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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  June 27, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT

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as i take my seat, i'm here to let you know that my brother loved god acted justly, looked mercy, and continued to walk humbly with god until his last day. amen. [applause] >> and the people of god shall say amen. we thank those who have come thus far and the two remaining reflections, we ask that you come now and share with us as we continue in this home going celebration worship experience. so, come, let us hear. >> i would like to say good day to all.
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i'm here to say a few words of remembrance concerning my cousin, rev. clementa pinckney. when i first looked at the program, i looked down and heard all of these speakers. i said to myself, why did they put all these preachers ahead of me? [laughter] my wife looked and said you are a deacon. i said i am baptist. these are a.m.e. but anyway, we are going to try to do what thus says the lord. i got consolation in them saying so many good things about him and what he meant to them.
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but then i started thinking. you know, they got clementa when he was right. we had him when he was wrong. [laughter] you see, we saw him grow into what he became. we love him dearly. we never will forget that beautiful smile he had. he got that smile from his mother. he got that heavy voice from his dad. as he was growing, i remember him as a little baby. his mother used to sing lullabies to him to put him to sleep. he did not cry much. he just looked around at his environment as if to say, who in
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who am i and where did i come from and who who are all these people? when he was a toddler lying on his mother's chest at the old home spot, all of us were would gather at grandma's's house. as we sat around the kitchen table waiting for whatever she pulled off the stove or out of the oven, she turned to his mother and said, that is a fine baby. he is such a good child. grandma began to sing a song that seemed to define his life. she would sing this song so eloquently. "i want to live so god can use me anywhere, any place, and
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anytime." she would echo it again. "i want to live so god can use me anyplace, anywhere, and anytime." as he began to grow, his voice began to change. we used to tease him because it sounded as though he swallowed an owl or a grand piano or an electric guitar because he had a refined voice. when we would gather for family reunions, while his brothers and cousins would be concentrating on playing, he would be concentrating on praying to us before we have our meals. around the age of 13, he got the word, we got the word he was called into the ministry. came back to marin county, and none of us were surprised.
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clementa got called to the ministry. we said we are not surprised because it was in him. at age 18, he began pastoring. at age 23, he was elected to the state house of representatives. it seemed as if god has anointed him and appointed him to be a servant to man. from the church house to the statehouse, he responded to his calling, working diligently doing his duty as god gave him light to see those duties. so often, he would come home to take care of business for his grandma. he would stop by and say, i've only got a minute. i've got to get back for bible study. i've got to get back for church service, to meet with constituents. we've got to go over some things because we have a lot to cover. we would look at each other and say i love you, bro. i would always tell him to be safe. he would say thank you, bro.
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, even when he was at the statehouse, you did not have to be black, you did not have to be a democrat. he was not a radical. he was not even pro black. but if you approached him with a wrong you wanted to make right he went to work for you until that wrong was made right. that is the kind of man he was. you see, god knew just celebrating completing a task was not enough. with clementa whatever he did, , he stayed within the will of god. clementa knew that freedom was something given to all men and not for some men to try to take
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it away. cousin clementa knew freedom and certain rights came with a price. you have to stand up for something even though you may have to die, he so often said. cousin clementa knew if he did not stand up, others would fall. he stood up in the church house as well as the statehouse because he believed in the gospel of jesus. that is the kind of man he was. as i prepare to take my seat, i can see the pain you have for my family. and those other families that who have suffered a great loss. we thank you. i would like to echo the words of my pastor at a place called friendship missionary baptist
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church. he would always say when we are faced with problems like these he would say i don't know what the future holds but i know who holds the future. he holds the future. he that holds the future holds our hand, so we should not worry about anything. if we trust him, he will not leave us, nor will he forsake us. tell your tears to dry. tell your her to go away and -- tell your hurt to go away and tell your pain to stop bothering me because i am afraid if you don't, you might miss the joy of the lord at work. we believe he is working it out as we speak. when we leave this place and go back home and go to work, that is what clementa would want you to do. go home, go to work, go to church. help a friend.
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be strong and help your family because this is what god wants us all to do. in closing, in closing, don't worry about clementa because he is in god's hands. if he could come back right now and stand up here and tell you he knew his history started from a slave man named jack at a little place we call st. james, south carolina. we know it as st. james. if he could come back here, he would tell you about the history. how it was passed down and how we believe in hard work, education, and fairness. if he could come back, he would tell you these things. since he can't tell you, i will tell you for him. he would tell you. we have seen too many victories to let defeat have the last word. i think i need to say it one more time. [applause] we have seen too many victories to let defeat have the last word.
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[applause] >> and the people of god shall say amen. let us follow these instructions. i am between two rocks and two hard places. [laughter] but most certainly, we want to respect the wishes of the family and jennifer. we have waiting at this moment to come into our presence our president of the united states.
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[applause] i need your help right now. we have one more cousin that need to come. [laughter] no, listen to me. if you can feel my spirit, i would ask the cousin to take a minute and say something to us because we have extended the time. i want you to know our focus is on the family. [applause] we recognize house speaker
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boehner. he is here. please stand. [applause] and the archbishop emeritus of america of the greek orthodox church. please stand. [applause] he marched with martin luther king, jr. [applause] so now, i know everybody is pulling me saying i have got to get this going on and shut it down. but if the cousin will come, i believe the spirit of the living god, i believe because i think i should give at least a minute because after that, we have to move along. if the cousin will come and say something to us for 60 seconds. [laughter]
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no, i want everybody to understand i'm doing that because i know -- been there. i would not want this opportunity to miss you. i promise if you say one minute, if i get another chance to have you say something not only to the family but to this community, i promise you will have that chance. matter of fact, when we come to mother emanuel, a few weeks ago, -- from now i will allow you to , have remarks on behalf of the family front and center. bless your heart. [applause] >> we thank you. we are going to try our best to say everything in a minute. that will cut off a lot of things i would like to address with you all. i definitely want to say on behalf of the family that we thank you for your love, your prayers, your support.
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we thank you for your words of encouragement. we want to say unto you all that i stand before you as one who is elated that the honorable rev. clementa pinckney had more friends than enemies. [applause] through mistaken identity, you all look at me and see had much see he had much of my features. [laughter] i went across the state and have received hugs, smiles, and handshakes because of mistaken identity. [laughter] also through mistaken identity i have received the wrath of those who were enemies of rev. pinckney.
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but on a more serious note, i want to say unto all of you here that rev. pinckney, our senator, he was first and foremost a preacher of the gospel of jesus christ. [applause] he was one that preached about the blood of jesus christ and the sacrifice jesus christ made for our justification. he preached about the sacrifice the lamb made for our atonement. i say unto you, brothers and sisters, those in the sanctuary and those watching you by television, this family says unto you, let us remember not just senator pinckney and his family. but let us remember the sacrifice of the nine.
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[applause] let us remember the sacrifice of the nine that moved among our upon our governor and cabinet members to remove the confederate flag from the statehouse ground. let us remember the sacrifice of the nine that brought our president of the united states of america to charleston, s.c.. -- charleston, south carolina. [applause] let us remember the sacrifice of the nine, my brothers and sisters, that says under the -- says unto the family members here and all others to remember the words of jesus christ on calvary hill when he said forgive them for they know not what they do. [applause] forgive them for they know not what they are doing.
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on behalf of the family, we say unto you, thank you. on behalf of the family, may god bless you and may god forever keep you. [applause] >> he was every bit of 59 seconds. [laughter] we want to thank you, all of those who have had an opportunity to speak. come now, lowcountry voices, and begin to sing "my help," as we prepare our hearts and minds to continue on this journey for this day.
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>> ♪ >> ♪ i will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help my help cometh from the lord the lord which made heaven >> ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ we want to thank you and
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acknowledge the head of the national urban league and the former mayor of new orleans. thank you. [applause] rev. al sharpton. [applause] the president of the national naacp, cornell brooks. [applause] and of course, the legacy continues with the king family. why don't you stand? [applause] let the folks see you. bless your hearts. reverend randolph miller reverend jesse jackson, where are you? stand up. [applause] i didn't see him. i thought you and reverend sharpton were joined at the hip sitting together. [laughter] reverend randolph miller, come with the musical selection called "the old ship of zion." we have the choir that will join in.
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king jesus is our captain. turn to somebody and say, get on board. come on, reverend miller. >> [organ plays] >> put your hands together and give god high praise. come on, let me hear you shout hallelujah. let me hear you shout glory. now clap your hands and tell the lord thank you. well, if clementa could speak right now, he's over there with jesus.
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and he told me to tell you if you want to see it, you've got to get on board. can i get a witness? ♪ oh, ship of zion. it is the old ship of zion and i know it is the old ship of zion oh, get on lord if you want to see oh, come on, get on follow me let me tell you something there's no danger in my choppy
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waters oh, there's no danger, no danger, no danger and i know there's no danger in my dark water. tell your neighbor, get on board if you want to see oh, come on and follow me come on help me sing it it has landed many a
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thousand it has landed many a thousand oh, i know he has landed many a thousand tell your neighbor get on board if you want to see oh, come on and part of me now here's the best thing king jesus he's the captain oh king jesus he is he is the captain oh, and i know king
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jesus he is the captain oh, get on board if you want to see oh lord and follow me oh, king jesus he is the captain oh, king jesus, king jesus he is the captain oh, and i know king jesus he is the captain oh, get on board if you want to see yeah yeah oh get on board follow me if you're old if you're dying oh oh, it is the old ship of zion and i know it is the old ship of
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zion everybody get on board if you want to see get on board follow me ♪ ♪ and the people of god shall say amen ♪ ♪ and the people of god shall say amen.
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let somebody say hallelujah. somebody say, praise the lord. we come now, reverend dr. charles watson will come followed by the invocation by the presiding elder of the mount pleasant district, the reverend dr. keith. the scripture lesson will be given by the reverend joseph postell. the presiding elder of the lancaster district. dr. watson: a hymn of comfort. it is well.
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when peace, like a river attendeth my way. when sorrows rose what ere my lot has taught me to say, it is well with my soul. though satan should buffet and trials should come, let this blessed assurance control that christ has regarded my helpless estate and shed his own blood for my soul. it is well with my soul. it is well. it is well with my soul. i will ask all but the family to stand as we sing this great son of the church. "it is well." >> ♪ when peace like a river
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attendeth my way when sorrows >> ♪ when peace like a river attendeth my way when sorrows like sea billows roll whatever my lot thou hast taught me to know it is well, it is well, with my soul it is well, it is well with my soul, with my soul
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it is well, it is well, with my soul though satan should buffet though trials should come let this blest assurance control that christ has regarded my helpless estate and hath shed
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his own blood for my soul it is well, it is well with my soul, with my soul it is well, it is well, with my soul my sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought my sin, not in part but the whole is nailed to the cross and i bear it no more praise the lord, praise the lord, o, my
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soul! it is well, with my soul it is well, it is well, with my soul oh, trump the angel oh, voice of the lord blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul it is well, it is well with my soul, with my soul it is well, it is well with my soul it is well it is well with my soul it is well, it is well, with my soul it is well with my soul ♪ ♪ [applause] it is well with my soul ♪ ♪
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>> amen. >> let me invite all of our pastors across this faith community to pray with us and with this family.
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god of our weary ears, god of our solemn tears, thousand,000 thou who has brought us thus far on faith, who has led us into the light, keep us forever in thy path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our god where we might be. to the great grand and supreme architect of the universe, to the one and only true god, the
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eternal father, and his son, jesus christ, and in the holy ghost, we pray. we gathered this day symbolic of being knee bowed and body bent before the throne of grace. it is this day that we bow our hearts beneath our knees and our knees in some lonesome valley. we have gathered for the celebration, like an empty pitcher to a full fountain. no merits of our own, oh lord, open up a window of heaven. pour out thy blessings among this awaiting congregation. lean out far over the battlements of glory and hear our sincere prayers. lord, have mercy upon our souls, with the forgiveness of our sins. bless our gathering on this day. this morning, mount up on your milky white horse, and in your ride, ride to save us from our sins and to create within us a clean heart. oh, lord, bless our president, the president of these united states of america, president barack and first lady. pin his ears to the wisdom and
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make his words as sledgehammers of truth. put his eyes to the telescope of eternity. and let him look upon the paper walls of time. perpetual motion in his arms. fill him full of dynamite of power. anoint him all over with the balm of salvation and let his tongue be like fire. bless our bishop and supervisor, norris. and all the bishops of our zion and the visiting bishops. bless our congress, our senate our governor, our mayor, our elected officials and all clergy
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across the community and their spouses. and this bereaved family, and the entire emanuel families. now, oh, lord, when we have drunk our last cup of sorrow when we have been called everything but a child of god, when we have done traveling up the rough side of the mountain oh, mary's baby, jesus, stand by us! we'll start down the steep and slippery steps of death, when the old world begins to rock beneath our feet, lower us to
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the dusty grave in peace, to await for that great getting up morning. meet us, jesus! that our souls would rest in peace. hallelujah! amen. amen. amen. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> our old testament scripture comes from the hoth chapter of -- 40th chapter of isaiah, beginning at verse 18. to whom, then, will you liken god?
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or what likeness can compare with him? an idol, a workman and a goldsmith overedged with gold? as a gift, one chooses mulberry woods. wood that will not rot. then seek out its a skilled artist to set up an image that will not topple. have you not known, has it not been told to you from the beginning, have you not understood from the foundation of the earth, it is he who sits
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above the circle of the earth? and its inhabitants are like grass hoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them like a tent to live in, who brings princes to not and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. he blows upon them and they whither. and the tempests carry them off like stubbles. to whom will you compare me? who is my equal, says the holy one? lift up your eyes. who created thee? he who brings out the host and numbers them, calling them all by name, because he is great in strength, mighty in power, not one is missing. why do you say, oh jacob, and speak, oh israel? have you not known? have you not heard? the lord is the ever lasting god, the creator of the ends of the earth. he does not grow weary. his understanding is unsearchable. his powerrers give to the faint
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and strengthen the powerless. even youth can be weary and the young will fall exhausted. but those who wait for the lord shall renew their strength. they shall mount up with wings like eagles. they shall run and not be weary. they shall walk and not faint. the word of god. >> amen. [applause] >> the reading, from paul's first letter to the church in corinth. the 15th chapter, verse 50. now, this i say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of god, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. behold, i tell you a mystery. we shall not all sleep but we
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shall all be changed. in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible. we shall be changed. the corruptible must put on
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inconcussion and this mortal must put on immortality. so when this more mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the thing that is wring. death is swallowed up in victory. oh, death, where is your sting? oh, grave, where is your
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victory? the sting of death is sin and the strength of the law. thanks be to god, who gives us the victory through our lord jesus christ. therefore, my beloved brethren be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the lord. knowing that your labor is not in vain in the lord. the word of god for the people of god. >> our next reading comes from the fourth gospel, the gospel according to john, first chapter, 16th verse. for god so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. for god did not send his son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe stands condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of god, the one and only son. this is the verdict. light has come into the world. but men loved darkness instead of light, because their deeds were evil. everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light, for fear that his deeds will be exposed. but whoever lives by the truth comes into the light so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through jesus, the christ. amen. >> amen. >> amen. >> and the people of god shall say amen. at this time, it's our opportunity to present to this bereaved family and this entire gathering the presiding overseer of the episcopal district of the methodist episcopal, the chief pastor, the right reverend richard norris. except for the families, all others please rise and receive him. [applause] >> thank you. to all of the established protocol of this day, stretching across every segment of this nation and of our government, i rise on behalf of the seventh episcopal district of the
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methodist episcopal church to express my thanks and appreciation to each of you for your support, your encouragement and your support of the family during this time of sorrow and loss. we come not as those who have no hope but we come reassured that nothing separates us from the love of god. [applause] and therefore, we press on.
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to do those things which are acceptable in the sight of god. now, even a presiding bishop has sense enough to know not to block the way when the president is waiting to speak. [laughter] >> i ask you to give me just about 40 seconds. to say to you how grateful we are to each of you for what you have done and for what you continue to do. seeing that we are encompassed by so great a cloud of witnesses, i say to us, let us run on! run on and see what the end will be. for i am persuaded that god will bring everything into fruition and god will bless our going out and our coming in. i stand to say that the nine who lost their lives had at bible study, i'm calling upon the board of trustees of allen university to raise a memorial on the campus of that institution -- [applause] >> -- in memory of the nine who
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lost their lives. i am persuaded that coming generations who will study on the campus of allen will be reminded of the importance of what happened during this period of time. i close by saying to you that we are convinced that south carolina rose to its greatest height during the last week. [applause] >> there is no period, there is no period in the history of this great state that will excel the
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love and togetherness that exemplified itself as a result of the dastardly act that was perpetrated a few days ago. but i say that i can tell the world about this. i can tell the nation that i am blessed! tell them that he has come. and brought joy to our souls. [applause] >> i am told that it is my responsibility to say that the president of the united states of america, the honorable barack obama, will come at this time. [applause]
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[applause] [cheering]
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>> giving all praise and honor to god -- [applause] the bible call us to hope. to persevere and have faith in things not seen. they were still living by faith when they died, the scripture tells us. [applause]
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>> they did not receive the things promised. they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. we are here today to remember a man of god, who lived by faith. a man who believed in things not seen. a man who believed there were better days ahead. off in the distance. a man of service, who persevered, knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would deliver a better life to those who followed. to jennifer, his beloved wife, lilliana and milana, his beautiful, wonderful daughters.
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to the mother emanuel family and the people of charleston, the people of south carolina, i cannot claim to have the good fortune to have known reverend pinckney well, but i did have the pleasure of knowing him and meeting him here in south carolina. back when we were both a little bit younger. [laughter] back when i didn't have visible gray hair. [laughter] first thing i noticed was his graciousness, his smile, his reassuring baritone, his deceptive sense of humor, all qualities that helped him wear so effortlessly the heavy burden of expectation. friends of his remarked this week that when clementa pinckney entered a room, it was like the future arrived.
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that even from a young age, folks knew he was special. he was the progeny of a long line of the faithful, a family of preachers, who spread god's word, a family of protesters who so changed, to expand voting rights and desegregate the south. clement heard their instruction and did not forsake their teaching. he was in the pulpit by 13. pastor by 18. public servant by 23. he did not exhibit any of the cockiness of youth nor youth insecurityies. instead, he set an example worthy of his position, wise beyond his years.
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in his speech, in his conduct, in his love, faith, and purity. as a senator, he represented a sprawling swath of the low country, a place that has long been one of the most neglected in america, a place still racked by poverty and inadequate schools, a place where children can still go hungry and the sick can go without treatment, a place that needed somebody like clementa. [applause] his position in the minority meant the odds of winning more resources for his constituents were often long.
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his calls for greater equity were too often unheeded. the votes he cast were sometimes lonely. but he never gave up. he stayed true to his convictions. he would not grow discouraged. after a full day at the capitol, he'd climb in his car and hid to the church to draw sustenance from his family, from his ministry, from the community that loved and needed him. there he would fortify his faith and imagine what might be. reverend pinckney embodied a politics that was neither mean nor small. he conducted himself quietly and kindly and diligently.
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he encouraged progress, not by pushing his ideas along but by seeking out your ideas. partnering with you, to make things happen. he was full of empathy and fellow feeling, able to walk in somebody else's shoes and see through their eyes. no wonder one of his colleagues remembered senator pinckney as the most gentle of the 46 of us. the best of the 46 of us. clem was often asked why he chose to be a pastor and a public servant.
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but the person who asked probably didn't know the history of a.m.e. church. [applause] as our brothers and sisters in the a.m.e. church know, we don't make those distinctions. [laughter] our calling, clem once said, is not just within the walls of the congregation, but the life and community in which our congregation resides. [applause] he embodied the idea that our christian faith demands deeds and not just words. that the sweet hour of prayer actually lasts the whole week long. [applause] >> but to put our faith in action is more than just individual salvation. it's about our collective
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salvation. to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and house the homeless is not just a call for isolated charity but the imperative of a just society. what a good man! sometimes i think that's the best thing to hope for when you're eulogized. after all the words and recitations and resumes are read, to just say somebody was a good man. [applause]
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>> you don't have to be of high station to be a good man. a preacher by 13. pastor by 18. public servant by 23. what a life clementa pinckney lived. what an example he set. what a model for his faith. and then to lose him at 41 slain in his sanctuary, with eight wonderful members of his flock -- >> say it! >> -- each at different stages in life but bound together by a common commitment to god cynthia hurd, susie jackson, ethel lance, the middleton
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doctor, tywanza sanders, danielle simmons, sharonda singleton, myra thompson. good people. >> good people. decent people. god-fearing people. [applause] people so full of life and so full of kindness, people who ran the race, who persevered, people of great faith.
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to the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief. our pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in a church. the church is and always has been the center of african-american life. [applause] a place to call out own in an too-often hostile world. a sanctuary from so many hardships. houses where the free could gather together and shout hallelujah. restaurants along the underground railroad.
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bunkers for the foot soldiers of civil rights. -- rest stops along the underground railroad. we continue to organize for jobs and justice. places of scholarship and networking. places where children are loved and fed and kept out of harms way and told that they are beautiful and smart and taught that they matter. [applause] that is what happens in church. that is what the black church means. our beating heart. the place where our dignity as a people is inviolate. there is no better example of
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this tradition than mother emanuel. [applause] a church built by blacks seeking liberty, burned to the ground because it's founders soft to end slavery. -- sought to end slavery. only to rise again, a phoenix from these ashes. when there were laws banning black church gatherings, gatherings have any weight in defiance of the laws. there was a movement to dismantle jim crow. dr. martin luther king jr. preached and marches began from its steps. the sacred place, this church. not just for blacks, not just for christians, but for every american who cares about the steady expansion of human rights and human dignity in this
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country. a foundation for liberty and justice for all. that is what the church meant. [applause] [applause] we do not know whether the killer of reverend clementa pinckney and eight others knew all of this history. but he surely sensed the meaning of his violent act.
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it was an act that drew on a long history of bombs, arson shots fired at churches. not random, but as a means of control. a way to terrorize and oppress. [applause] an act that he imagined would incite fear. and recrimination. and violence and suspicion. an act that he presumed would deepen divisions that traced back to our nation's original sin. oh, but god works in mysterious ways. [cheers]
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[applause] god has different ideas-- [applause] he didn't know he was being used by god. [cheers] blinded by hatred, the alleged to look could not see -- the alleged killer could not see the great surrounding -- the grace surrounding clementa pinckney and that the bible study group. the love they showed when it opened the church doors, inviting a stranger to join in their prayer service. the alleged killer could have never anticipated the way the families of the fallen would respond when they saw him in court in the midst of unspeakable grief with words of forgiveness. he couldn't imagine that. [applause]
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the alleged killer could not imagine how the city of charleston, under the good and wise leadership of mayor riley and the state of south carolina, how is united states of america with respond, not merely with repulsion at his evil act, but with goodhearted generosity, and more importantly, the thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life. blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what reverend
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clementa pinckney so well understood. the power of god's grace. [applause] president obama: this whole week, i've been reflecting on this idea of grace. [chatter and applause] president obama: the grace of the families who lost loved ones. the grace that reverend clementa pinckney would preach about in his sermons. the grace described in one of my favorite hymnals, the one we all know. amazing grace. [applause] how sweet the sound. that saved a wretch like me. i once was lost, but now i'm found.
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was blind, but now i see. president obama: according to the christian tradition, grace is not earned. >> no sir. president obama: grace is not merited. it's not something we deserve. rather, grace is the free and benevolent favor of god. [applause]
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in the bestowal of blessings grace. as a nation out of this terrible tragedy, god has visited grace upon us. for us has allowed us to see where we have been blind. [applause] he has given us the chance where we have been lost to find our best selves. we may not have earned it, this grace, with our rancor and complacency and shortsightedness and fear of each other, but we got it all the same. he gave it to us anyway. he has once more given us grace.
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but it is up to us now to make the most of it. to receive it with gratitude. and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift. for too long, we were blind to the pain that the confederate flag stirred in it too many of our citizens. [applause] it's true, a flag did not cause these murders. but as people from all walks of life, republicans and democrats acknowledge -- [applause]
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-- we have to knowledge the flack is always represented more than just ancestral pride. [applause] ♪ >> for many, black and white that flag was a reminder of systemic oppression and racial subjugation. we see that now. removing the flag from this state capital would not be an act of political correct this.
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-- correctness. it would happen insult to the soldiers. it would simply be an acknowledgment that the cause -- of the cause of which they thought. the cause of slavery was wrong. [applause] the imposition of jim crow after the civil war, the resistance of civil rights for all people was wrong. [applause] president obama: it would be one step in the becoming of america's history. a modest, but meaningful bone in so many unhealed wounds.
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it would mean expression of the ranging changes -- the amazing changes that have transformed this state and the country for the better because of the work of so many people of goodwill. people all races, striving to form a more perfect union. by taking down at that flag, we express god's grace. [applause] president obama: but i don't think god wants us to stop there. for too long we've been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. [cheers]
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president obama: perhaps we see that now. perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions about how we can permit so many of our children to languish in poverty. or attend dilapidated schools, or grow up without aspects for a job or a career. perhaps it causes us to examine what would cause some of our children to hate. [applause] perhaps it softens hearts towards those lost young men tens of thousands caught up in the criminal justice system, and lead us to make sure that that system is not biased, that we embrace changes in how we train and equip our police so that the bonds of trust between law-enforcement and the community make us all safer. maybe we now realize the weight
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racial bias -- the way racial bias can affect us, even when we don't realize it. so we are guarding against not just racial slurs, but also against the subtle impulse to call johnny back for a job interview but not jamal. [cheers] [applause] president obama: as we search our hearts when we consider laws to make it harder for some of our fellow citizens to vote. by recognizing our common
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community -- common humanity, by treating all children as important, regardless of the color of their skin or the station into which they were born and to do what is necessary to make opportunity real for every american. by doing that we express god's grace. [cheers] [applause] president obama: for too long-- >> for too long! president obama: for too long we've been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence in flex upon this nation. -- inflicts upon this nation. [applause] president obama: sporadically, our eyes are open. when 8 of our brothers and sisters are cuts down in a church basement.
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12 in a movie theater. 26 in an elementary school. but i hope we also see the 30 purchase lives cut short -- 30 precious lives cut short i got violent every single day. -- by gun violence every single day. the survivors crippled. the children traumatized and fearful every day they walked to school. the husband who will never feel his wife's warm touch. the entire communities whose grief overflows every time i
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have to watch what happened to them happen to some other place. the vast majority of americans the majority of gun owners, want to do something about this. we see that now. [applause] and i am convinced that by acknowledging the pain and loss of others, even as we respect the tradition, ways of life that make up this beloved country, by making the moral choice to change, we express god's grace. >> amen. president obama: we don't earn grace.
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we're all sinners. we don't deserve it. [applause] president obama: but god gives it to us anyway. in we choose how to receive it. it is our decision how to honor it. none of us can or should expect a transformation in race relations overnight. every time something like this happens, somebody says we have to have a conversation about race. we talk a lot about race. there is no shortcut. we don't need more talk. [applause] president obama: none of us should believe that a handful of gun safety measures should prevent every tragedy. it will not.
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people of goodwill will continue to debate the merits of various policies, as our democracy requires. as a big and raucous place america is. and there are people on outside of these dates. -- these debates. whatever solutions we find will necessarily be incomplete. but it would be a betrayal of everything reverend clementa pinckney stood for, i believe, if we allow ourselves to slip into a comfortable silence again. once the eulogy has been delivered. once the tv cameras move on, to go back to business as usual. that's what we so often do. to avoid uncomfortable truths
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about the prejudice that infects our society. the symbol for simply justice without following up on the hard work of long-lasting change. that is how we lose our way again. it would be a reputation of the forgiveness -- a refutation of the forgiveness of those families if we merely slipped into old habits, where those who disagree with us are not merely wrong, but bad. where we shout and barricade ourselves behind preconceived notions or well practiced cynicisms. reverend clementa pinckney once said, across the south, we have a deep appreciation of history. we haven't always had a deep appreciation of each other's
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history. [applause] president obama: what is true in the south is true for america. if i'm understood that justice grows out of recognition, of ourselves in each other, then my liberty depends on you being free too. that history can't be a sword to justify injustice, or a shield against progress, but must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past. how to break the cycle toward a better world.
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he knew that the path of grace involves an open mind. but more importantly, an open heart. that's what i felt this week. an open heart. that, more than any particular policy or analysis, is what is called upon right now i think. what a friend of mine, the writer marilynne robinson calls, that reservoir of goodness beyond and of another kind that we are able to do to each other in the ordinary cause of peace. that reservoir of goodness. if we can find that grace, anything is possible. [applause] president obama: if we can tap that grace, everything can change. amazing grace. amazing grace. president obama: ♪ amazing grace
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♪ [cheers] president obama: ♪ how sweet the sound ♪ [crowd joining) that saved a wretch like me ♪
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>> ♪ i once was lost but now i'm found was blind, but now i see ♪ [applause] president obama: clementa pinckney found that grace. cynthia hurd found that grace. susie jackson found that grace. ethel lance found that grace. depayne doctor found that grace. tywanza sanders found that grace. daniel simmons found that grace. sharonda singleton found that grace. myra thompson found that grace. they passed it on to us.
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may we find ourselves worthy of that precious and extraordinary gift. as all of our lives into her-- our lives endure. may grace lead them home. may god continue to shed his grace on the united states of america. ♪ [organ music] ♪
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>> we will have a prayer of comfort and then the funeral home gives us direction and we will be on our way. i want to thank you, mr. president, for a powerful message. [cheers] ♪ >> that's right, a powerful message. let the church say "amen." >> amen. >> join me in prayer. when i come to the end of my
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journey, carrying the staff and the cross a reduction, -- of redemption, he will understand and say well done. by the grace of glory, a ruler and redeemer. -- our ruler and redeemer. bless and comfort us as we leave this place. we mourn today the tragic death of clementa pinckney. we also celebrated his exemplary spiritual life of service. this grieving passing will be rejoice for, because he is your child. he lives eternally where there is no violence, no pain, and no danger. rejoice that he now lives eternally in the land where every day is a day of unspeakable joy. bless us to remember him as the navigate -- as we navigate life's unpredictable pathways
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for if we follow you, we will never walk alone. father in the extended families of the eight other souls to grapple with their grief, with their refuge, and their strength. help them to remember, even when the visitors have slacked off and the calls become less frequent, you are still just a prayer away. bless those in the ame church and the broader faith to keep our spiritual arms around them so that we can be instruments of consolation and insurance. -- assurance. bless us to live our faiths so that we can change things for the better. bless our communities, state and world. we have come together in a mighty way to deal with this horrific tragedy.
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it will keep us together so that we continue to stand and work together to find common ground for equality and prosperity and justice and progress, not on our terms, but on your terms. blessed be with us, dear lord. protect us so that we can remember clementa pinckney about serving you as he did. when life is over for each of us, our legacy will say after me and him, it capitulated his legacy. if i can tell someone as i pass on, then my living will not be in vain. amen. >> amen. >> thank you so much. may you please be seated for a moment and receive these instructions, please. please be seated. you will not be able to exit the building, so it's best to have a seat. [laughter] >> ladies and gentlemen, following the closing selection, as the bishops and elders and others will greet the family.
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the order of departure from this sanctuary, senator clementa pinckney and immediate family, the number of clementa pinckney 's extended family who were traveling to marion for the burial. the president, the first lady, the vice president, dr, bide. biden, secretaries and representatives of u.s. congress, bishops and supervisors, and after these folks have departed, we will dismiss the rest of the congregation. let me acknowledge the fcl president, dr. steel. thank you for being here. congressman steny hoyer. i want to acknowledge you. we want to thank the reverend president. [cheers]
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for a powerful message. and to close, i want to thank all law enforcement who have helped us. [cheers] localm,, state, and federal -- thank you. and we want to thank our local chief of police. if you can't get out of charleston -- you can't get out of charleston without his help. thank you so much. after i leave, we will give further direction, then the church's assistance to join at the exit behind the order in which i listed.
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thank you. thank you so much. >> to the reverend president -- [laughter] >> mrs. obama, vice president biden, dr. biden, on behalf of mrs. pinckney and her two daughters and the family, i want to thank you for your presence today, but also for your cards and letters. we do not have the opportunity to make individual expressions at this time, but they have seen the letters and flowers, and we thank you so very much for your prayers and concerns for this family during the hours of bereavement. those thinly members -- family members who will be running with us to marion, south carolina after the immediate family is transported to limousines, we
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invite you to go out this exit where secret service and security officials will take you to the georgia street exit, so that you may go quickly to your cars. we will wait 15 minutes on the corner of meeting and lee street. then we will process together to marion, south carolina for the middle and internment. -- committal and internment. >> let me ask the crowd to sing "my hope is built" and go into the transitional selection. ♪
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>> let me have your attention, please. okay, well he's the president, so. if he's all right, i'm all right. go ahead. [laughter] [congregation singing] ♪
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>> let me have your attention please. we will have to -- after the bishop, we have to go the other way. then let's follow the instructions we gave.
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thank you so much. i know, i understand. continue to sing. ♪
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>> we will now have senator pickney's immediate family who are traveling to marion, south carolina. the president, the first lady, vice president, and dr. biden, secretary clinton, u.s. senators and representatives of congress, you need to now move as we do the recessional selection. please pay attention. we have been beautiful all day. turn to somebody and say "you have been beautiful all day." let us not lose our beauty. follow the instructions, please.
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>> members of the church will follow right after the president. ♪
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>> let me have the bishop's assistants. please, let them through. >>, your calls in common life on washington your. and the ethics of technology will lose body cameras.
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the veterans administration finances. >> like many of us cannot first families take the occasion time. and like presidents and first ladies, a good read can be the perfect companion your summer journey. what better book than one that appears inside the personal life of every first lady in american history? first ladies, presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women. inspiring stories of fascinating women who survived scrutiny of the white house. available from public affairs and hardcover or evoke your favorite bookstore or online bookseller. >> this morning the supreme court decision making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. we will talk with a guest from
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the washington journal. washington journal is next. that today's ruling from the supreme court cover firms what millions across the country already know what is true in our heart. i love is equal -- our love is equal. equal justice under law applies to us too. host: that was one of the lead plaintiffs in one of the cases that let the supreme court to rule yesterday that gay marriage is a right and must be recognized in all 50 states. the white house welcomed the decision yesterday with rainbow lights on the white house. opponents