Charleston as Paradigm

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As it did everyone else, the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina left me sick to my stomach. So, equally, did the predictable, poorly-timed, shrill and tasteless politicizing that followed, most notably and most dishonestly by our Commander-in-Chief, who stated that such horrors only happen in America and then only because of our lax gun laws, conveniently forgetting that there are already redundant laws in place that didn’t do a damn thing to stop that evil, racist lunatic; also forgetting the recent Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris that left twelve dead and eleven wounded and another five dead and eleven wounded again the next day; or the Norway shooting in 2011 that left sixty-nine dead by gun and another eight by bomb; or the recent multiple mass shootings in Finland, or Azerbaijan, or Germany, or…

Oh, never mind.

Instead, let’s concentrate on the good that came out of this horror. I have never seen such dignity, grace, restraint, and eloquence, as that shown by the people of the city of Charleston generally, and by the families of the victims in particular. All the natural and completely understandable reactions one might have expected, that I, for one, might have given vent to under those circumstances, such as rage, desire for revenge, hatred, none of those were shown or expressed. Instead, there was only love and forgiveness. If this is an example of the kind of Christianity taught at the AME, we should all join that church. God bless them all for setting such a fine example for those of us who aren’t as good. May God bless the rest of us with equal dignity and grace.

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