Hail to the Chief: Presidents Turn to the Bible in Times of National Tragedy

Standing in front of five empty chairs with flags on their seats, President Obama addressed families of slain officers in a memorial service on Tuesday—at one point paraphrasing Psalm 30 verse 5: “Weeping may endure for a night but I’m convinced that joy comes in the morning.”

Presidents often turn to Scripture in times of national tragedy. Franklin Delano Roosevelt in his 1942 State of the Union speech—a month after the attack on Pearl Harbor said: “We are inspired by a faith that goes back through all the years to the first chapter of the book of Genesis. . .”

President George Bush after 9/11. . . “And I pray they will be comforted by a power spoken through the ages in Psalm 23. . .”

The Bible—imprinted with comfort and hope through the ages!

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