Your sorrowful Peasant is reflecting today on the
fatal shooting of nine members of a historic black
church in Charleston, South Carolina. It has been
on my mind for quite some time, and I pray for the
church, its members --- the slain and the living,
the city, and the state often.
As you, my very aware readers know, a 21-year-old
white racist wanted to start a race war, and he felt
the best way to do it was to plan and execute an attack
on a prominent black church, Emanuel AME Church.
Armed with a .45-caliber handgun and an evil agenda,
this evil individual walked into this church, took part
in a Bible study meeting with some of the congregants
(to blend in, and not raise any suspicion), and at its
conclusion opened fire, killing six women and three
men. One of the victims was the pastor of the church,
as well as also being a state legislator.
But the murderous slime didn't get the result that he
had hoped for. Quite the contrary. Instead of inciting
even a fistfight. let alone a war, the congregants of
this church --- those that were witness to the shocking
event, and the others who soon learned of it --- came
together in prayer and forgave the shooter. They did as
their heavenly Father bade them to do in the face of
injustice, of maltreatment, of evil, and forgave the
hateful malefactor his hideous crime.
It's not that they thought it was okay for the killer to do
what he did. It's not that they didn't want justice to be
served. It's not that they were being weak and wimpy.
They actually showed incredible strength, the strength
of their faith in their practice of it under the most
harrowing circumstances, that which try our souls and
test our mettle. They forgave a fiend for the slaughter of
their friends, their relations, their fellow congregants.
They did what Christianity teaches us to do, one of the
hardest --- if not the hardest --- things a practitioner of
the faith will ever be called upon to do. And it's not
a thing that many people, regardless of their faith, can
ever do, your humble Peasant included. I still have
trouble forgiving people in my past who have wronged
me in some way or another, including an abusive father.
Your awed Peasant salutes and commends these aggrieved
congregants of the church!
And the people of Charleston, and the state of South Carolina,
came together to pray for and show solidarity and moral
support with these hearty folks --- black, white, young,
old, conservative, liberal, moderate, any and all categories
of people all stood with the members of this church.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a staunch conservative
Republican (sorry lefties, here goes one of your treasured
narratives!), gave a statement of heartfelt sympathy and moral
support. Out of this terrible tragedy, a beautiful union of many
making an outpouring of love and solidarity. The triumph of
love and care over racism and divisiveness. The triumph of the
human spirit over the forces of darkness.
It all makes your moved Peasant proud to be a Christian and