

      December 18, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • sam stone

      "Guns only kill when the trigger is pull, a car kills when a drunk driver is behind the wheel"

      People get beaten to death with guns, too.

      There are plenty of fatal accidents where both drivers were stone cold sober.

      And, the word is "fair", not "fare"

      December 18, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • FatherGump

      God Bless you! And thank you for making my point and showing me my miss spelling. Teaching of the Ten Commandments is no more wrong then teaching the Law which was written from the Commandments because this nation was founded under God and I’m standing by that. God is my life and I am a member of this country and until I’m dead this is one country under God. So blessing be to you and your family and May God Bless the United States.

      December 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  11. Matt

    It's sickening to see you calling him a "pastor" when he represents a theory of governance that seeks to completely remove religion from government. Putting aside whether he is a true Christian or not, the man certainly does not represent Godly values. Dividing Americans on the basis of race, developing a cult around his own ego, destroying the character of others for his own gain, and endorsing a culture of death to our most vulnerable... these are not practices that God endorses in his Bible.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Kelly

      Matt
      He represents a theory of governance that seeks to treat all religions equally, you mean? We are a nation of more than just Christians, and certainly more than just conservative evangelical Christians. November is over. Get over your loss and try to do something constructive. Obama's days in office are numbered now, after all. Rejoice in that, if it's what brings a smile to your face.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:23 am |
    • Emma in Baltimore

      President Obama is not the monster you believe him to be. Your views have been obscured by the misinformation resource (*cough* Fox News) you listen to. If you could remove your blinders and look at things unobstructed, you'd see that he is a good, well-meaning person. Views like yours are what cause obstruction, as you can plainly witness within your own post.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      @Matt
      Um.. This is American not Iran genius… religion is SUPPOSE TO BE SEPARATE from government. Besides he isn’t removing anything. (there is a Christmas tree in his house!) He is allowing equality for those that don’t follow YOUR religion.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Name*sue

      You probably also longed for the data when everyone respected the office of president, back when Bush was president, right? In a time like this, it is especially warranted that we turn off the radio/tv station that makes us feel so rught so victimized at the same time, and start thinking,like one people. In truth, it is not Obama that has divided the people. In the quiet of your heart you have to ask yourself: why do you love to hate him? The people he came to comfort appreciated it very much. Doesn't that mean anything to you?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      America*

      Dang auto correct.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Matt, I would be interested in hearing which sections of the Bible you are referring to. Especially as the traits you are describing seem to follow perfectly along the line of a lot of the Hebrew Prophets, and Paul's treatment of Jesus.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:46 am |
    • Will?

      Heard it said, that this was Gods will....sorry if this is the God you worship, then we are better off without him in our lives and government....I think YOUR president is on the right track! It is this God so many blindly worship that needs to be reconsidered!

      December 18, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • MrsAnn

      Matt, sickening is to see all of the hate in your heart.....Looking at all of the replies for your hateful post, I hope you will do some serious self examining. May God be a source of strength for victims and their families. My prayer and hope is that the president is very successful and continues to show the world how to love even though evil is around us.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  12. Nick

    Is this clown serious? "Pastor-in-chief"? That is an insult to those who have committed their live's to serving God. Just because someone quotes a Scripture passage does not make them a pastor, and if this person had any clue about everything a pastor does he would not mistake Obama's poltical speech about being a pastor. Many of you may take issue with me categorizing this as political speech, but that is absolutely what it was designed to do – a springboard for Obama to push gun control.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • Kelly

      Still sore about November, I see.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:09 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Your imaginary friend does not exist.
      As for gun control...what is wrong with you that you would see this as a problem? Are you so blind that you fail to see the need for it?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Tadpole

      I think the springboard you refer to was the incident in CT. Everything else is just a logical response to that.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • Third Eagle of the Apocalypse

      @ Tadpole
      Not logical..emotional. Blaming gun or video games or your personal choice of scapegoat has nothing to do with logic (as they fall flat in the face of facts) and everything to do with emotion.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:44 am |
  13. LLAMARD

    One thing about white people even during tragedy THEY STILL HATE...............

    December 18, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Not all white people...colored people are capable of hate also.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • LeeCMH

      Christians organize hate into a campaign.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • Mirosal

      Everyone is capable of SOME degree of hate, but the religious like to think their "god" tells them it's ok to do so because of some "holy" out-of-date texts

      December 18, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • PJP

      And so do you when you feel it justified. You are no better than anyone else. Get over yourself.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:25 am |
    • Mirosal

      To whom are you referring?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Maryellen

      That was a hateful thing to say, I am white and I am not hateful. I love President Obama and I've worked hard twice to have him elected. You owe me and a lot of other people an apology. It's time to put hatefulness aside and come together as a nation to fight against what happened in CT, we must do this for the sake of our children.

      December 18, 2012 at 9:08 am |
  14. My Cross

    M-y wife and I recently signed up for 23.anadem, which analyzes a sample of ones DNA. It is useful for identifying potential health risks, and tracing an.cestry. My own ancestry, through the genes, was mun.dane My wife had a remarkable ge.netic make up, which includes 3percent gen.etic material which is N-eanderthal. She is Ja-panese, with Sp-anish, French, Sl-avic, and South American na-tive (think Inca) background. But several thousand years ago (note this; it must have occurred well before 8000 years ago which creationists believe was about the time that g-od created man), a very distant ancestor of hers m-ated with a N-eanderthal. I know this is hard to believe, it is hard for me to believe, but this is true, and should cause some of you to think, as it has caused me to do. For those who wonder what this cross looks like – she is beautiful.

    December 18, 2012 at 8:00 am |
  15. LeeCMH

    It is affirming to read the raw hateful vomit spewing from Christians. They are blaming prayer in school, evolution, and gays for the event. That's okay Christians. I hate you as much as you hate me.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Atheists will always take the fall from christians sadly. If they looked outside their bubble they might see the damage of their existence within that belief. If they looked to updated stats, they might comprehend that more secular countries endure less violence in regards to mass murder, crime in general (less than 1% of prisoners within the USA are Atheists with another approximately 75% being christian).

      December 18, 2012 at 8:08 am |
  16. DoubleEM

    I vomited after reading this crap

    December 18, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • skyjmpr

      While not particularly religious myself, I hope that one day, you are not in need of the comfort he offered the families of this unspeakable tragedy at any time in your life.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • LeeCMH

      You vomited mean vile venomous Christian hate.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:57 am |
  17. JP0

    It's scary to have a leader who believes in fairy tales.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:49 am |
  18. Gordo

    I was especially touched by the fake tear that Obama wiped from his eye.

    You bought it, you own it.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Lori

      You're a heartless person.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  19. Diane

    Good job. Everything is not political. Part of the president's job is to comfort the nation in times of crisis even if only in words at that moment. This is not to bash former Pres. Bush, but only now do I really understand why there was such a public outcry and the feeling he didn't care when he delayed saying anything for days after hurricane Katrina. People were looking for comfort and reassurance that they weren't alone.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Emma in Baltimore

      Well said.

      December 18, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  20. Gordo

    He's a lot of things.....but he sure as heck isn't a pastor to anyone.

    December 18, 2012 at 7:45 am |
    • midwest rail

      Good to know that someone here has actually spoken in person to every single resident of Newtown.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:47 am |
    • jnpa

      That's your opinion, but not necessarily shared by everyone.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • Lori

      Seriously? Get over yourself.

      December 18, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Kelly

      Because he isn't point fingers at who to hate, is that why he doesn't look like a pastor to you?

      December 18, 2012 at 8:14 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.