TOO MANY TIMES
PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID GOLDMAN/AP
The tragic murders of the Pastor and nine Church members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday Evening breaks our hearts. This historic African-American Church traces its history back to 1816 and has been a beacon of hope and light in the struggle for human rights and racial equality. The love of this community is reflected in the fact that the young white murderer was a welcome part of the Wednesday night prayer, worship, and Scripture service. This worshipping Community gathered in love and openness only to suffer the violence that has broken the heart of America too many times.
The Interfaith Peace Project expresses our love, support, and solidarity with the people of the Emmanuel AME Church. This Church has earned the name “Mother Church” based on its history of working for freedom and justice for all people. The heart of the Mother is broken today but, in the name of State Senator Pastor Clementa Pinckney who was murdered as well, we must find the good in this situation as we rededicate our efforts in the pursuit of eradicating racism, fear and hatred.
The good we might find lies in the fact that this murder of our Black Brothers and Sisters is being mourned by mainstream America in ways that would have been unthinkable not so many years ago.
Much more needs to be done. Racial injustice tears at the fabric of our society. We must confront the racism that would limit voting rights for people of Color, profile young Black men and boys, destroy jobs in the inner cities and poor communities, and favor profits over justice. As a people we must confront our sordid history when it comes to the rights of minorities to live in peace, freedom, and dignity. The assault on the Mother Church attacks the integrity of the sanctuary threating the rights of anyone to pray and worship peacefully and securely.
We encourage you to light a candle for the slain, pray for God’s blessings, and be willing to confront within yourself any residue of racism, hatred, or fear to do what is right, just, and good.
We must disarm the Nation by dropping the guns from our hands and the fears in our hearts.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
With the Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project