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Speakers at the Virginia Tech convocation called on Allah and Buddha in their efforts to minister to the survivors, family and friends of victims of the shooting massacre at the school – but Jesus wasn’t mentioned by name.
President Bush and first lady Laura Bush among the guests at Virginia Tech convocation
President Bush did offer a biblical message of hope, when he suggested the school community that lost 32 members to the shootings by an out-of-control resident alien student find “comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.”
But even he didn’t bring Jesus, the only hope of comfort and future life for Christians, into the memorials.
“I’m sitting here watching the convocation service at VT,” wrote a WND reader who was given anonymity. “Five minutes ago they had four representatives from the local ‘religious community.’ The Muslim specifically invoked Allah’s blessings… and he didn’t shy away from saying the name of Allah. The Jewish rep asked for God’s blessings. Buddha was represented. The only name that [was] omitted, of course, Jesus Christ.”
And another WND reader cited the speakers, in order:
- “1st Speaker: A Muslim cleric invoking the name of Allah and quoting the Quran.”
- “2nd Speaker: A Buddhist Community Leader preaching that mankind is basically ‘good.'”
- “3rd Speaker: A Female speaker from the Jewish Community quoting Ecclesiastes: ‘There is a time for everything.'”
- “4th Speaker: A Liberal Lutheran Minister talking about ‘healing,’ etc. and how everyone needs to come together (blah, blah, blah…).”
“BUT NOT ONE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN PASTOR/PREACHER. NO INVOCATION OF THE NAME OF CHRIST JESUS,” the reader said.
“The only thing that surprised me, though, is that they didn’t have a rep from the Universal Life ‘church’ or the ‘Church of Satan.’ Go figure,” said the first reader.
Yet another reader wondered why a Muslim cleric was the first member of the clergy to deliver remarks.
“By the prominence of the Muslim speaker in the service are we to assume that Virginia Tech is mainly a Muslim student body? … How are we to know this wasn’t a signal to a sleeper cell? …
I pray the students and staff find tangible comfort from the God who freely gave us the Lord Jesus to show us how to live.”
It was up to the president to deliver references to Christianity.
“People who have never met you are praying for you,” Bush said. “They’re praying for your friends who have fallen and who are injured. There’s a power in these prayers, a real power. In times like this, we can find comfort in the grace and the guidance of a loving God.”
Most of the other official statements of condolence released also ignored the savior of the Christian faith.
“Today is a day to reflect on our many blessings of family, neighbors, and our Blacksburg community, which includes the students of Virginia Tech,” said a statement from the town of Blacksburg, where Virginia Tech is located.
“I urge Virginians to keep these victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers,” said Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat, who recounted some of the Old Testament Book of Job in his remarks.
“In time, Americans will learn more about the circumstances of this senseless tragedy. For now and forever after, our hearts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the other students, faculty and staff of Virginia Tech, and their families,” said Sen. John Warner, a Republican.
“My heart goes out to the parents and families of the victims of this senseless act,” said Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat.
The school has announced a candlelight vigil to honor the victims of the mass killing Monday. The campus also was ordered closed through this week, and counseling services were being made available to students, faculty and staff.
“We come to express our sympathy in this time of anguish. I hope you know that people all over this country are thinking about you and asking God to provide comfort for all who have been affected,” the president told the community assembly.
“May God bless you and keep you and keep the souls of the lost and may his love touch all of those who suffer and grieve,” he concluded.
He earlier had ordered U.S. flags to be flown at half staff at the White House, federal buildings and grounds, naval craft and military posts through Sunday.
“Our nation grieves with those who have lost loved ones at Virginia Tech. We hold the victims in our hearts. We lift them up in our prayers, and we ask a loving God to comfort those who are suffering,” Bush said in the flag proclamation.
Authorities have identified the shooter as Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a senior English major at the school whose class writings were so disturbing he previously had been referred for counseling.