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The Lesson from South Carolina

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posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:10 AM
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A few days ago, a young man walked into a church service where the members were holding a prayer meeting. The congregaqtion welcomed him in with open arms, and he took a seat. This young man watched and listened to the service for approximately an hour, then stood up, made racially offensive statements, and began shooting the congregation members who had welcomed him.

We all know about this. It's all over the news.

Dylann Roof has confessed to the crime. He said he actually thought about not going through with his dastardly plans, because the church members were so kind to him. His room mate has reported that he "wanted to start a race war." He showed little to no emotion, save for a brief moment when he learned he had killed 9 people.

Hate was alive and well that day in South Carolina. Hate without reason. Hate without remorse. Hate without cause.

Then, at the bond hearing set for Dylann Roof, for this man who senselessly ripped apart families in the most inhumane, more caustic, moet heinous manner and time I can personally imagine, a miracle happened. He heard these words:

  • "You took something precious away from me," Ethel Lance's relative said. "I will never talk to her again. I will never hold her again. But I forgive you. You hurt me. You hurt a lot of people. But God forgive you, and I forgive you."


  • "I forgive you, and my family forgives you," Myra Thompson's relative said. "But we would like you take this opportunity to repent."


  • "We welcomed you with open arms to our bible study Wednesday night," Felicia Sanders' relative said. "You have killed some of the most beautiful people I know. Every fiber in my body hurts, and I will never be the same...May God have mercy on you."


  • "Although my grandfather and the other victims died at the hands of hate, this is proof, everyone's plea for your soul is proof they lived in love and their legacies will live in love," Daniel Simmons' relative said. "So hate won't win."


  • "For me, I am a work in progress," Rev. Depayne Middleton said. "I am very angry...We are the family that love built. We have no room for hate, so I have to forgive. "
Source: 7online.com... (emphasis mine)

I sit here and wonder at this. Could I have forgiven so much so easily? As much as I would like to say yes, I don't think I could, at least not without a greater power residing in me.

There has since been a lot of talk about what we can do to make sure this never happens again. How do we as a society protect ourselves against hate? How do we destroy the hate? How can we make sure the hate doesn't win?

The President has suggested gun control. Some have suggested a lack of mental health. Still others blame racism. If a thread is not up yet on ATS about a government conspiracy behind this, I feel sure it will be soon.

But those are not the answers.

There is one lesson to be learned from this, and it is a lesson in how to combat all forms of hate.

That day, Hate walked into a room full of Love. Hate did what it does; it tried to rip Love apart and destroy it. But Love prevailed at that hearing, where even this infamous assault could not make those church members hate. Hate lost. Love won.

People are still dead today, and others are still hurting beyond what most of us can even imagine. But those who left us that day left us with a lesson we should never forget: Hate can only thrive when it is met with Hate. It cannot survive where Love rules.

That, my friends, is the lesson we should take from this. It's not about how easy Mr. Roof got his hand on a gun. It's not about the mental health of Mr. Roof and whether he should have been noticed earlier. It's not about black versus white, rich versus poor, religious versus non-religious. Those are the distractions hate wants us to focus on.

It's about Hate versus Love.

May we all honor the great men and women who are not at home today, and will not be in church tomorrow. May we all accept from them their last and perhaps greatest gift to us: how to destroy Hate before it destroys us.

(I am posting again for only a limited time, while I have a short break from my regular hectic schedule. so if i disappear, please understand I have much to do. Perhaps it is Providence that I came back at this time, to write this message; perhaps I am delusional. Either way, I only hope others will read this and consider it as the world once again spirals into the chaos that seems to always follow such events.)

TheRedneck



+2 more 
posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:17 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Love is the ONLY force that can overcome Hate. Very well-said! I wouldn't have been able to forgive the boy that quickly, but after reading your beautiful post, I think I can...



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:18 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

I don't think I could have forgiven as quickly either, but that's what makes people of real faith so strong and, IMO, better people than many other is their ability to love even in the face of the most horrible things.

The first thing I thought of when I heard the words of, not anger, but forgiveness, is how it shows the decency of these people, much like Jesus and MLK,and how his murders did not have the intended impact on the victims' families. They're not calling for blood through rage, but forgiveness. I'm sure Roof didn't expect that.

I wish I wee that strong, but I'm not.

That said, I wonder how sincere they truly are, or if they're saying these things, in part, to make it appear a thought he didn''t get under their skin as much as he had hoped. Or if they're still in shock.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

That was very well said.

It showed a nobility that only love can provide.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:27 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

It is not that easy mate. They are kind words, but the world does not work like that. It is just covering up the wounds we do to each other with a pep talk. It will make people feel good for a few seconds, but the problems will not go away.

Selfish people will continue to abuse. Poor people will continue to be forced to live hopelessly in poverty in ghettos all their lives. The police in certain states will still shoot and ask questions later. People in my family will have to go homeless while rich people buy up all the houses because it is a pretty area. It is a sea of sharks and little fishes.

Don't cover up the truth with Hollywood hero type speeches. It will only fester and get worse.

I'm pissed at the wealthy. I am pissed that they deprive me of having opportunities while they flaunt their lifestyles in my face. Let's face it some black people hate white people for the past. Some white people hate black people because they see them as ruining their culture. There are real reasons and motives. They need to be dealt with not perpetuated in some tone of liberal tolerance and forgiveness.

There is a time and place for forgiveness. That is when the hurt is stopped and realised. That is when one has had time to work through all the emotions of being dealt the blows of injustice.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Taking this outside of the box for a bit, but maybe what the surviving parishioners did is what it will take to stop this sort of thing from happening again........in time........the hate will see that it cannot outdo the love because of how love reacts to the aftermath of hate in action. What happened did not terrorize the community. It made them love each other more.

I hope that made sense.

Remember, he said he almost didn't go through with it because of how nice they were to him.

Something to consider at least, because laws, politics, etc...........DO NOT WORK.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Yeah im all for Love and what not but I would never be able to forgive him,EVER, if one of my family member were killed in that church...I would be more the "your ass is lucky the cops found you before I did" type...
I know that is letting hate win,but im just being honest here.I dont even think I would be able to put a front,as to not let him see he got under my skin....



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:35 AM
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a reply to: Liquesence


The first thing I thought of when I heard the words of, not anger, but forgiveness, is how it shows the decency of these people, much like Jesus and MLK, and how his murders did not have the intended impact on the victims' families. They're not calling for blood through rage, but forgiveness. I'm sure Roof didn't expect that.

Because that's what the shooter wanted. In his mind, he was looking to prove what he felt would be the repercussions of his actions. The families would be doing him a great service by proving him right.

Unfortunately, there are those who will never receive the family's message and while they overcome their pain through love, others will choose to strengthen their prejudices through hate.

May they set an example to all.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:36 AM
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Dylann Storm Roof....

from news source:

...A Facebook page belonging to a Dylann Roof that matches the picture released by law enforcement said Roof at one time attended White Knoll High School in Lexington County. In the Facebook photo, Roof is wearing a jacket with patches of the racist-era flags of South Africa and Rhodesia.

www.wltx.com...


in the article the picture shows Roof in a Swamp Terrain.... just a dismal landscape...he wears the patches of when south Africa and Rhodesia were big anti-black administrations.... hey--- NO red flags went up?

even on his earlier arrests"

...A criminal history report shows Roof was arrested in Lexington County on February 28 of this year on a controlled substance charge, and then again on April 26 on a trespassing offense. Neither of those cases had been adjudicated....



it would not be a case of 'profiling' to have had put this guy on a watch-list...
the Kleebo's and OK City bombers were other, highly likely to be radicalized individuals that were on a slow-burning fuse


this guy sees the radicalized world of Jihadists move purposely thru a territory as large as Britian ,just hacking and killing away without mercy... Roof had plenty of wiggle room to play out his fantasy about murdering church going African Americans in their own sanctuary



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:37 AM
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a reply to: Revolution9


It is not that easy mate.

No, it certainly is not. Forgiveness has been one of my hardest struggles.


I'm pissed at the wealthy. I am pissed that they deprive me of having opportunities while they flaunt their lifestyles in my face.

It saddens me to hear that. But I ask you this: what has all this anger ever done for you? Has it bettered your position in life? Has it made you happy? Has it made you more secure?


There is a time and place for forgiveness.

Yes, there is. I simply believe the time is now, before we find ourselves at each others' throats without really knowing why.

All I ask is you consider the message in your own heart, then act on it (or not) as you feel is right.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:38 AM
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Whilst I could perhaps forgive such a person I am in no position to judge such an individual,no one is,therefore he should be despatched asap to the being that can.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:43 AM
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originally posted by: Revolution9
a reply to: TheRedneck

There is a time and place for forgiveness. That is when the hurt is stopped and realized. That is when one has had time to work through all the emotions of being dealt the blows of injustice.



That's a victim mindset, and some people refuse to abide by that. Like the one's who choose to forgive. We all know what hurt is, what pain is, what it feels like to lose someone and what it feels like to have an injustice done to them. We all have dead people....as the saying goes.....and all the negativity I just mentioned is nothing new to anyone. That's why we seem to be able to navigate through it all so easily and accept it as a fact of life.

But talk about forgiveness and people get lost really quick.

Talk about the road less traveled.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:46 AM
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And one more thing:who is to say that people with the same mind set as this POS wont take this as open season on black church goers?Since you know,they are all forgiving and give the other cheek type?

I know,Im a pessimist,but i learn early in life that when you tend to give the other cheek,those who slapped dont hesitate to slap again....



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:50 AM
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a reply to: wildapache

Try smiling at them while you turn the other cheek.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 11:54 AM
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a reply to: wildapache

Forgiveness doesn't mean that what he did was OK... It's not really about him at all. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, so we can lay down the anger we feel over what happened and continue living, without carrying around the hatred in our hearts.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
― Mahatma Gandhi,



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 12:02 PM
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originally posted by: TheRedneck
a reply to: wildapache

Try smiling at them while you turn the other cheek.

TheRedneck


so, is it turn the other cheek...or...stand up for yourself and don't take anymore crap?...as a skinny, underweight, kid in high school, I "turned the other cheek" so many times, that I finally got pissed off and beat the crap out of this A**hat that wouldn't leave me alone....after that, NOBODY bothered me again



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 12:18 PM
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a reply to: jimmyx

There are indeed times when you have to defend yourself. If you are being attacked, you have every right to do so. I strongly suggest you DO defend yourself in an attack. I know I will.

But who is being attacked in South Carolina right now?

When the defense is over, when you have stood up for yourself and prevailed, that is when Hate creeps in. What does it profit to continue to feel anger afterwards? Even if you lose the battle, how does hating your attacker help you? It doesn't; it just eats you alive from the inside.

I was also the skinny kid in school who was bullied, maybe more so because my Dad taught me never to fight back. Like you, it only took a couple of fights to fix that problem. Also like you, I hated those who made me fight back. After carrying that baggage around for quite a few years, i realized what it was doing to me and let it go.

I have learned a few things since those days. Those bullies who tormented me? They didn't even remnember it. It hadn't poisoned their lives; it had only poisoned mine, and not because of them. They were just the excuse; I made the decision to stay angry.

And I had paid for that decision.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 12:19 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Awesome thread.
Love is the answer, hate begets hate and an eye for an eye leaves the world blind.

These are some strong families, with a strong connection to their faith and it shows.



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 12:21 PM
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originally posted by: Benevolent Heretic
a reply to: wildapache

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
― Mahatma Gandhi,


And he is probably right...because Im very weak when it comes to my family...I aknowledge I will be ready and willing to do despicable thing to anyone who harm them...



posted on Jun, 20 2015 @ 12:30 PM
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a reply to: TheRedneck

Amen.

I've been in the position of forgiving someone(s) for acts that some would deem unforgivable.

One died in prison. ...and the other is going to spend the rest of his days in prison. One was my nephew. One is my little brother. Forgive?

They say to err is human, to forgive divine. I guess I'm a mere human. I can not bring myself to ever forgive. Someday maybe, but that day isn't today.

These are obviously very good people. Better than myself in this sort of matter. ...and I celebrate that, and use it as an example to try and emulate. But, alas, not today.

We could learn some very important lessons from those people. That monsters attempt to deliver Hate failed. He only made their love stronger. I know I'm going to try...that's all I can do.
edit on 6/20/2015 by seagull because: (no reason given)







 
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