President Obama reflected on the deadly shooting in Kansas during a White House Easter prayer breakfast, saying it is time to “combat the ignorance, the intolerance, including anti-Semitism, that can lead to hatred and violence.”
“As Americans, we not only need to open our hearts to the families of the victims; we've got to stand united against this kind of terrible violence, which has no place in our society,” he said.
“We’re all children of God, we’re all made his Image, all worthy of his love and dignity,” he said, “and we see what happens around the world when this kind of religious-based or -tinged violence can rear its ugly head. It’s got no place in our society.”
The president was referring to the latest mass shooting, which took place Sunday outside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kan.
The gunman, who killed three people, was a known white supremacist with a prior criminal record, according to local police. The federal government is assisting in the investigation.
“That this occurred now, as Jews were preparing to celebrate Passover, as Christians were observing Palm Sunday, makes this tragedy all the more painful,” Obama said.
“Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers,” he said. “No one should ever have to fear for their safety when they go to pray.”
Obama and first lady Michelle will hold a Seder at the White House on Tuesday to celebrate Passover.