Spreading God's Love Thru Prayer
I am heartbroken by the horrific news that our nation has endured yet another act of senseless violence and hate, resulting in the loss of 11 innocent lives and leaving at least six people injured. I extend my sincere condolences to the victims, their families, and the entire Jewish community. The mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a painful reminder of just how far we must go to root out anti-Semitism and mass violence in our country. ...I condemn anti-Semitism and violence, no matter where it comes from. Our resolve as a country must be to stand together in unity and love during such a difficult time.
There are so many questions surrounding this latest mass shooting, which now has the unfortunate distinction of being one of the deadliest anti-Semitic attacks in modern U.S. history. As we experienced during the massacres at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, these shootings are especially horrific when the gunman opens fire on families, friends, and children gathered to worship in what is, for so many, a sacred sanctuary in a world filled with chaos. We also know that the shooting was one in a long line of reprehensible acts of violence and hate against the Jewish community. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the United States surged 57 percent last year, which is the largest rise in a single year since the A.D.L. began tracking such crimes in 1979.
Furthermore, this horrific shooting was one of three hate crimes and violent attacks over the past week – including the murder of two African Americans in Jeffersontown, Kentucky by a man who first attempted to enter a predominantly black church, and assassination attempts on two former presidents, sitting members of Congress, public servants, and private citizens – all of which point to a disturbing rise in extremism, hate, and violence in our country. As I have stated many times, peaceful protest, civil dissent, and robust debates of ideas are the foundation of our democracy. However, violence is never the answer. I condemn any and all acts of violence and terror.
My heart aches for those who were lost and wounded, their loved ones, and the entire nation as we pull together once again to overcome fear with strength, pride, and love in the face of hate and unconscionable violence.