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The President Sang Amazing Grace - Monday Moment - July 4, 2022

Happy Monday, Friends, and Happy Fourth of July!

On June 26, 2015, President Barack Obama spoke at the funeral of Pastor Clementa Pickney who along with eight members of his congregation (Mother Emmanuel AME), had been killed by a white supremacist. Overcome with emotion and his words failing him, Obama paused and then began singing Amazing Grace.

This week, following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, new revelations from the January 6, and other political and social moments many of which have directly targeted my community, I’m feeling where Mr. Obama was in 2015. What more can be said? Rather than try to offer some sort of reflection, I need to pause and let someone else speak where I find it impossible to speak this week.

Reflecting on Mr. Obama singing, Joan Baez wrote the following song:

A young man came to a house of prayer They did not ask what brought him there He was not friend, he was not kin But they opened the door and let him in

And for an hour the stranger stayed He sat with them and seemed to pray

But then the young man drew a gun And killed nine people, old and young

In Charleston in the month of June The mourners gathered in a room The President came to speak some words And the cameras rolled and the nation heard

But no words could say what must be said For all the living and the dead So on that day and in that place The President sang Amazing Grace The President sang Amazing Grace