American presidents still use verses from the Bible to comfort citizens during times of tragedy despite the decline of Christianity in the country, just as U.S. President Donald Trump quoted from the Holy Book in his speech after the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas which killed 58 people and injured around 500 others.
On Oct. 2, President Trump quoted from the book of Psalms to comfort the people affected by the deadly attack on Sunday. He added that he and the First Lady were praying for Americans who have lost loved ones or have been injured as a result of the mass shooting. He also said a prayer for unity, peace, and healing, The Washington Post relayed.
"Scripture teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit," said Trump. "We seek comfort in those words, for we know that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve."
In his analysis piece on the Post, Eugene Scott cited reports that said the percentage of Americans who identified as Christians was declining. The American Religious Identification Survey said Christians in the U.S. made up 86 percent of the population in 1990, but that figure has now dropped to 70 percent, while those who identified as atheist, agnostic, or have no religious affiliation have increased three times.
Nevertheless, the Public Religion Research Institute found that Christianity remained the dominant religion among America's three largest races. In addition, all of the U.S. presidents since Abraham Lincoln have been Christian despite the country's increasing religious diversity. Even though a lot has changed in the demographics of the U.S., many of its citizens still seek spiritual comfort from the national leader each time a tragedy occurs.
Meanwhile, country music artists who performed at Sunday's concert called on people to pray for the victims of the Las Vegas gunman, Stephen Paddock, who was killed in an encounter with police after the attack. Jake Owen, one of the performers during the event, posted a message on Twitter asking everybody to pray to God, the Christian Broadcasting Network reported.
Other country music performers including Lee Brice, Dylan Scott, Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina, Brad Paisley, LANCO, and Sara Evans also posted messages online that said they were praying for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting.