The day after Charlestown

The first day after Charlestown has ended. Some remarkable things happened. The words of the families of the victims to the killer were inspiring and gave hope in a day needing hope. Hatred and violence have become everyday and seem beyond action,  at least anything we have the will or commitment to do.   But the families showed in the worst of circumstances that even if hatred and violence destroy they need not win.  We need not let them define us.  Bless those families.

There were some really not remarkable things too.   But none of them were really surprising, maybe sad but not surprising.

In a day with so many people saying so many stupid things the NRA made its bid to remain the stupidest of the stupid.   A board member explained it was all the fault of the murdered pastor.  He voted against guns in churches.   He brought it on himself…

The man who came to shoot black people to start  a race war got left out of his equation.  The board member thought people should come to bible study ready to shoot back. There is something particularly slimy about people who use tragedy to promote their own political agenda… something about people who say he wouldn’t have died if he had just listened to me inspires something way past vomit.

The NRA really needs maniacs and crazy people. Without them to blame too many people might do what Barack Obama did – note that we seem to be the only country swimming in gun death and tragedy. And ask why. Paranoia is a survival behavior for the NRA. Their appeal and their power fail if we don’t buy in.

Jeb Bush remains confused. Like many other things he neither know what what to say or what to think. He wants to study it further but thinks it might be possible that a racist shot black people because he hates them.

Rick Perry thought it was an accident Don’t ask I can’t explain.

There were people who thought it was an attack on religion and faith. Many of them were people who try to pass off their own bigotry and hatred as a defense against what they are sure is an attack on their own religion and faith. And the killer was real clear about where he was coming from.

People, suprisingly lots of people, had trouble believing that hatred matters, that racism had an impact. The confederate flag still flies high in South Carolina. The killer of 9 black people is being kept in a cell next to the policeman who shot a black man in the back a couple of months ago. And it is politically too difficult to lower a flag???

It is the most terrible of terrible tragedies, but the families today told us something important today. What we do next matters. How we respond defines the kind of people we are and the people we are defines what are world can become. Evil is real. The problem with hatred is not just that it leads us to hurt people but that it makes it seem like the only thing that makes sense.

Grieve for today but pray for tomorrow. May God bless each and every one of you.

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One thought on “The day after Charlestown”

  1. Good article, Larry! The reason so many right-wing ideologues simply will NOT say this was a blatant racist attack is because they would then have to admit they were wrong about ‘the problem with racism’ being SOLVED – you know, because we elected an African American man to be our president! They would have to think about reinstating the protections offered by the Voting Rights Act – the ones that were stripped by the Supreme Court because our racism problem was ‘solved’.

    At the risk of being criticized, however, I will not be praying to a god I do not believe exists.

    I have always had a hard time understanding how Christians (or any other religious followers) can thank God for sparing three people – but no one ever questions or wonders why he did not ‘spare’ the nine people who were not so fortunate. It would seem the Christian god is always thanked and lauded for sparing the lives of people who were fortunate enough to escape being massacred – while the murder of the other nine people is simply attributed to ‘god’s will’ or ‘things we cannot understand’ because ‘the lord works in mysterious ways’. Some people attribute it to the work of the devil. Interesting and puzzling that the so-called omnipotent, all-knowing and all-seeing god is not strong enough – or lacks the will – to fight the devil and ensure more lives are spared.

    I used to believe. This is no longer true. As such, I will not be telling people to pray for anyone. And while I do appreciate the devout faith/belief that seems to provide a source of solace and comfort for so many people, it no longer works for me. For if this is the way god works – and these are the things we are told to believe ‘on faith’, I have to admit it is not enough for me.

    Instead of praying for others, I will do everything in my power to take action that, hopefully, will decrease the likelihood another mass shooting will occur.

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