A Tale of Two Churches

The shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC that left nine dead is at the top of the news this morning, as it should be. The Guardian seems to be doing the best job of updating What We Know So Far. Allegedly the shooter is a 21-year-old white kid named Dylann Storm Roof. We’ll soon learn that he was mentally ill and not a racist (she said, facetiously).

One of those killed, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was also a South Carolina state senator with a long history of public service. After the shooting death of Walter L. Scott by a white police officer in North Charleston, the Reverent Pinckney had led a rally against gun violence.

No More Mr. Nice Blog has a representative selection of responses from Fox News viewers, in which we learn that the real villains here are Al Sharpton, Al Sharpton, Al Sharpton, Rachel Dolezal, the racist (and anti-Semitic) president and liberal media, legislators who turn churches into gun-free zones, and, of course, gay people.” Well, that goes without saying.

At Salon, Chauncy DeVega wants to know “Where are the white fathers in the white home?” Heh.

I predict we’ll soon learn that young Mr. Roof is a big fan of right-wing media and a regular consumer of right-wing hate speech. This revelation will be followed by shrieks of outrage from the Right, because libruhls are trying to censor them. The South Carolina state legislature will respond by making it legal to open carry firearms in churches, if it isn’t legal already. Then this will all be shoved under the rug.

The other church in the title of this post is the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, which is on the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel. The Church was built on the site said to be where Jesus fed the multitude with five loaves and two fish. It has been severely damaged by arsonists. No persons were seriously injured.

Was this done by deranged Palestinians or Jesus-hating jihadists? Apparently not; those arrested for the crime are yeshiva students, who left a note about false idols being smashed. These alleged arsonists live on the West Bank and are being defended by a right-wing organization. Israeli officials condemned the act. However,

The Catholic Church in Israel told Haaretz that they saw this attack as a continuation of the aggression against holy Christian sites over the last few years, which it said the Israeli government and authorities have failed to deal with accordingly. A report on the matter has been given to the Vatican, the sources said.

So are the good American wingnut Christians going to rise up and condemn Israel for not aggressively dealing with anti-Christian terrorists who are not Muslim? I’m not holding my breath.

28 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Churches

  1. You have to be one evil and cold-hearted SOB to sit with people in their church, and then shoot 9 of them to death.

    Say what you will about the CO movie theater and the CT school mass murderers, but they didn’t sit for an hour with the people they killed, looked them in the eye, and then blew them away.

    All of them are evil, but the anonymous killings didn’t have that ‘personal touch.’

    As for our conservative “Christians” and those Yeshiva students, since now Pope Francis is turning into ‘persona non grata’ because of his upcoming Encyclical about global warming, they can’t condemn those sociopathic Jewish religious morons in their beloved Israel too much, because they’re already liable to lose the support of some (many?) Catholics, by criticizing the Pope.

    And what will they do if Rush and FOX start criticizing Israeli’s for attacks on the Christians? If they do, won’t the GOP risk losing some pro-Israel Evangelicals? *
    They won’t know what to do, since the meme is that only Muslims and secular Libtards attack Christianity!

    *Don’ worry.
    They won’t.
    Rush and FOX have created the templates for all conservatives in any and every situation – and all those sociopathic/psychopathic “Christian” conservative dim/nit/half/f*ck-wits in the GOP base need to do, is fill in the blanks.

    As Steve M. showed, they have already figured out a way to blame the SC terrorist slaughter and laid it at the feet of Obama and the liberals.
    Somehow or other, the “Christian” base will find a way to do the same thing regarding the burning of that church in Israel.

  2. BTW – they just caught the “lone-wolf” white suspect in NC.

    But, you see, he’s not a terrorist.
    He’s a lone-wolf!

    Minority thugs travel in packs/gangs – armed or unarmed – and coordinate attacks.

    May I suggest that his family, who got him this gun for his most recent birthday – at least according to the stories that I’ve read – be charged as accomplices?

    According to Ed Kilgore at WaMo, the suspect “…posed on his Facebook page (see one of the images above) with flag patches from Apartheid-era South Africa and the racist Rhodesian regime that governed what is now Zimbabwe.”

    No tip-off for the family there, eh?

    It’s going to be very hard, after his saying about black people “You rape our women and you’re taking our country… You have to go…” for Rush and FOX and the rest of the Reich-Wing @$$holes in this country, to blame President Obama and the Libtard’s for this white-supremacist’s TERRORIST attack!!!

  3. In what looks like the mug shot for the just-arrested young Mr. Roof, he has very very very dead eyes.

    I hadn’t heard anything about the church arson in Israel. (Yet not surprised.) People can be such jerks.

  4. OK, correction: the dead eyes are in an “undated police photo.” His expression does perk up a little when he gets out of the orange jumpsuit and into the jacket with the snazzy pro-apartheid patches.

    I bet this kid wasn’t on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s radar. They get heat all the time for calling a monster a monster, but for each one they know about, there are probably 100 more little monsters (sorry, Gaga) in training to be America’s Next Racist Mass Murderer.

  5. “The South Carolina state legislature will respond by making it legal to open carry firearms in churches, if it isn’t legal already.” You underestimate them, I think. They will respond by making it legal to carry firearms in church even if it’s legal already. They don’t care about actually governing, they care about being seen to do things that are likely to cause people to donate/vote.

  6. Here’s a “real” comment that I snagged from the comment section of a Yahoo news story pertaining to the church shooting in Charleston,SC. I thought perhaps there might be someone among the Mahablog readers who can appreciate and enjoy such a fine view into the conservative hive mind. Ten bonus points if you can find the obvious inconsistency in logic.

    “Yeah Terry is right. Ten years ago an upset former member came to church and shot our minister (he survived). Though I don’t have a permit to carry, I have been going to church with a gun in an ankle holster. It’s not safe in a place of worship either. I pitty the guy that enter my church shooting. I am a pretty good shot. I’d rather go to jail to save even one life. All the cops can charge me with is for being in possession. But at least a life will be saved. The Federal Government need to get off this kick that Stronger Gun Control is the answer. That’s Hog Wash. The mentally ill and criminals don’t play by our rules. Everybody that are non-violent and law abiding should have the right to carry without a Permit. Permits are revenue for the City and State. The Word of God is free. So should carrying a gun concealed”.

  7. Stupid, illiterate, and armed with an ankle holster. I foresee foot amputation.

    As for the logical inconsistency, I see several. Can’t be nonviolent if armed and ready to kill. Can’t be law-abiding if carrying illegally. I’m sure I missed something glaring.

    A tidy summary of the mindset that needs guns, however, “because they can’t use their words.”

  8. Faux Noise is calling the Charleston mass murder an “ATTACK ON FAITH.”


  9. One thing that’s fairly consistent with these violent racist killers is that they hope/intend to spark a race war. This guy left one of the victims alive (reportedly) to be able to tell why it happened. One can only hope that discipline in the black community will prevail and there won’t be senseless retaliation – revenge is playing right into the goals this bastard had when he pulled the trigger.

  10. Joan… You got the bonus points, congratulations! Use them wisely.
    What stood out to me was where he claimed that the mentally ill and criminals don’t follow our rules and yet he qualified himself on both accounts if our rules is to be understood as established law.. It might be a bit of a stretch to designate him as mentally ill, but when someone is consumed with and navigating life in the role of a superhero fantasy it becomes questionable as to what exactly their mental state is. However mild a condition, and as a layman, I would designate his thinking as some degree of mental illness.

  11. Reposted from Balloon Juice (with some changes):

    Republican clown can blame anti-Christianity.

    I want proof that it was anti-Christianity. He went to a Black church and shot people he found there. You want me to believe that in South Carolina, in Charleston! (ffs) there wasn’t a Bible Study group in any one of a dozen white Baptist or Evangelical churches?

    ETA: It is traditional in Protestant circles that Bible Study groups meet on Wednesday night. Thursday is usually Choir practice.

    ETA 2: It is also common for young men to stop attending church, regardless of the church they were raised in. They most often return when they get married. So again… show me evidence that he was out get Christians.

  12. BTW FOX – Was it also attack on Christianity when that “Pro-‘Life'” guy went into the abortion doctor’s church, and shot him to death?

    No, didn’t think so.
    That doesn’t fit the FOX propaganda template.

  13. On the Diane Rheem show, it was pointed out that the Confederate flag still flies outside the SC statehouse. The swastika is banned in Germany. We have hate speech laws. Why isn’t the Confederate flag hate speech? Signs, banners — all are considered speech. Because the flag is historic? Bad argument (see “swastika”). If *I* had ancestors who were slavemasters it would not be a part of my heritage I would want to honor or dwell on.

  14. “We’ll soon learn that he was mentally ill and not a racist (she said, facetiously).”…

    This comment is about an exception to your generally brilliant blogging, dear Maha (sometimes I think you, an incredibly adept writer, write a little too quickly!). Hopefully you meant “not a racist because he was mentally ill,” wanting to characterize such reasoning as faux-newz stupid. The likelihood (very high) that Roof is genuinely mentally ill has nothing to do with his (indisputable) racism, except that thatt may have made it easier for his family to brainwash him

  15. Cont.: So please exercise caution when so deftly tying mental illness to racism. Thanks.

  16. &: I know you said you were being facetious. But is really the time & place for being facetious???

  17. The likelihood (very high) that Roof is genuinely mentally ill

    Cont.: So please exercise caution when so deftly tying mental illness to racism.

    Um, please re-read your three obviously too-quickly posted comments. There is no evidence whatsoever that Dylann Roof is mentally ill. There is plenty of evidence that he is a young, ignorant, violent racist. You’re the one confusing the clear distinction between mental illness and racism.

  18. concern troll
    A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of “concern”… pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble…. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending.
    –from Urban Dictionary

  19. So please exercise caution when so deftly tying mental illness to racism. (He said facetiously)

    I agree that Maha is an incredibly adept writer. That’s why I was confused that she unnecessarily added the she said facetiously comment at the end of a perfectly expressed idea.

  20. Dark Snark 1: Dear Rachel Dolezal, are you _sure_ you want to be black?

    Dark Snark 2: Is it about racism or mental illness? That is a distinction without content. Racism _is_ a mental illness. It is an organized insanity, and a rallying point for the insane.

    Dark Snark 3: Was this an attack on blacks or on faith? Mostly the former but with a side order of the latter. To be precise, it is an attach on black faith; but by Christianity’s own stated tenets, Christians are one, right?
    Dark Snark 4: The demonic nature of the incident is ignored by both Left and Right because the Left doesn’t believe in Hell and the Right doesn’t believe in anything else.

    Dark Snark 5: Already wingnuts have proposed arming preachers. But if so, then why not cut out the middleman and found a faith that explicitly worships guns? The Church Of Weaponry; the NRA would attend!

    Dark Snark 6: The civil war within the Right is now about Guns Versus God.

  21. As the mother of a mentally ill adult, I expressed concern all right, finding Maha’s mention of the inevitable scenario of fauxnewzians linking racism to mental illness, a Glib distraction at the top of the thread. (Sure enough, later in the discussion, paradoctor conflates racism with mass mental illness… which is just too easy to do.) To me, mental illness involves an Individual Unable to Take Responsibility for Her/His Actions Because ShH/e is Trapped in a Uniquely Different Reality. Naturally, this reality can be exacerbated by environment and conditioning. So mental illness and racism can be connected, and are not clearly distinct, as joanr16 claims. Yet I feel very strongly that discussion of these two things together has to be Cautious Discussion! If that makes me a concern troll, so be it. I apologize for interrupting all the fun fuming. Further, if Roof turns out to be mentally ill, as Swami also suggests, are Maha, joanr16, etc just not going to believe it, deeply wanting to hate the ignorant violent Racist boy?

    • inwitinthemidwest — You’re about an inch away from getting yourself banned for being annoying. I have already explained that my comment had nothing to do with the shooter being actually mentally ill. I also don’t see racism as the same thing as a mental illness, although I understand “mental illness” is not a phrase used in actual psychology, so who knows what “mental illness” actually is. If the young man were psychotic he’d have an excuse, or at least a defense, but I see nothing that points to psychosis. Note that I don’t “deeply want” to hate anybody, including Dylann Roof. Hate has no function or purpose. Nor does labeling people. The issue of the post is how certain groups of people are twisting themselves into pretzels denying racism as a motive, and perhaps those people are mentally ill. That would explain a lot. Otherwise, unless you can exhibit you have a clue what we’re actually talking about here, please go away. Thanks much.

  22. Don’t thank me. Sorry to have been off topic. I’m not very experienced at commenting, and overreacted to the fact that in making the point about pretzel-twisting avoidance of racism, some simplistic animosity was being unloaded on this crazy little person with a gun. Gassho.

    • inwitinthemidwest — Are you somehow congenitally incapable of appreciating that not everything is about you and your particular issues? Because otherwise I cannot even fathom where you are coming from. Your criticisms make no sense.

  23. inwitinthemidwest: “this crazy little person with a gun”? Makes him sound kind of cute, doesn’t it? And I don’t find him cute at all. As Maha says, he does not show any signs of mental illness. And FYI, only a MD can diagnose mental illness. And the mental illness diagnosed by a MD is completely different than the legal description that lawyers attempt to use. One can use the adjectives crazy, loony, batty, etc. all they want but they don’t mean anything. They are just expressions of frustration with someone’s behavior or thinking.
    If you truly are a mother of a mentally ill person (one diagnosed by a MD) you should have a better understanding. By the way, there are many categories of mental illness as defined in the DSM and they all have different symptoms. I worked as a psych RN for many years and this dude does not have any of those symptoms. He is a person full of hate for some reason. Maybe we will find out.
    And what in the h..l does Gassho mean?

  24. Swami wasn’t talking about Roof, he was talking about the commenter he quoted above.

    Frantic newbies who can’t follow context need to tread very carefully, and stop blaming everyone else for their own foolishness.

    And evil is evil, sorry if you’re offended by some of us pointing that out. Not the same as “hate.” Calm down.

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