James Baldwin

The quiet impact of Obama's Christian faith

The quiet impact of Obama's Christian faith

President Barack Obama was flying over Los Angeles in June as he listened to the first accounts from a courtroom in Charleston, South Carolina, where family members of nine dead parishioners who were gunned down at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church had just addressed the accused killer.

He heard the words of a daughter who had lost her mother: "May God forgive you. I forgive you."

He listened to the plea of a mother who had lost her son: "Every fiber in my body hurts . . . but may God have mercy on you."

The president paused, the thump of the helicopter's blades filling the otherwise silent cabin. He had planned to tweet some statistics later...