Psalm 46: Obama Turns to Bible Passage for Comfort During 9/11 Memorial Speech

Standing behind bulletproof glass, Obama read the Bible passage, which begins with “God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea,” to the hundreds of victim’s family members, city officials, and government leaders gathered at ground zero in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who were killed in the attacks.

In a country where more than 3/4 of population “professes” to be Christian, Obama’s choice to read the Psalm caused a stir which was most prevalent on the web.

On Yahoo! Answers, one user questioned the president’s usage of scripture when they posted the following inquiry:

“Was it inappropriate for Obama to read Psalm 46 at the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony this morning?”

While some argued that the speech ostracized non-believers, Josh Earnest, Obama’s principal deputy press secretary, said the president had a specific reason for choosing the passage.

“The President chose a scripture which he believed was most appropriate — he believed it was particularly appropriate to use — to read scripture this morning,” Earnest explained. “And he chose a passage that talks of persevering through very difficult challenges and emerging from those challenges stronger.”

This is not Obama’s first time referring to Psalm 46 in the face of tragedy. After a Tuscan shooting that injured Gabrielle Giffords and killed others, Obama referred to the scripture.

Despite the varied responses the Psalm garnered throughout the web, the majority seemed to appreciate Obama’s choice of the passage – which Yahoo! News called “a sure defense in desperate times” – to commemorate the tragedy that struck the country.

“Our president is reading Psalm 46 over ground zero right now,” one blogger wrote. “Perfect words.”

Watch Obama’s Psalm 46 9/11 Memorial speech in the video below: