President Obama showed Republicans what real moral leadership looks like while striking down Donald Trump’s campaign of bigotry and fear at the annual Easter Prayer Breakfast.
The President said:
Now, as Joe said, in light of recent events, this gathering takes on more meaning. Around the world, we have seen horrific acts of terrorism, most recently Brussels, as well as what happened in Pakistan — innocent families, mostly women and children, Christians and Muslims. And so our prayers are with the victims, their families, the survivors of these cowardly attacks.
And as Joe mentioned, these attacks can foment fear and division. They can tempt us to cast out the stranger, strike out against those who don’t look like us, or pray exactly as we do. And they can lead us to turn our backs on those who are most in need of help and refuge. That’s the intent of the terrorists, is to weaken our faith, to weaken our best impulses, our better angels.
And Pastor preached on this this weekend, and I know all of you did, too, as I suspect, or in your own quiet ways were reminded if Easter means anything, it’s that you don’t have to be afraid. We drown out darkness with light, and we heal hatred with love, and we hold on to hope. And we think about all that Jesus suffered and sacrificed on our behalf — scorned, abandoned shunned, nail-scarred hands bearing the injustice of his death and carrying the sins of the world.
And it’s difficult to fathom the full meaning of that act. Scripture tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Because of God’s love, we can proclaim “Christ is risen!” Because of God’s love, we have been given this gift of salvation. Because of Him, our hope is not misplaced, and we don’t have to be afraid.
And as Christians have said through the years, “We are Easter people, and Alleluia is our song!” We are Easter people, people of hope and not fear.
Donald Trump is giving the terrorists exactly what they want when he uses bigotry and fear to divide the country. The President didn’t mention any specific names, but he didn’t need to. It was obvious that his message and use of scripture was a counter to the fear that the Republican frontrunner is trying to create in voters.
For President Obama, the message of hope wasn’t only a campaign slogan. There has been an undercurrent of hope and optimism running through the entire Obama presidency. Where Donald Trump preys upon and tries to exploit the darkest fears and impulses in American society, President Obama is a man who has constantly appealed to our better angels.
The idea that Donald Trump is competent and can be trusted with national security is laughable. As President Obama’s time in office winds down, his last Easter prayer breakfast speech was a good reminder that this president has provided outstanding moral leadership throughout his presidency. It is the Barack Obama, not Donald Trump who is the perfect role model for presidential leadership and behavior.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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