Biden shares story of faith with pastor who lost wife in 2015 Charleston shooting

Posted Thursday, 27 February 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden reflected on how personal tragedy has affected his faith while connecting Wednesday night with a pastor who lost his wife in the 2015 mass shooting at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The Rev. Anthony Thompson's wife, Myra, was one of nine African Americans killed by a white supremacist at a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Thompson asked Biden at a CNN town hall in Charleston about the former vice president's faith and how it would inform his decision-making if he's elected president. "Well, Reverend, I kind of know what it's like to lose family, and my heart goes out to you," Biden said. "I don't know how you've dealt with it, Reverend," Biden said. "But the way I've been able to deal with when my wife was killed and my daughter was killed and then my son died, I've only been able to deal with it by realizing they're part of my being. My son Beau was my soul."Biden's first wife and infant daughter were killed in 1972 in a car crash, right after he had won his US Senate seat. Biden's son Beau, an Iraq War veteran who served as the attorney general of Delaware, died in 2015 from brain cancer at the age of 46.The Charleston shooting occurred only weeks after his son's death, and Biden visited the church with then-President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. Biden said at Wednesday's town hall that he then had gone back to the church in 2015 to attend a Sunday service, "because I had just lost my son, and I wanted some hope." "Because what you all did was astounding," Biden said, after choking up at the mention of his son. He said those in the community affected by the massacre forgave the shooter. "The ultimate act of Christian charity," he said. Biden said, "I'm not trying to proselytize, I'm not trying to convince you to be, to share my religious views. But for me it's important because it gives me some reason to have hope and purpose." He spoke about how his son had urged him right before he died to stay engaged and not retreat into himself. Biden said that every day he wakes up and "I ask myself, I hope he's proud of me today.""It took a long time to get to the point to realize that that purpose is the thing that would save me," he said. "And it has.""To forgive is divine. What you did, you changed, you brought down that Confederate flag," Biden said to Thompson. "You're the ones who changed the attitude in this state in a way that was profound. And I think that's how it gets done."CNN's Dan Merica contribute to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Harry Styles has postponed the European leg of "Love On Tour" to 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic continues across the globe.The former One Direction star had been due to kick off the 26-date tour in Birmingham, England on April 15, with pitstops in ...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Scientists have found that our teeth can provide a record of human life, much like the rings of a tree.The discovery that our teeth are an "archive of life" could allow us to better understand menopause, birth patterns and child-rearing among early...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Handshakes will probably be out of style for a while. Perhaps we should consider the namaste gesture instead. Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On With Your Day.(You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)The US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday said it is expediting the use of a blood plasma treatment for patients seriously ill with the coronavirus, making it easier for doctors to try another tool to attack the illness.The FDA said in a news...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was meant to be the first Games to be held beyond Europe and North America, a spectacle to showcase to the world that Tokyo had overcome the earthquake that had devastated the city some years earlier. But the 1940 Olympics was the Games that...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It's a scenario all too many of us are facing -- or will soon face. You or a loved one has a mild fever, body aches, the start of a nagging, dry cough. Food doesn't taste good nor smell as it once did. Maybe you...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)There's no easy time to get sober, but a global pandemic is tougher than most. Back when I was trying and failing to quit, I'd reach for any excuse to bail on my better self. A bad day. A text from my ex, or no text. One day, a snowstorm walloped...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As the coronavirus situation intensifies, you might be wondering: how can I keep myself healthy? And will swallowing a pill protect me from getting sick?First, there's the not-so-great news. Despite claims you may have seen on the Internet, there's...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

New Delhi (CNN)As the global coronavirus pandemic worsens by the day, fear is swelling in India -- and frontline medical workers are bearing the brunt of public panic.India has reported 562 cases of the novel coronavirus so far, a relatively low number...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN)Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has warned local officials not to hide new coronavirus cases, after the country reported several days of no locally transmitted infections in a major turnaround in its fight against the deadly pandemic.Li, the...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)President Donald Trump says he's hopeful Americans will be able to return to work in less than three weeks -- an outlook in stark contrast with that of world health officials who say the US may become the coronavirus pandemic's new...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Minnesota Timberwolves player Karl-Anthony Towns took to Instagram to share his mother's fight with Covid-19 in hopes it would encourage others to follow precautions to stop its spread."This disease is real," he said. "This disease needs not to be...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Danielle and Kenny Scott are used to facing obstacles together.Danielle, who is 34, had a hysterectomy after being diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 2013. Kenny was right by her side, despite the fact that they had only been dating three...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)When Brandon Waltman went to visit his newborn baby girl in the neonatal intensive care unit of an Alabama hospital Monday night, he was told she had been placed in isolation.His daughter Emmarie Grace Waltman has been in the NICU of the University...

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ CNN

Washington (CNN)White House and Senate leaders struck a major deal early Wednesday morning over a $2-trillion package to provide a jolt to an economy struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic, capping days of marathon negotiations that produced one of the ...