With God’s grace, life always triumphs over death, freedom overcomes oppression, and faith extinguishes fear.
Amid speculations over whether Donald Trump will attend a church service on Easter, the president in his weekly address called America a “nation of believers” and said that the source of “our hope” is that “life always triumphs over death … with God’s grace.”
“This Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ and the promise of eternal salvation,” Trump said in his weekly address. “It is a holy day of reverence and worship; it is a sacred time that fills the spirit of our Nation with the faith of our people … America is a Nation of believers.”
The president added, “With God’s grace, life always triumphs over death, freedom overcomes oppression, and faith extinguishes fear. This is the source of our hope — and our confidence in the future.”
Trump noted that America has always been “a place that has cherished the freedom of worship.”
Like his predecessor Barack Obama on occasion, Trump chose to use the the term “freedom of worship,” and not “religious freedom.”
“That is the promise the first settlers saw in our vast continent — and it is the promise that our bravest warriors have protected for all of our citizens in centuries since, a long time ago,” continued Trump, who was raised a Presbyterian.
The president noted that “many around the globe do not enjoy this freedom — and one of the gravest threats to religious freedom remains the threat of terror.”
Trump condemned the Islamic State’s attack on two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday, which killed at least 45 people and injured over 100 others.
“We condemn this barbaric attack,” the president said. “We mourn for those who lost loved ones. And we pray for the strength and wisdom to achieve a better tomorrow — one where good people of all faiths, Christians and Muslims and Jewish and Hindu, can follow their hearts and worship according to their conscience.”
He also said he is committed to “those struggling Americans who have felt for too long the bitter taste of hardship.”
“I want you to know: this White House is fighting for you. We are fighting for every American who has been left behind. We are fighting for the right of all citizens to enjoy safety and peace — and to work and live with the dignity that all Children of God are entitled to know.”
In conclusion, Trump said, “As long as we have faith in each other, and trust in God, we will succeed… Have a Happy Easter, and a Happy Passover. God bless you. And God bless America.”
Meanwhile, it remained unclear if the president, who is spending this holiday at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, will attend a church service on Sunday.
“I believe one of the reasons he has not established a home church is it will become larger than life,” the Rev. Darrell Scott, a pastor from Cleveland who supported Trump’s candidacy and serves on a faith advisory board, told The Washington Post.
The Rev. Roger Gench, the senior pastor at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church near the White House, said, “Churches in D.C. tend, not all, but tend to be a little more liberal. It’s a hard sell.” He added that while all are welcome to his church, they have not reached out to Trump. “The policies of Trump are counter to the views of most of the people in the church.”
But the president’s words and deeds are also important, said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the conservative Iowa group the Family Leader.
“When he announced our action as it relates to Syria and he also used the words, seeking God’s wisdom, that’s an encouragement to me,” Vander Plaats said, according to The Associated Press. “I also think faith leaders and people of faith are not looking for him to be somebody he’s not.”