A Senseless Tragedy In A Local Church *Open Thread*

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The news to which I woke up this morning was a horrible, terrible tragedy in the Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, SC.

As many of you surely know by now, nine people were slaughtered in a church during a Bible study and prayer meeting. One of those killed was one of our State Senators, the pastor of this church, Clementa Pinckney, was one of the nine who perished in this assault.

To say this has affected the community, the city, and the state, is a gross understatement. Was it a race crime? Was it a religious crime? At this point, we just don’t know. The DOJ has already initiated an investigation of this act as a “Hate Crime,” but we don’t know what KIND of hate it is. One thing is certain – hate it is.

One aspect of this assault is particularly disturbing. The gunman, a young 20-something white guy, sat in that church for an hour or so before opening fire. That is just bizarre to me. Well, the whole damn thing is bizarre to me, but that he could sit there, in a Bible study and prayer meeting, for an hour before gunning these people down just boggles the mind.

Attacks in churches is nothing new, at least not these days. We have seen the wholesale slaughter of Coptic Christians in Egypt for a number of years now, sadly without a lot of outcry in this country.

ISIS continues to slaughter Christians with impunity. They threaten Christians that they either convert, or die. And we do nothing, as this Townhall article from last year highlights:

[…] ISIS captured Mosul in June, so Christians there fled to Qaraqosh, population 50,000. ISIS warned Christians in Mosul to leave by July 19th. The houses of Christians in Mosul were painted with the letter “N,” meaning Nasare, the Muslim word for Christians, which comes from Nazareth, Jesus’s hometown. Their property was confiscated, including jewelry and wedding rings – sometimes chopping off their fingers to get them. Their churches were bombed, which has been caught on video. Catholic Online has compiled some of the more graphic photos of the barbaric, torturous executions. Many Christians were crucified due to the humiliation of Christ’s crucifixion. There are reportedly no Christians left in Mosul.

Within the past few months, ISIS has taken over Fallujah, Tikrit, and Tel Afar in northern Iraq. Composed of radical Sunni Muslims, ISIS is also terrorizing Shia and some Kurdish Muslims. Besides eradicating Christians, its goals include removing the Shia Muslim population. Next, it is going after certain Kurdish Muslims, marching toward Erbil, the Kurdish capital of Iraq.

“All I hear is silence,” says Father George, an Assyrian priest struggling to take care of 40 families that have registered at his church so far. “Where are the States? Where is the UN? Until now, they have done nothing!” This is all happening because the U.S. and others have backed away. If a Republican had been in the Oval Office instead of Obama, these killings would have been drastically halted. […] (Click here to read the rest.)

Just tragic.

And obviously, it isn’t just happening over there. It is happening here. I scarcely have the words for what happened here.

If indeed this is based on religion, I doubt many of us would be surprised to learn that. We have seen the systematic manner in which Christians in this country are being marginalized. As I noted just yesterday, you have Whoopi Goldberg asking a Republican Presidential candidate this question, from IJ Review:

You’re running, – I assume you’re a person who is very pro-life. Are you going to run as a person who’s going to govern for everyone, or are you running on your Christian beliefs?

Words fail. And it isn’t just the language she used in posing this question to Fiorina, but it was her TONE, too:

Yeah, there’s no bias against Christians there at all…

Frequently, I ponder what is happening in our society. What is happening with our young people. How we have gotten to a place in which Christians are fair game, in which people feel comfortable making the most hateful, virulent comments to people whom they have never met on the internet, how the Golden Rule has become tarnished from lack of use. How have we gotten here? And more importantly, how do we get to a place where people can disagree respectfully, that the end DOESN’T justify the means, with the lying, the cheating, the stealing, which seem to be infused in everything from sports to politics to every day life. How do we get some sense of decency, of just plain old human kindness, to rule the day? To stop the divisiveness, the hatred, the anger, that seems so rampant these days?

Faith, love, humility, compassion, and yes, a sense of humor, are some ways in which we can aspire to do better, to see the other as a brother or sister, not as an enemy. We have to turn this ship around. We must, we just must.

For the families of the victims, for the Emanuel AME Church community, the city of Charleston, and our state, I offer this spiritual, performed by Kathleen Battle and Jessy Norman:

My thoughts and prayers go out to our fair city, to those who lost loved ones Wednesday night. May the love of the Divine comfort the families of the victims, may there be a balm to soothe their souls, and may we all remember to act with more kindness one toward another not just on days like today, but every day.

This is an Open Thread.

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15 Responses to “A Senseless Tragedy In A Local Church *Open Thread*”

  1. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Reports are also coming out that the gunman let a woman and a small child live. He wanted her to be a witness to what happened last night. Unbelievably disturbing, that. WOW.

  2. foxyladi14 Says:

    Sending love and prayers to all concerned. ❤

  3. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Thank God this madman has been caught: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/06/18/police-respond-to-shooting-at-sc-church/

  4. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    What an absolutely assholic thing for this former Obama official to do, to blame this horrific shooting on Gov. Haley. WTH is wrong with people!?! Shesh: http://dailycaller.com/2015/06/18/former-obama-administration-official-blames-nikki-haley-for-shooting-at-black-church/

  5. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    And then Obama comes on and makes it abt race and gun violence. Seriously – is there no time that he won’t infuse his ideology into an event like this? We don’t KNOW what the cause was of this violence, but what we do know is that people are grieving, in pain, and in sorrow. He could have said it was a time for us to be united, to pray, and to support one another. Then again, I guess that wouldn’t be Obama…

  6. mcnorman Says:

    Kid on drugs, parent gives kid a gun on his 21st birthday. That is some parental guidance there. I would like to see someone talk about the mental health issue here not the race card.

    POTUS is a gross example of a human being. He should have spoken about being united, but instead he goes for the divisive move.

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      I actually heard Rep. Tulsi Gabbards talk abt Mental Health issues today. Cavuto had a psychologist on who spoke abt it as well, but you aren’t going to get that from Obama. Oh, no – he is going to push his agenda on the backs of those who perished because he has no shame.

  7. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    And of course, after Obama delivered his anti-gun, ramp up the ideology speech, he went to CA to fundraise and play golf: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2015/06/18/surprise-obama-went-to-fundraise-immediately-after-statement-on-charleston-massacre-n2014511

  8. kenoshamarge Says:

  9. kenoshamarge Says:

    Once again the ignorant POTUS runs his mouth and proves he is either stupid or such a congential liar that he can’t tell the truth from his left ass cheek.

    Actually, President Obama, Mass Killings Aren’t Uncommon In Other Countries

    Let’s set aside Obama’s assertion that it’s too easy to obtain guns in America and deal with the implication that we are somehow uniquely violent or that “mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.” The president has made this claim in various ways and with various qualifiers.*

    Parlez vous Hebdo? Because surely the president recalls that in January of this year two gunmen entered the office of a satirical magazine in France with an assortment of guns and murdered 11 people (and injured 11 more). After leaving, they killed a police officer. And in a marketplace catering to Jews another five were murdered and 11 wounded. France is, allegedly, an advanced country, is it not? Perhaps if Obama had attended the anti-terror rally in Paris like every other leader of advanced countries did, his recollection would be sharper.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/06/18/actually-president-obama-mass-killings-arent-uncommon-in-other-countries/

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      GMTA, Marge – I literally just put that quote in my post coming out at 10:00 (9:00 your time?).

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