We all woke up yesterday morning with the news of a terrible tragedy in Charleston, South Carolina. A gunman sat with a Bible group for about an hour Wednesday evening at Emanuel AME Church, before pulling out a gun and killing nine brothers and sisters in Christ.
It didn’t take long for Salon.com to latch on to the race aspect of the shooting, and add fuel to an already raging inferno. The gunman was still on the loose, yet that didn’t stop them from releasing a headline that reads, “Charleston church massacre: The violence white America must answer for.” This was nothing more than an attempt to advance their own twisted agenda to politicize this horrible event, but they weren’t the only ones.
A Senior Editor at the Daily Beast took the opportunity to exploit the deaths of nine innocent people to attack “barbaric” America and guns. For some reason he didn’t find it necessary to first offer any kind of condolences.
And then, of course, President Obama had to use this shooting as a way to push forward an agenda for more gun laws saying this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. While this lie can be easily refuted, this is not the time to do it.
I have been through a range of emotions over the past 24 hours. None has been more intense than the anger directed towards those who have jumped on the chance to turn Charleston into another political narrative. Sitting back and watching social media has shown a very disturbing trend our country falls victim to every single time evil shows its face in the form of a gunman who kills innocent people.
While it’s extremely tempting to jump on all the ignorance, and give rebuttals to the claims about what’s really to blame in a situation like the AME Church, I urge you, don’t.
What we need to do is use this time of grief to unite, regardless of political affiliation or ethnicity. South Carolina state Senator Clementa Pinckney, one of the victims, is not a Democrat, he is a person, whose family needs support and comfort during this time. We need to tell the people of Charleston, South Carolina that we are with you. We have your back! And even more importantly, God is with you.
Instead of allowing those who seek to drive a knife into all of our backs, and divide this country even further, let us focus on the victims. Let us focus on Tywanza Sanders, who tried to step in front of his aunt to save her. He took her bullet, but she also was killed.
Let everyone find strength in the son of Sharonda Singleton, who has already said, “I forgive.” Don’t allow the hate to pour over into the coverage of the people who lost their lives. Instead, help the families.
My worldview says that even the gunman who took the lives of innocent people can be forgiven. While I was busy name calling, and even getting into a heated discussion with a close friend yesterday about Charleston, a man by the name of Marcus Stanley did something that we all need to follow as an example.
The gunman had not yet been captured, however, Marcus took it upon himself to actually reach out to the gunman’s Facebook page saying, “Give your heart to Jesus and confess your sins with a heart of forgiveness. He is the only one who can save your soul and forgive you for the terrible act you have done. I love you Dylann, even in the midst of the darkness and pain you have caused.”
This is the America I want to live in. This is who we need to be within all hatred and vitriol that floods our country. The gunman wants to start a race war. But we cannot let him achieve his goals. Don’t be like the agenda driven progressive media who are trying to fulfill his wish of a race war. We cannot do this to each other.
Let’s unite and drive out the evil which seeks to divide us further. There is evil in the world, and it exists outside of the people pulling the trigger. It also rests in those with a pen and agenda.
Zach Pugh is the founder of Critically Christian. The Pugh Report is heard every Friday during the Rush To Reason radio show on KLZ560.