CHARLESTON, S.C. — Hours after delivering a statement praising the U.S. Supreme Court for declaring that all states must legalize “gay marriage,” Barack Obama traveled to South Carolina where he spoke about God’s grace during the funeral for a nationally-recognized slain pastor and spontaneously led the room in singing “Amazing Grace.”
Obama presented his speech from the White House Rose Garden Friday morning following the release of the divided 5-4 ruling, touting the achievements that he has made surrounding his longstanding homosexual advocacy.
“My administration has been guided by [equality]. It’s why we stopped defending the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and why we were pleased when the court finally struck down the central provision of that discriminatory law. It’s why we ended, ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’” he said.
Obama also praised same-sex activists, stating that they have “slowly made an entire country realize that love is love.”
“There is so much more work to be done to extend the full promise of America to every American. But today, we can say in no uncertain terms that we’ve made our union a little more perfect,” he stated.
Obama then traveled to South Carolina, where he was invited to deliver the eulogy for slain pastor and Democratic pro-choice Senator Clementa Pinckney, who was among nine churchgoers killed by an alleged white supremacist last Wednesday during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.
“Giving all praise and honor to God,” he began, being met with applause. “The Bible calls us to hope. To persevere, and have faith in things not seen.”
Obama then quoted from Scripture as he reflected on Pinckney’s life, referring to the pastor and others who lost their lives as “God-fearing people.”
“’They were still living by faith when they died,’ Scripture tells us,” he said. “They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on Earth.”
In addition to speaking about Pinckney’s work and upbringing, Obama themed the remainder of his 37-minute speech on the grace of God toward sinners.
“According to the Christian tradition, grace is not earned. Grace is not merited. It’s not something we deserve,” he said. “Rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.”
“As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us, for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind,” Obama opined. “He has given us the chance, where we’ve been lost, to find our best selves.”
“We don’t earn grace. We’re all sinners. We don’t deserve it. But God gives it to us anyway,” he continued. “And we choose how to receive it. It’s our decision how to honor it.”
At the conclusion of his eulogy, Obama spontaneously began to sing the hymn “Amazing Grace,” evoking applause as those in the room stood to their feet and raised their hands to praise the Lord.
“May God continue to shed His grace on the United States of America,” he said.