Joel Osteen Says Sandy Hook Tragedy a 'Wake Up Call' for Americans

Correction appended

Pastor Joel Osteen speaks of the Dec. 14 Conn. school shooting on Entertainment Tonight in a Dec. 17 video.
Pastor Joel Osteen speaks of the Dec. 14 Conn. school shooting on Entertainment Tonight in a Dec. 17 video. | (Video: Entertainment Tonight)

Pastor Joel Osteen of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas has recently made multiple media appearances to discuss the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in an attempt to offer spiritual guidance to those searching for answers in the wake of the tragedy.

The Lakewood Church pastor recently spoke about how to move forward from the Dec. 14 tragedy, saying that in a roundabout way, he believes the tragedy "teaches us to prioritize what's important in our lives."

"There is no guarantee of tomorrow, I wish there was, but it makes us all realize, even as a nation, how fragile life really is, and every day are we taking time to tell the people we love how much we love them and taking the time for what matters most," Osteen told Entertainment Tonight in a Dec. 17 interview.

"We can take this, as a nation, to say, 'you know what, here's a wake up call, are we taking time for those closest to us?'"

Religion has been referenced by many leaders seeking to find answers to this recent act of violence.

On Monday, Pastor T.D. Jakes of The Potter's House went on MSNBC's "News Nation with Tamron Hall" to say that he believes now is an important time for Americans to come together.

"We all have to be watchmen on the wall, and answer the great question of the Scriptures: 'Am I my brother's keeper?'" Jakes told Hall.

While attending an interfaith prayer vigil on Dec. 16 in Newtown, President Barack Obama cited the Bible passage found in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, telling those in attendance:

"Do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, inwardly, we are being renewed day by day."

"For light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all, so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal," the president added.

On the morning of Dec. 14, police reported that 20-year-old Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and began shooting children and staff members, ultimately killing 26 victims before taking his own life as first responders arrived at the scene.

Nancy Lanza, the gunman's mother, was also found shot to death at her home in Newtown.

An FBI investigation is now underway to determine what exactly may have prompted Lanza to commit such a heinous crime.

It was reported on Dec. 17 that the hard drive obtained from Lanza's home had been smashed to pieces, most likely by a hammer or a screwdriver, prior to Lanza's killing spree, and is possibly unsalvageable.

Additionally, police reported Monday that no mental health medications were found at the home of the shooter.

Correction: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012

An article published Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, about Pastor Joel Osteen's comments regarding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Conn., reported that the Lakewood Church leader visited the survivors. Osteen did not visit with survivors in Newtown.

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