|Emanuel AME Church, Charleston|
My Facebook feed is now aflame with irate and disgusted left-wingers condemning, not the killing in Charleston, but Rick Santorum and Fox and Friends for portraying the recent Emanuel Church shooting as an attack on religion. At the same time, the same leftist sources are characterising the suspected killer as a “right-wing terrorist.”
From the perspective of anyone who is religious, the fact that the attack took place in a house of prayer, on people at prayer, is literally infinitely more important than the skin tone of those killed. After all, if we are not racist, as Martin Luther King pointed out, we ought not concern ourselves with the colour of someone's skin.
The left will respond that the killer himself said his motive was racism. That is not conclusive for three reasons. First, we should not jump to conclusions based on early news reports. We make a point of never doing so when Islamist terrorism, for example, seems to be involved. Out of sheer common sense, we should keep to the same standard here. Second, we are under no obligation to accept the killer's own interpretation of events. Why does he deserve such power? Why should we give his views such authority? Doesn't that aid and abet the act? Third, and related to this, even the mere fact, if true, that he saw no special significance in killing people in a church would itself seem to suggest a profound disrespect for religion. This violates ancient norms of sanctuary, after all. The act is self-evident in this regard.
|Murder in the Cathedral: martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket,|
Now, for his being “right-wing.” I for one have seen no evidence that he was right-wing in any way. We do not know his political views. He seems to have had no affiliation with any political group. What makes him right-wing? Certainly not the fact that he shot blacks. If that is the assumption, it is simply a slander against conservatism. On the other hand, we do know that he shot people in a church, and in a historic church. If he was at all politically conscious, and politically motivated, he must also have been aware that he was violating the ancient principle of sanctuary. That makes him, if political at all, clearly not conservative, no respecter of tradition. Not right-wing.
Left-wing, on the evidence so far, in fact. If you insist on bringing politics into this tragedy.