Editorials from elsewhere
Charleston has suffered considerable tragedy in its 345-year history, including war, fire, storm and earthquake. But in terms of shocking inhumanity, the atrocity that occurred Wednesday night in a place of worship on Calhoun Street transcended those past horrors.
That’s because our Holy City was defiled by this horrendous pairing of words — “church massacre.” …
A shared revulsion for the killer’s inhumanity — and for the persisting poison of racism that apparently sparked his barbaric deed — unites us. A shared commitment for a better, more understanding future drives us.
President Obama sounded confident about that resolve, hailing “the outpouring of unity and strength and fellowship and love across Charleston today, from all races, of all faiths, of all places of worship.”
As Mayor Riley put it Thursday: “We are all in this together.”
And together, Charleston must — and will — rise above this tragedy, too.
Post & Courier
We must act
South Carolina is mourning the victims of this hate crime, but more is needed than grief and tears. Our entire state, but particularly people of faith who feel a special kinship with the victims, need to do much more.
As President Barack Obama said last week, our nation must reexamine its gun culture and the ease with which guns can be acquired in our nation. …
South Carolina also needs to revisit a culture where in many places racism is quietly indulged and symbols associated with shameful aspects of our state’s history are proudly displayed. How can a state mourn nine black victims, lower flags to half-staff in a sign of official grief, and tolerate a Confederate flag boldly flapping in the breeze on the Capital grounds in Columbia. The Confederate flag is so protected that state law even prohibited it from being lowered as the American and state flags were atop the Capital dome. The Confederate flag in its legally sanctioned position mocks the tears running down cheeks and the black and white hands clasped together in grief.
We must love
Let us also recommit ourselves to living lives rooted in love in honor of those who died at the hands of someone who was driven by hatred of others. What happened in Charleston on Wednesday is undoubtedly a national tragedy. It’s one that shouldn’t happen anywhere in the world, but it carries an even greater weight and significance when it happens in our home state and in a place as sacred and hallowed as a church.
There should be a shared disgust for the killer’s inhumanity and for the racism that apparently sparked this very barbaric act. However, that revulsion must also coincide with a commitment to having a greater understanding of what drives people to commit such heinous crimes.
Food for Thought
▪ “Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity.”
▪ “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.”