April 14th, 2014
12:15 PM ET
3 months ago

Obama marks Holy Week, reflects on Kansas shooting

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama took time on Monday at a Holy Week prayer breakfast to reflect on the deadly shooting outside a Jewish community center in Kansas.

He noted the religious timing of the violence in Overland Park where a man with a long history of spouting anti-Semitic rhetoric is suspected of killing three people, including a boy and his grandfather.

“That this occurred now, as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover, as Christians were observing Palm Sunday, makes this tragedy all the more painful,” Obama said.

“And today as Passover begins, we are seeing a number of synagogues and Jewish community centers take added security precautions. Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray.”

The President vowed to provide government assistance for the investigation and said that violence based on religious hatred and intolerance has no place in society.

The annual gathering of the Easter Prayer Breakfast was attended by more than 150 Christian leaders including megachurch pastor Joel Hunter, Rev. Al Sharpton, and AME Bishop Vashti McKenzie.

Holy Week is observed by Christians marking Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday leading up to Easter Sunday.

“This Easter week, of course, we recognize that here is a lot of pain and a lot of sin and tragedy in this world, but we are also overwhelmed by the grace of an awesome God,” Obama said.

Obama also told the crowd of his recent visit to meet Pope Francis in March. During his meeting, the Pope gave the President a copy of his book “The Joy of the Gospel” which focuses on a renewed effort for evangelism and ministry to the poor.

The President quoted the Pope and his message of justice and humility.

“‘Christ’s resurrection,” he writes, ‘is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world.’ And he adds, ‘Jesus did not rise in vain. May we never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope,’” the President said.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Chris-E...al

    Every time i hear the dems quote the bible it makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over .

    April 14, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Gurgyl

    This nation needs total Gun-ban laws. This second amendment is sheer bs. It is corruption by billion dollars yearly profit mongrels of gun industry. Ban all the guns. Don't argue bs.

    April 14, 2014 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. just saying

    wow, obama going all religious! this ought to drive the lefties insane!! seperation of church and state!! why is obama pushing his religion down our throats?!! he must be one of those religious bigots!!

    April 14, 2014 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. rla

    Obama will mention anything that gets him attention or votes??? Note that all these incidents are on the obama /progressive watch!

    April 14, 2014 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Justafool – Only the brain dead would think Obama is pushing his religion down our throats.

    April 14, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Ward Cleaver

    @just saying
    wow, obama going all religious! this ought to drive the lefties insane!! seperation of church and state!! why is obama pushing his religion down our throats?!! he must be one of those religious bigots!!

    Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt!

    April 14, 2014 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  7. Lumpy Rutherford

    @Chris-E...al
    Every time i hear the dems quote the bible it makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over .

    Thanks, I'll alert the media!

    April 14, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  8. rs

    just saying

    wow, obama going all religious! this ought to drive the lefties insane!! seperation of church and state!! why is obama pushing his religion down our throats?!! he must be one of those religious bigots!!
    ____________________________
    Big difference that apparently you cannot comprehend. The President is talking in religious terms, based upon his experiences about the topics of the day. The GOP are trying to enshrine in law narrow, fundamentalist beliefs.
    You know JS, many of us on the Left are Christians, and we are perfectly happy with our religion not dictating terms to others through the government like the Right does.

    April 14, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Fair is Fair

    Tampa Tim

    Health Cost Increases in 2013 Were Lowest in Decade: Aon Hewitt
    October 17, 2013
    --
    Check out McGowan Report to debunk the Fox viewers garbage.
    -----–
    Tim... does that report say health cost increases or health insurance cost increases... because there is a huge difference.

    April 14, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  10. bill

    Gurgyl; Get rid of all guns. Shall we start with the seceret service?

    April 14, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. smith

    I would like to hear Mr. Obama`s feelings regarding what happend to Steve Utash.

    April 14, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Butcher- Does this make W the butcher of the twin towers, the butcher of 50 dead in 15 embassy attacks, the butcher of 4500 soldiers in unnecessary wars, the butcher of hundreds of thousand Iraqi civilians, the butcher of the American economy, and the butcher of 45,000 annually who died without access to health care?

    April 14, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    just saying

    wow, obama going all religious! this ought to drive the lefties insane!! seperation of church and state!! why is obama pushing his religion down our throats?!! he must be one of those religious bigots!!
    ---------------------------------------
    There's a big difference between the ANNUAL prayer breakfast and pushing theologicialy inspired bills on to the Floor for a vote.

    April 14, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @rs
    just saying

    wow, obama going all religious! this ought to drive the lefties insane!! seperation of church and state!! why is obama pushing his religion down our throats?!! he must be one of those religious bigots!!
    ____________________________
    Big difference that apparently you cannot comprehend. The President is talking in religious terms, based upon his experiences about the topics of the day. The GOP are trying to enshrine in law narrow, fundamentalist beliefs.
    You know JS, many of us on the Left are Christians, and we are perfectly happy with our religion not dictating terms to others through the government like the Right does.
    -----------------
    The radical Right does not see the difference and that is scary. They will charge right from a pulpit sermon to moral laws without hesitation.

    April 14, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. guest

    The President vowed to provide government assistance for the investigation and said that violence based on religious hatred and intolerance has no place in society.
    ---

    but what has he done or said about the millions that are being attacked, persecuted and killed by muslims all ofver the world? nothing. obama only parades his supposed beliefs around when there is a political agenda involved. his god is the god of government control. to him that is the highest authority, just ask the little sisters of the poor.

    April 14, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  16. For Realsy?

    At least he didn't blame the gun.

    April 14, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. salty dog

    Chris, you mean like the gop using s motorcycle helmet law yo pass abortion bills, because they care do much for the helpless children, while cutting food for hungry children, and calling for lower taxes on the billionaires? Yup, makes me sick too.Chris, not saying you don't care just not buying that the gop does

    April 14, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Graeme from Ottawa

    Obama is the American President not the world president, his responsibility in confronting hatred largely resides in America.

    April 14, 2014 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |