One could not help but watch in horror the news reports out of Charleston, South Carolina. A young man sat for an hour listening to bible study in a black church before opening fire and murdering 9 people who sat on a Wednesday evening study session. Anyone with a connection with Israel had flashbacks to the men who entered the Har Nof Synagogue and butchered men as they prayed.
The two stories to me were so eerily similar. In my opinion, whether Jewish law says it or not both people at the church and the synagogue should be considered martyrs. They brought an awareness to God and were gunned down while involving themselves in the quest of spirituality. The Charleston nine died for being religious and for being black.
They were targeted as easy targets by hateful bigots. The arabs who perpetrated the heinous murders are no different than the young man who carried out his murders last week. They used their warped view to bring evil into this world.
The immediately call by most was for prayer. Both Jew and Gentile came together in prayer. The event forged a bond that hopefully will continue. People of faith came together. Their conclusions ranged however on how to prevent future shootings.
Whether we like to admit it or not, the world is chaotic. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop evil except stopping it. Religious institutions should no longer be “gun free zones”. We must be vigilant and never let evil exist. That means protecting our freedoms. In the United States, we have the unique and important right to bear arms. This is NOT a call for vigilantes. This is a call for people who are reluctant, but find the need necessary.
Take the easy steps to admit when we are wrong. The most immediate step happened today when there was a call to finally remove the confederate flag from the State Capital of South Carolina, a long thorn and reminder to Americans that the south still clings to its racism. If anything, this week showed that we truly are post racial. There are no more black and white.
There are plenty who will point at the President’s use of the n-word, (which is deplorable) and the view that racism is still as worse as ever. Call me naive, but I think it is gone. Whites, blacks, Jews and Gentiles showed in prayer at the Church this week to show their support.
In a time where ISIS is spreading its cancerous ideology and sword across the Middle East, religious individuals must stand together. Therefore, we must stand with the Martyrs of South Carolina.