The Problem of “God” in Obama’s Newtown Elegy

On the surface, it’s hard to imagine a public leader doing a better job than the President did last Sunday evening as he executed a priestly role from the stark lectern of the Newtown vigil. His posture was saturnine, yet buoyant. His oration, as always, was pristinely measured in pitch and tempo. He presented empathy, dignity, and resolve as he worked to embody the dumbstruck sentiments of not only the nation, but everyone on the planet aware of the slaughter. But his carriage and his message clashed, as they must, whenever the grief of the flesh is interrupted by metaphysics. Listening carefully to what he said, one hears the friction of two dissonant languages: existential gravitas and religious consolation. Continue reading “The Problem of “God” in Obama’s Newtown Elegy”