News

A year after the Charleston church shooting, what has changed?

People of different races hold hands as they gather on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in Charleston, S.C., on June 21, 2015, after the first service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church since a mass shooting left nine people dead. Hundreds of people packed the sweltering church for an emotional memorial service just days after a gunman, identified by authorities as Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, shot dead nine black church members. Photo couretsy of REUTERS/Carlo Allegri *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-HAM-OPED, originally transmitted on Oct. 5, 2016.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (RNS) A few weeks after a young white gunman killed nine people at a Bible study in a black church here, another young white man walked into a Bible study at another black South Carolina church.

This young man did not seem to understand why his unexpected presence at Campbell Chapel, 100 miles away in the coastal town of Bluffton, unnerved the regulars that Wednesday evening, the traditional time for Bible study in African Methodist Episcopal churches.

Dylann Roof, right, the 21-year-old man charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, 2015, listens to the proceedings with assistant defense attorney William Maguire during a hearing at the Judicial Center in Charleston on July 16, 2015. Photo courtesy REUTERS/Randall Hill *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

Dylann Roof, right, the 21-year-old man charged with murdering nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, 2015, listens to the proceedings with assistant defense attorney William Maguire during a hearing at the Judicial Center in Charleston on July 16, 2015. Photo courtesy REUTERS/Randall Hill *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

It was as if he hadn’t heard about Dylann Roof, his white supremacist manifesto and his intention to start a race war. It was as if he had not felt the shock waves of the crime that unsettled the nation. The young man’s awkward body language, disapproving sighs and eye-rolling only made the congregants more nervous as they tried to focus on Scripture.

On June 17 in Charleston, Roof had sat and listened for nearly an hour as a group of 12 studied a passage from the Gospel of Mark. Then, authorities say, he opened fire with a gun he received as a present for his 21st birthday.

The horror of that night was still vivid to the Rev. Jon Black, Campbell Chapel’s pastor. The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, slain at Emanuel, had once pastored Campbell, and had mentored Black.

The Rev. Dr. Jon R. Black - Campbell Chapel AME Church Bluffton, SC. Photo courtesy of Donna E. Black

The Rev. Jon R. Black — Campbell Chapel AME Church, Bluffton, S.C. Photo courtesy of Donna E. Black

Black remembered watching confusing, inconclusive news footage of downtown Charleston on June 17 as reporters tried to piece the story together. At the same time, he heard the voice of a fellow pastor through his phone, a friend calling from outside Emanuel, then ringed by official vehicles shining red and blue lights.

“The ambulances are not moving. The ambulances are not moving,” his distraught friend kept repeating. “It can’t be good.” And then he told Black that Pinckney was dead.

“It crushed me,” Black said. “I said, ‘That can’t be right.’”

But Black knew that it was true. And when the strange young man showed up in his church a few weeks later, he also knew that as a Christian, he could not ask him to leave. The litany that AME church leaders had asked its pastors to share with their congregations the Sunday after the Charleston massacre was titled “Our Doors Are Open.”

“So how do you do that on Sunday morning and close them on Wednesday night?” Black recalled recently in an interview with RNS.

In the AME church, you don’t. The young man was welcomed, and he still comes to Bible study at Campbell Chapel sometimes. The church’s doors remain open.

The casket of shooting victim Susie Jackson is brought into Emanuel AME Church for funeral services in Charleston, South Carolina on June 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Miczek *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

The casket of shooting victim Susie Jackson is brought into Emanuel AME Church for funeral services in Charleston, S.C., on June 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Miczek *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

In the wake of the shooting at Emanuel, congregations in the AME and other black churches have ratcheted up security — installing cameras and, in some cases, posting armed ushers. Officers sometimes sit in on Bible study, and law enforcement ran a background check on Campbell Chapel’s unfamiliar visitor.

And much has changed in Charleston and South Carolina.

The Confederate battle flag is permanently removed from the South Carolina statehouse grounds during a ceremony in Columbia, South Carolina, July, 10, 2015

The Confederate battle flag is permanently removed from the South Carolina Statehouse grounds during a ceremony in Columbia on July 10, 2015. Courtesy of REUTERS/Jason Miczek *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

Blacks and whites cried together in the streets. The Confederate flag came down — for good — from its pole on the Statehouse grounds. White families joined Emanuel AME. The church was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. The city chiseled the names of the dead on libraries and schools. Artists honored them in portraits and murals. And the president of the United States, the nation’s first African-American president, came to Charleston and spoke about racism with a conviction that many had not heard before, and then led the congregation in an arresting rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

“For many people who really did not understand that a deeply entrenched and vicious form of racism still existed in America, they now clearly had the evidence,” said College of Charleston history professor Bernard Powers, who co-authored a book on Charleston and the massacre.

Dr. Bernard Powers, History Department, College of Charleston. Photo courtesy of Bernard Powers

Bernard Powers, history professor at the College of Charleston. Photo courtesy of Bernard Powers

Some had also hoped that Charleston — in ways that Ferguson, Baltimore and other American cities had not been able to — might persuade the nation to rouse itself. Surely these black victims — eight devout Christians and their pastor, murdered in prayer — would open a new chapter on race relations. Surely these martyrs’ witness of faith would appeal to the religious conviction that remains part of the American soul.

The Emanuel Nine, as the slaying victims have come to be known, saw their faith as the starting point for a better city and country. Many people in Charleston still claim that faith. They hold out hope. Charleston, after all, with its low skyline outlined by church spires, is known as the “Holy City.”

A picture of Charleston's historic district's skyline from Charleston Harbor.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A picture of the Charleston historic district’s skyline from Charleston Harbor.

Original sin

Bible study has continued every Wednesday since the massacre at Emanuel, in the church basement, the same linoleum-tiled room where Roof pulled his gun.

It looks about the same as it did the day he came, except there are photographs of the nine victims framed by the entrance. Typically, about 20 people came to Bible study, but far fewer were there the night of the shooting, because a church meeting earlier in the evening had pushed the study later into the night.

Willi Glee, the chairman of Emanuel AME Church's board of trustees, and a member of the congregation since 1991. Religion News Service by Lauren Markoe

Willi Glee, chairman pro tem of Emanuel AME Church’s board of trustees and a member of the congregation since 1991. Religion News Service by Lauren Markoe

After June 17, Bible study was packed with visitors, black and white. “Standing room only,” said Willi Glee, the chairman pro tem of the church’s board of trustees and a member since 1991. Attendance has been dwindling since, however.

On a recent Wednesday evening, about 40 people came. Two-thirds black and one-third white, they sat unsegregated in folding chairs, facing Emanuel’s new pastor.

The Rev. Betty Deas Clark used her clarion voice to quiet a lighthearted, small-talking crowd to take up the serious subject of the evening: how to be a good church member. But she often employed her own humor to drive home her teaching.

“You’ve got to learn to love the hell out of other people,” she said, drawing some titters for her choice of words. “I tell people all the time, the way I use ‘hell’ in church is totally different from the way you use it at home. ’Cause you do use it. You know you use it.”

Once before the final prayer, as she spoke about the esteem with which she holds her calling as a pastor, she referred to the bloodshed that took place in the room nearly a year ago.

“I know this is probably a delicate thing to say, especially in this room, but I need to say this. If you’re not willing to die for what you believe in, you’re not ready to live. You’re not ready to live,” Clark said to a chorus of “amens.” She continued:

“So when I stand here, look, I don’t care how big you are. I really don’t care how tall you are. I don’t care what you’re packing. I got something better to do. OK?”

Clark was installed in January to fill Pinckney’s big shoes. She focuses on healing, preaching and tending to spirits, something some parishioners said they weren’t getting enough of in the immediate aftermath of the massacre, amid security concerns and a dispute over how the money donated to Emanuel should be spent.

The challenges facing her church are daunting. But Emanuel — a five-minute walk from the harbor where 40 percent of North America’s enslaved Africans arrived in chains — was born in hostile territory. In that same harbor sits Fort Sumter, where South Carolinians in 1861 took their secessionist stand and ignited the Civil War.

Gary Washington stands over the casket of his mother, Ethel Lance, as she is buried at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church cemetery in North Charleston, S. C., on June 25, 2015. Lance is one of the nine victims of the mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

Gary Washington stands over the casket of his mother, Ethel Lance, as she is buried at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church cemetery in North Charleston, S.C., on June 25, 2015. Lance was one of the nine victims of the mass shooting at the church. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Brian Snyder *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

Mother Emanuel, as the church is also known, the first of its denomination in the Deep South, holds a special place in the torrid racial history of Charleston. Its founding two centuries ago by free blacks who had chafed under the white-ruled Methodist Episcopal church was itself an exercise in resistance.

Then, in 1822, Charleston authorities discovered that one of Emanuel’s founders, freed slave Denmark Vesey, had planned what would have been the largest slave rebellion in American history. Vesey and more than 30 accused co-conspirators were hanged and the original church burned to the ground. But the congregation rebuilt, and endured, and in the 20th century, Emanuel’s leaders served on the front lines of the struggle for civil rights.

Roof, a 21-year-old who had schooled himself in white supremacy on the internet, is not from Charleston. He lived in Columbia, S.C., a city filled with AME and other black churches, which also dot the countryside along the two-hour drive between the cities. Roof drove past them all and walked into Emanuel, a church that embodies African-American dignity, pride and faith.

Roof did not kill those things.

That was obvious the first Sunday after the massacre, when the pews filled with congregants who felt their faith overpower the hatred that had left nine of them dead four days before.

Asked about the welcoming spirit of Bible study, and the seeming lack of fear at the scene of a mass murder, Glee, of Emanuel’s board of trustees, said no one should be surprised.

“Tragedies happen to black people since the history of black people in this country,” he said.  “So terrorism to black people isn’t new. It’s old. It’s new to white people. But it’s not new to black people.”

Forgiveness

At a bond hearing two days after the massacre, family members of the victims gathered in a courtroom where Roof appeared onscreen from jail via closed-circuit TV. As sympathy from across the nation and the world flowed toward the families of those who died in what most recognized as a monstrous hate crime, the court itself for a moment seemed to discount the racist past that had led up to the case on the docket that morning.

Charleston County Magistrate James Gosnell, who had once used the “n” word in court to describe black people, spoke from the bench.

“We have victims, nine of them,” Gosnell said. “But we also have victims on the other side. There are victims on this young man’s side of the family. No one would have ever thrown them into the whirlwind of events that they have been thrown into.”

His remarks struck many as woundingly insensitive. At the time, many still wondered whether Roof’s family, which later expressed sorrow over the killings, had raised him to hold his supremacist beliefs.

Still, several of those closest to the Emanuel Nine took their opportunity to speak in court to forgive Roof. Their words, uttered in the earliest days of their grieving, shocked the nation. How could they forgive this man?

The Rev. Anthony Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal in Charleston, S.C., in a garden planted at his church in honor of his wife, Myra Thompson. A reverend herself and a congregant at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, she died in the massacre at Bible study at Emanuel on June 17, 2015. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Anthony Thompson

The Rev. Anthony Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal in Charleston, S.C., in a garden planted at his church in honor of his wife, Myra Thompson. A reverend herself and a congregant at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, she died in the massacre at Bible study at Emanuel on June 17, 2015. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Anthony Thompson

The Rev. Anthony Thompson, the husband of slain schoolteacher Myra Thompson — a newly minted pastor herself and the leader of Bible study on June 17 — only went to the hearing because his children wanted to be there. A corrections officer for 30 years before he went to seminary, Thompson had been to many a bond hearing before and had not planned to speak.

“But it was divine intervention. God just came to me and he said, ‘I have something to say,’ and he told me exactly what to do,” said Thompson, who pastors Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church, six blocks from Mother Emanuel. “Immediately after it was done I received peace.”

The peace Thompson received was “the first good thing” to follow his forgiveness of Roof.
“Then the flag came down,” he continued, referring to the symbol of the Confederacy and the institution of slavery it fought to preserve that still flew above the Statehouse grounds. After decades of failed bills and protests, the South Carolina Legislature finally sent the flag to a museum.

More happened, Thompson said: “Whites and blacks — regardless of what creed, denomination, religion or the color of your skin — they pretty much came together and unified and wanted to know what could they do to help,” he said. “That’s something that never happened in Charleston, S.C. That was a good thing.”

South Carolina Poet Laureate Marjory Wentworth, left, and former Charleston Post and Courier reporter Herb Frazier, who grew up in Emanuel AME Church. They co-authored “We Are Charleston” with College of Charleston historian Bernie Powers. The book, taking the massacre at Mother Emanuel as its starting point, recounts the history of the city and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the reaction of Charleston to the violence at Emanuel AME.  RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth, left, and former newspaper reporter Herb Frazier. Frazier grew up in Emanuel AME Church. They co-authored “We Are Charleston” with College of Charleston historian Bernard Powers. The book, taking the massacre at Mother Emanuel as its starting point, recounts the history of the city and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and the reaction of Charleston to the violence at Emanuel AME.  RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

Herb Frazier, a former reporter who worked for South Carolina’s two largest newspapers, doesn’t doubt the authenticity of these feelings among whites. With Powers, the historian, and South Carolina poet laureate Marjory Wentworth, who is white, Frazier wrote the newly released book, “We Are Charleston,” about the city’s racial history and its response to the violence at Mother Emanuel.

But Frazier, who grew up in Mother Emanuel, also sees how that forgiveness played into Charleston’s fear of its black citizens. The cynic in him, he said, heard a collective sigh among whites, and maybe even some blacks: “Now we don’t have to be afraid of the black people burning down the Holy City.”

Thompson is not naive. Maybe the forgiveness offered by him and other relatives of the Emanuel Nine did assuage white fears of black people grounded in the racist history of his city and country. But more importantly, he said, it set off a godly chain of events.

He offered evidence not just in the form of his own peace of mind, or the Confederate flag coming down, but from the day in February when he was asked to speak at the Bible study at Christ Church, a predominantly white congregation near Charleston, on affluent Sullivan’s Island.

He talked about God, and he talked about racism. And afterward, he said, a white mother stood, her children beside her.

“She said, ‘Reverend Thompson, when I heard about you and people forgiving this young man, I had to take a look at myself. And I had to admit that I was a racist.’ And she said, ‘I saw it in my family. I saw it in my grandparents, I saw it in my parents. My friends were racist.’ And she said, ‘When I got older I knew it was wrong, but I didn’t do anything about it.’”

Her words astounded him. “I’ve never heard a white person say that before, and not in Charleston, S.C.” He asked the congregants to give glory to God for the testimony they had just heard. And they did. But then more white people stood up. Like the woman, they talked about growing up in racist families. They confessed their own racism, and repented.

“They didn’t want to be like that anymore,” Thompson said. “So there’s hope. There’s hope. Believe me.”

The trip home 

The day of the shooting at Mother Emanuel, an interracial group of Charleston churchgoers was in Memphis, touring the Lorraine Motel, the site where white supremacist James Earl Ray killed the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968.

On the bus that night, as the group headed toward Montgomery, Ala., the next stop on its civil rights tour of the South, calls came from home about the massacre at Emanuel. The Rev. Nelson Rivers III, the black pastor who had organized the trip, caught the next flight to Charleston. So did two other clergy on the trip, Rabbi Stephanie Alexander of Charleston’s landmark synagogue, Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim, and the Rev. Jeremy Rutledge, the leader of Charleston’s liberal, mostly white Circular Congregational Church.

The Rev. Jeremy Rutledge, pastor of Charleston’s Circular Congregational Church, a progressive majority white church that wants to be more racially diverse. RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

The Rev. Jeremy Rutledge, pastor of Charleston’s Circular Congregational Church, a progressive majority-white church that wants to be more racially diverse. RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

Rivers had invited them and their congregants on the tour, which included the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where police beat those marching for voting rights, and the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, which the Ku Klux Klan bombed in 1963, killing four black girls.

When the Charleston tourists heard the news about Emanuel, their journey through history suddenly didn’t feel like history anymore. “We were in the Lorraine Motel,” Rutledge said. “And then the very next day we were here on the street, and it felt like it went from black-and-white to color. And it was the same story. And a lot of us went, ‘Oh, this story isn’t finished.’”

Back in Charleston, Rutledge helped the city grieve. He was part of, and a witness to, the city’s coming together, black and white, to reject Roof’s hatred. The vigils were so crowded he could not even get into one at a church at which he was invited to speak. To memorialize the Emanuel Nine, 15,000 people formed a human chain that stretched for two miles, and across the bridge that connects Charleston to neighboring Mount Pleasant.

“I want to honor that,” he said, as the first anniversary of the shooting approached.

But at the same time, Rutledge worries that the story of Charleston’s grace in the aftermath of last year’s horror will make it easier for the city to avoid confronting the consequences of the slavery, segregation, Jim Crow and the still persistent inequalities that afford whites so much more opportunity than blacks.

Broad Street in Charleston, South Carolina.

Photo courtesy of Elisa.rolle via Wikimedia Commons

Broad Street in Charleston, S.C.

Charleston is a beautiful, historic, polite city, with a booming tourist sector that carries well-heeled visitors through its cobblestone streets in horse-drawn carriages.

“There is a very strong push to make the story nice, to make it pleasant, and to stress the parts of the story that are about everyone holding hands on the bridge,” he said. “But that was one evening. And now, almost a year on, the schools are just as segregated as ever. The black community is as profiled as ever.”

Rodney Scott, center, brother of the late Walter Scott, watches as balloons are released as relatives and friends gathered to remember Scott, at Live Oak Memorial Gardens in Charleston, South Carolina, on April 4, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Randal Hill *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

Rodney Scott, center, brother of the late Walter Scott, watches as balloons are released as relatives and friends gathered to remember Scott, at Live Oak Memorial Gardens in Charleston, S.C., on April 4, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Randal Hill *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-CHARLESTON-ANNIVERSARY, originally transmitted on June 8, 2016.

In North Charleston, a poorer city adjoining Charleston where blacks outnumber whites, many have long accused the city’s majority white police force of racial profiling. Less than two months before the mass shooting at Mother Emanuel, a white North Charleston police officer shot an unarmed black man in the back as he was running away.

Officer Michael Slager, who had pulled Walter Scott over because his brake light was out, said Scott had grabbed his Taser and threatened him. But a video taken by a bystander contradicted that account.

The Rev. Joseph Darby, former vice president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP, and presiding elder of the South Carolina AME’s Beaufort District, which puts him in charge of 32 in the Southernmost part of the state. Credit: William Green Photography, courtesy of Joe Darby

The Rev. Joseph Darby, former vice president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP, and presiding elder of the South Carolina AME’s Beaufort District. Credit: William Green Photography, courtesy of Joseph Darby

Slager’s trial begins in October and a federal judge Tuesday (June 7) said Roof’s will begin in November. In both cases, said the Rev. Joseph Darby, the former vice president of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP and a presiding elder in the AME church, quick action against both suspects calmed the black community.

“But there have been other things in Charleston that have not been videotaped,” he added. “They have not been resolved. They’re still festering.”

Grieving

Marjory Wentworth, the poet laureate of South Carolina, wrote “Holy City” days after the shooting at Mother Emanuel. In verses that are as much prayer as poem, she names each of the Emanuel Nine: Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Graham Hurd, Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, DePayne Middleton-Doctor, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Daniel L. Simmons Sr. and Myra Thompson.

“They are not alone,” she writes. “As bells in the spires call across the wounded Charleston sky, we close our eyes and listen to the same stillness ringing in our hearts, holding on to one another, like brothers, like sisters, because we know that wherever there is love, there is God.”

Wentworth, a white woman who joined Rutledge’s Circular Church in part for its commitment to racial equality, talks and writes about race more easily than many other whites. State officials invited her to write a poem for the second inauguration of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in January, as Wentworth had for the previous three gubernatorial inaugurations.

But it was cut from the program — for lack of time, she was told. Some South Carolinians believe the real reason was because of its references to slavery and a South Carolina “haunted by its past.”

Despite that episode, Wentworth feels hopeful for her city, in part because of a growing coalition of congregations known as the Charleston Area Justice Ministries, or CAJM. Asked what people or groups can help level the playing field for blacks, she and many other Charlestonians name the faith-based CAJM before they mention traditional civil rights organizations.

Formed in 2011 to lobby for the disadvantaged, CAJM is now a diverse group of 30 congregations, including black and white churches, a synagogue and a mosque. Each year it takes up a cause, researches the topic and then asks public officials to sign on to its policy recommendations. Critics call CAJM unnecessarily confrontational. But it has had successes. Charleston school officials, for example, added hundreds more slots to Charleston’s early childhood program after CAJM pushed publicly on the issue.

But even CAJM, until recently, had not dealt with racial prejudice as a cause in its own right, said Darby, a founder of the group who now presides over 32 AME churches south of Charleston. That changed, he continued, after the violence at Emanuel.

“Everybody finally said: ‘Yeah, we got a problem.’”

Melvin Graham is trying in his own way to address the problem.

The brother of Cynthia Graham Hurd, a librarian killed at the Bible study almost a year ago, Graham and his siblings last month founded a nonprofit in their sister’s name. To honor her commitment to literacy, it will donate books to underserved Charleston children, a disproportionate number of whom are black.

To get the foundation started, the family donated $5,000 and a stack of the children’s classic “The Giving Tree.” It tells the story of a selfless tree that sacrificed its leaves, limbs and trunk for a boy.

Melvin Graham, alongside a portrait of his sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd, a librarian killed in the massacre at Emanuel AME church on June 17, 2015. Graham and his brothers have established a foundation that honors their slain sister by providing books to disadvantaged young people. RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

Melvin Graham, alongside a portrait of his sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd, a librarian killed in the massacre at Emanuel AME church on June 17, 2015. Graham and his brothers have established a foundation that honors their sister by providing books to disadvantaged young people. RNS photo by Lauren Markoe

“Even when the tree had nothing to give but just a stump, it found a way to give. That’s Cynthia. Even in death, she’s still giving,” Graham said, taking comfort in the good the foundation will do for children who have reaped little of Charleston’s prosperity.

The foundation is Graham’s public response to the racial hatred that drove a young man to kill his sister.

Privately, however, he struggles mightily, not only with grief, but with the idea that he is supposed to forgive what happened at Emanuel last year. “It shook me to the very core of what I believe as a Christian,” said Graham, a deacon in a Baptist church north of Charleston.

“I’ve stood in front of the congregation many times, spoken about God and forgiveness and love and mercy and all the good things,” Graham said. “But it’s hard to forgive somebody who made a conscious decision to do something like this.”

There is one thing, though, that Graham said he knows with certainty: God will forgive Dylann Roof if Roof asks.

“I hope that he will repent and ask God for forgiveness,” Graham said. “And when I get to heaven, maybe he and Cynthia will be standing side by side.”

About the author

Lauren Markoe

Lauren Markoe has been a national reporter for RNS since 2011. Previously she covered government and politics as a daily reporter at the Charlotte Observer and The State (Columbia, S.C.)

45 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • When muslims go on a rampage and kill many people there is no focus on the tragic event like there has been for this tragedy. This focus has little to do with mourning for the dead but just a revival of the 60’s Civil Rights Movement — politics. No one attacks the demographic of muslims and tries to banish their “Confederate Flag” or their “Confederate memorials” because one of the members of their group turned radical and started killing. Dylann Roof alone is responsible for his actions and not the white Southern people who had nothing to do with this tragedy. It is the same old pattern repeated over and over again, outsiders (carpetbaggers) coming in and getting the scalawags and blacks stirred up politically to attack Southern whites. Will it ever end?

  • Really? There’s been no focus on the 9/11 attacks, the Boston Marathon, the San Bernadino shooting??

  • Not a focus to go after their heritage or icons representing them as there has been with Roof who was not associated with any particular group. This was a tragedy that the liberals were not going to let go to waste and they seized the moment to go after Confederate everything and were not mourning but high-fiving each other when the Confederate Flag came down — a political victory against a whole demographic, not a lone wolf drugged 21 year old.

    When are you gong to start attacking the Muslim icons of identity and heritage for all the violence they have caused, since it is now acceptable to attack the group for the actions of one radical?

  • “This focus has little to do with mourning for the dead but just a revival of the 60’s Civil Rights Movement — politics”

    Which is important because many people these days are seeking to whitewash and legitimize white supremacy, destroy voting rights for minorities and seek new iterations of Jim Crow in open commerce.

    The Confederate flag and Confederate memorials technically are symbols of sedition and the betrayal of rights and principles of our nation. How many other nations honor people who waged war against their governments, sought to enslave others and most importantly, lost in their efforts?

    “Dylann Roof alone is responsible for his actions and not the white Southern people who had nothing to do with this tragedy”

    But what about the white Southern people who HAD to do with this tragedy? The ones who perpetuate racism to such a degree it is casual in nature. The ones who urge a fight for “white rights”. The ones who wear their bedsheets and lionize actions like Roof? They are responsible as well.

  • http://www.smithsonianmag dot com/history/true-story-free-state-jones-180958111/?no-ist

    A story of “southern heritage” that is worth preserving and depicting

    In the spring of 1864, the Knight Company
    overthrew the Confederate authorities in Jones County and raised the
    United States flag over the county courthouse in Ellisville. The county
    was known as the Free State of Jones, and some say it actually
    seceded from the Confederacy. This little-known, counterintuitive
    episode in American history has now been brought to the screen in Free State of Jones, directed by Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) and starring a grimy, scruffed-up Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight.

  • Islam on a whole, its identity and heritage, has been held responsible for terrorism by both the right and the left since 9/11.

  • So, you admit that you hate white people and want to use every incident you can to hurt them. You are a racist.

  • Not at all. You are more than welcomed to see my posting history. But I see it is far easier to make such a ridiculous statement than address what I said. Nothing racist or even denigrating to caucasians about it. You are being foolish.

    I do admit I hate when people attack civil liberties and extol sedition against the nation I love.

    As for honoring or respecting the Confederacy, not a chance. I have ancestors who fought on the winning side of that conflict. People who gave their lives to keep our nation whole, so no human being could ever be considered the chattel property of another.

  • 1. “How many other nations honor people who waged war against their governments,”
    2. “Sought to enslave others,”
    3. “And most importantly Lost in their efforts?”

    I have absolutely no problem with the section of your comment I have marked #2.

    But for those around it, #1 and #3, I think you are overlooking many, MANY people who DID wage war against their governments and who SHOULD be (and sometimes even ARE) honored for it!!

    Most recently honored was Harriet Tubman who will now be featured on currency, and was an armed insurgent against the US government when the US government was supporting slavery. She took up literal arms against the United States to free slaves and she DEFINITELY deserves to be honored for that rebelliousness!! How DARE you declare that people like Tubman who stand up for what is right even when it means waging war against their government are not worthy of honor!!

    Also, the best example of persons from category #1 is probably the, you know, founding fathers of America, who warred against their government.

    And just because one looses you don’t think they’re worthy of respect?? You say this is the “most important” part of why people are unworthy of honor. So you think that people who stood up to tyranny and DIED for it, like William Wallace, Hussein ibn Ali, and Crazy Horse should NOT be honored ESPECIALLY because they lost??

    Sorry, but you’re VERY WRONG on #3!! If someone rebels against a tyrannical government and is willing to die for it, there’s plenty of reason to honor them if their cause was just. The fact that they LOST is CERTAINLY not the “most important” reason not to honor them!!

    You’re literally stating that every failed slave rebellion deserves no remembrance or honor. Think before you make such statements, as if every government is virtuous and as if everyone who loses a war is unworthy…

  • Way to miss the point wildly!

    I am inclined to give you Tubman, technically she would be on the same lines as they revere Robin Hood. A outlaw on the side of justice. But its a poor analogy. Not even close to the same level as the confederacy, which plunged the nation into its most destructive war for the sake of preserving the right to own people as property.

    “Also, the best example of persons from category #1 is probably the, you
    know, founding fathers of America, who warred against their government.”

    And their memorials in the UK and Canada are where?
    Where are the memorials in the US for Royalists who opposed them?

    “And just because one looses you don’t think they’re worthy of respect??”

    History usually honors its winners. Losers sometimes get mentioned in passing if one wants to use them for a specific ideological reason in the present. Like how Romans honored Troy as a way to pretend their society had roots going into its own antiquity. For Southern whites honoring the Confederacy is seen as a way to extol and perpetuate the status quo destroyed by the Civil War. To legitimize very malicious views towards Southern blacks.

  • “But its a poor analogy.”

    Here’s a better one then.

    Crazy Horse led an armed insurrection against the United States. He is being given the largest mountain carving in the world as a memorial.

    Don’t you DARE insinuate that Crazy Horse doesn’t deserve this great monument because he’s a loser!! The guy GAVE HIS LIFE to preserve Native American rights, and he is one of the MANY people you are pissing on by insinuating that people who launch failed revolutions against their states!!

    “And their memorials in the UK and Canada are where?
    Where are the memorials in the US for Royalists who opposed them?”

    Lemme quick google that for ya…

    http://golondon.about.com/od/londonpictures/ig/Less-seen-Sights/George-Washington-Statue.htm

    “History usually honors its winners. Losers sometimes get mentioned in passing if one wants to use them for a specific ideological reason in the present. Like how Romans honored Troy as a way to pretend their society had roots going into its own antiquity. For Southern whites honoring the Confederacy is seen as a way to extol and perpetuate the status quo destroyed by the Civil War. To legitimize very malicious views towards Southern blacks.”

    The motives of confederate-lovers is irrelevant to me personally. The confederates were terrible people who wrecked their own economy with bad monetary policy and anyone who thinks their revolution was motivated primarily by states rights has to ask themselves how states rights can justify a fugitive slave act.

    That’s all irrelevant though, because it has nothing to do with your statement that the REASON that the confederates do NOT deserve honor was because they rebelled and lost!!

    History is full of PLENTY of people who rebelled and lost and were great, heroic people!!

    The reason to dislike the confederates is their POLITICAL POLICIES, you should NOT say we should dislike them for rebelling and loosing, or you are asking us to hate every single Native American who resisted American expansion and gave their lives for it, you are asking us to hate every person who rebelled against American slavery and lost, every failed slave rebellion and legitimate revolution that nevertheless did not win…

    Be more careful in your words, or else you’ll dishonor great heroes the likes of William Wallace, Hussein ibn Ali, and Crazy Horse. Don’t impugn the honor of those great heroes.

  • “I do admit I hate when people attack civil liberties and extol sedition against the nation I love.”

    Well tough luck, Spuddie, the nation you love hasn’t been perfect and if my extolling Crazy Horse’s sedition against US aggression is something you hate, then personally I think you’re a racist.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    I don’t see anything wrong with sedition in and of itself. Some abolitions actually proposed (before Lincoln’s campaign) that the NORTH should secede from the SOUTH to counteract the Fugitive Slave law which prevented Northern slaves from freeing escaped southern slaves. Now, I PERSONALLY have NO PROBLEM with the proposed sedition of the abolitionists, and I HOPE you do not as well!! Otherwise I think you put your love of your country above MORALITY for not backing the people who wanted to secede from the US to free slaves.

  • “if my extolling Crazy Horse’s sedition against US aggression is something you hate, then personally I think you’re a racist.”

    But Crazy Horse didn’t attack civil liberties hence the “and”. A two part condition. It would not be sedition either since Crazy Horse was considered a
    citizen of his own native American nation. Hence the ability of the US
    government to negotiate treaties with various First Nations.

    So by your argument I am not a racist since I did not say anything about Crazy Horse, nor consider his acts sedition. 🙂

    Analogy fail yet again on your part. Your need to use analogies points to a clear
    problem you have with forming arguments based on the facts at hand.

    “I HOPE you do not as well!!”

    As it never happened, I have no opinion of it. It was purely hypothetical at the time.

  • “Crazy Horse led an armed insurrection against the United States.”

    No he didn’t since he was technically not a citizen of the United States. The Lakota were considered their own nation. He led an armed conflict against the United States.

    “Don’t you DARE insinuate that Crazy Horse doesn’t deserve this great monument because he’s a loser!!”

    OK I won’t. 🙂

    See my prior comment, that losers sometimes get mentioned in passing if one wants to use them for a specific ideological reason in the present.

    “Lemme quick google that for ya…”

    [Tips hat in recognition] Well played, sir. 🙂

    “The motives of confederate-lovers is irrelevant to me personally.”

    But very important when the subject is whether to keep confederate symbolism in public places. Thus entirely relevant to the topic and cannot simply be ignored.

    “That’s all irrelevant though, because it has nothing to do with your
    statement that the REASON that the confederates do NOT deserve honor was
    because they rebelled and lost!!”

    Not my full argument either. I did also mention that they not only rebelled and lost, but fought for a loathsome goal unworthy of praise int he present day. I feel like roasting hot dogs over that strawman you are burning.

    Now lets break this down into more simple arguments since you seem to be hung up on only parts of it:

    The Confederacy:
    1. Rebelled against the government
    2. Fought for the right to own people as property
    3. Lost.
    Taken in their entirety under all 3 conditions = not worthy of continued honors by our government.

  • Unfortunately, in spite of the values of this church and Dylann Roof’s victims, the US and South Carolina governments are talking about giving him the death penalty.

  • Dylann Roof did not invent his very own unique, heretofore unheard of ideology. He grew enamored of an ideology we’re all too familiar with, which has been around for hundreds of years. It is active today and has many adherents, some of whom have described Roof as a “hero”. This is not a “[political]…attack [on] Southern whites”. It is pointing out the deadly results of a murderous ideology – racism – of which there is obviously still a virulent strain in the south. (Oh, and perhaps you didn’t notice the recent worldwide outrage over the Paris and Belgium attacks and and the outpouring of sympathy for those victims of vicious radical Islamic terrorism.)

  • But no one is going after the Muslim community. When the Beltway snipers whose original goal was to kill 6 whites per day for 30 days, no one ever went after the innocent Muslims who had no part in their killings which exceeded Roof’s but only the perpetrators of the crime. Hang Dylann Roof and leave the rest of his demographic out of it.

    Liberals preach one way then turn around and put in practice another.

  • No! You are wrong! Both slavery and secession were NOT prohibited in the Constitution and NOT prohibited in the Bible! The South was correct! It was the North that betrayed the Constitution and were the traitors. Try to smear the South all you want with your secular godless communism but I can break your arguments with God’s Holy Scriptures.

    “Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance. Our cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again.”
    President Jefferson Davis, C.S.A.

  • Go Google for the town in the North near the Canadian border that seceded back in 1861.

    “The firefighters in Town Line are one sign of the New York hamlet’s
    unusual history. Sporting a Confederate flag on their uniforms, they’re
    known as the “Last of the Rebels.”
    That’s because this town near the Canadian border seceded from the United States at the start of the Civil War in 1861…”

  • Nothing is relevant to you that distorts your self-righteous attitude that you and the North were/are morally right. You are in for a rude awakening…

  • By all means pretend that slavery was a moral right that was worth committing treason over. I am self-righteous because I can afford to be. Slavery is a wrong. Universally recognized as one.

  • Wrong again! You have a bad habit but at least you are consistent.

    >1. Rebelled against the government

    There was NO prohibition against SECESSION or SLAVERY in the CONSTITUTION! You, the North, were the traitors. You betrayed the Constitution and you acknowledged your error after the war and never brought the Confederates to trial because you knew you were wrong. The South was not betraying the Constitution but the North was and illegally invaded a newly established nation just as the 13 colonies formed as new nation back in 1776.

    “If you bring these [Confederate] leaders to trial it will condemn the North, for by the Constitution secession is not rebellion. Lincoln wanted Davis to escape, and he was right. His capture was a mistake. His trial will be a greater one.”
    Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, July 1867 (Foote, The Civil War, Vol. 3, p. 765)

    > Fought for the right to own people as property

    In two of the Ten Commandments which were written on two tables of stone with God’s very own finger, God acknowledges a man’s right to possess men and female servants.

    I challenge you to show me the scriptures that promote abolition or condemn slavery in the Holy Scriptures. I have been in many debates on this point and have never lost this argument. But maybe you will be the first. Maybe you will find those mystery scriptures. And don’t use your “it is not relevant” dodge because the Bible was the standard for morality back in that era. Sadly, this is not the case today.

  • Prove it from the Scriptures and quit blowing smoke. Show me where God or Christ have ever promoted abolition or condemned slavery. You can search from
    Genesis to Revelation and you will not find one verse. I have been in many debates on this point and never lost the argument. You commies have all this bluster but when it gets down to source book for all morality you turn and run and try to say it is not relevant. But the truth is back in the mid 1800’s the Bible was relevant. Come on, I am calling you out. Prove that God hates my position and supports yours.

  • No prohibition from breaking away to form your own nation? Of course nothing like that would be sanctioned in the Constitution. It would be license to destroy the nation for any little political snit. Slavery was already causing huge rifts in the nation before secession. Civil war was inevitable as long as slavery still existed in the US. But by all means pretend it was a good thing and worth preserving in the nation. We all need a chuckle.

    Btw Shelby Foote is an apologist and a revisionist of the most obvious type. American history’s answer to David Irving.
    http://www.theatlantic dot com/national/archive/2011/06/the-convenient-suspension-of-disbelief/240318/
    https://studycivilwar.wordpress dot com/2013/05/25/shelby-foote-on-the-confederate-battle-flag/

    “In the two of the Ten Commandments which were written on two tables of stone with God’s very own finger, God acknowledges a man’s right to possess men and female servants.”

    Establishment Clause anyone? The Bible is not the source of legal authority for our government.

    “I challenge you to show me the scriptures that promote abolition or condemn slavery in the Holy Scriptures. ”

    Thank you for demonstrating why Christianity can be such an immoral faith. Its fun to see how you have completely lost any pretension of sanity and are now just coming up with a defenses of slavery. Seriously, go to another website. You are done here.

  • Now you are opening up a whole new argument. That morals only come from scriptures. You are demonstrating quite clearly that is not the case. That religious arguments by Christianfolk have been used to justify evil actions such as slavery. Thank you for pointing out how evil Christian belief is and why the Bible is a terrible guideline for how to act. If you honestly think slavery can be seen as a good thing in this day and age, there is no help for you. You are too far gone for me to care.

  • No, you are really an “atheist.” Christ repeated what He said back in Deuteronomy as the Word of God that we are to live by every word of God. And guess what. When Christ returns He is going to allow regathered Israel to take and possess servants once again (Isaiah 14:1-3, especially verse 2). I can’t wait to see the look on the faces of all you self-righteous South bashing hypocrites when that day comes.

    Isaiah 14:1-3
    (1) For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.
    (2) And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.
    (3) And it shall come to pass in the day that the LORD shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve,

  • BTW forgot this the last time. Please check your Bible again. Try the first third of the book Exodus. See also the Jewish holiday of Passover. Please tell me Moses was just being whiny. 🙂

  • In the Bible God freed ancient Israel from cruel slavery and bondage not to force abolition on the Egyptians but God made Israel His servants and even allowed them to take bond servants but refused to allow the Israelites to treat one of their fellow Israelites as a bond servant but rather as a hired servant.

    Leviticus 25:44-46,55
    (44) Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
    (45) Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
    (46) And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.
    (55) For unto me the children of Israel are servants; they are my servants whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.

    God does indeed allow for the buying, inheriting, possessing of servants. As I stated before even in two of the Ten Commandments written with the very finger of God, He acknowledges the fact that men can possess servants and maidservants. The same Hebrew words are used as the words for bondmen and bondmaids you see in the verses above.

    Even in the NT writings of Paul and Peter you see that there is no call for abolition but rather admonition to both masters and servants to conduct themselves as Christians where the masters are to be kind and the servants are to serve as they would serve Jesus Christ.

    But now here is the clincher as I stated in a previous post. When Christ returns He is going to allow regathered Israel to take and possess servants once again. See Isaiah 14:1-3, especially verse 2. So your PC anti-slavery abolition agenda is exposed as a fraud used to play political gotcha games against whites only and these same rules are never used against black and other minorities.

    Now the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments does not embrace all the freedoms that we here in America are so obsessed over but rather service. We are all to become servants of God.

    And there is a flaw in our American government. We had originally put checks in our system to prevent the domination of larger states over smaller states but there is nothing to prevent a group of states from banding together and forming an alliance to force their political agenda on the remaining regions of the country. That is precisely what happened in the lead up to the WBTS/ACW. There was a delicate balance between states that allowed slavery and those that did not and that balance was broken which gave extra votes in the Senate for the North just before 1860 and the South had no choice but secede. There was more involved than just slavery and only a small percentage of people in the South actually owned slaves so it was a political problem that the only solution to stop this Northern domination was secession which is not treason. As the delegates voted the will of the people to enter the union the delegates representing the people of the states voted to withdraw from the union.

    So, it was the North that was guilty of treason. They betrayed the Constitution which did not prohibit either secession or slavery. And in fact the delegates drawing up the Constitution some of them even owned slaves and the first President of this union of states was a slave owner himself — George Washington.

    As far as the South firing the first shot, some will accuse, it was Lincoln who refused to withdraw federal troops from the South. When Sumter was taken there were no casualties caused by the South and no prisoners were taken. And it was Lincoln the aggressor who then called for 75,000 troops to invade and put down the South. The South had no choice but to defend their homeland from invasion from the North.

    And it was Lincoln who was slain by the sword who had lifted up the sword against the Southern people. Truly justice was administered to this tyrant within a week following the surrender at Appomattox

    I do support the great men of the Bible and America that owned slaves because they have been wrongly vilified as evil when in the Bible there is no condemnation for owning servants. I have never lost a debate on whether slavery is or is not a sin based on the Bible due to the fact there are no verses promoting abolition or condemning slavery. If you care to try feel free to do so.

  • Ten plagues was not divine disfavor over slavery? I am sure you can tell that to any Jews celebrating Passover.

    You are the worst kind of Bible thumpers. One who doesn’t read the book he allegedly calls his moral guide and then tries to revise it to suit his personal agenda.

    Why not it goes with your dishonest representation of history as well.

    If you are making a case why slavery in this day and age should be morally acceptable you are an immoral piece of filth. It is such an evil that it is considered “a crime against humanity”. Plain and simple.

    Guess what? Much of the nation thought the same way back in the 19th century as well. Hence the work to limit slavery expansion. The civil war was starting racists who wanted to maintain a feudal, barbarous racist system in the face of a growing public rife against it.

    The utter defeat and dissolution of the confederacy and reunification of the nation was the best thing for everyone. If confederates won or were able to establish their permanency, there would be no superpower in the Americas nor would the internecine bloodshed cease. Why do you hate America so much?

  • Well, when Christ comes back then take your case against me to the Judge of all mankind. I contend that my words are in line with Christ the Word of God and your false condemnation is not. No scriptures have you used to condemn me but just your secular PC opinions on slavery.

    Slavery and secession are not sins. Unless you can prove otherwise then you have lost and it is you who is the one full of hate against the South, God and His Holy Word.

  • That speaks very poorly for your religious beliefs. So sorry for you.

    As passive aggressive Christians say (with the same level of sincerity)

    I’ll pray for you.

    Bless your heart.

  • LMAO! When you are out doing your Civil War re-enactments, do us all a favor and use real bullets.

  • Nah. I don’t need innocent bystanders and tourists injured. You guys can just go shoot each other like you always do.

  • The Beltway sniper, at least the adult one, was a member of the Nation of Islam, a sect that the media and society consistently have recognized as anti-white and anti-Semitic. Islam as a whole considers them to be heretical. But even if that’s a subjective judgment, objectively it would be like blaming Catholics for the Munster Rebellion or Baptists for the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
    Americans have been going after the Muslim community for 9/11 since 9/12. To claim differently is to have ignored the last 15 years, in particular the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee.

  • No one is trying to destroy icons of the Muslims or their heritage with the full backing of many/most of the politicians and the news media.

    But Roof was a lone wolf and stated what radicalized him was not something from an era 150 years ago but it is something going on right now perpetrated by the left-wing pro-Democrat pro-liberal news media — its unbalanced reporting of interracial crime. The CCC had on their website a listing of black-on-white violent crimes that they updated almost daily and they challenged their critics to produce a listing of similar white on black violent crimes and claimed there were only just a few in comparison. What Roof saw was accurate. I checked out the links and they were valid to local news stories of black on white murders and other violent crimes. One murder I know of in my local area had occurred and several weeks later they picked up the story. So they were accurate. You can go on their site and they still have the 2014 listing up (but probably a lot of the links are broken now due to elapsed time).

    Coincidence that the left-wing media jumped on Haley’s power grab in removing the Confederate Flag because of this personal lone wolf out of his mind on drugs mass killing and blame the Confederate Flag for the tragedy? No.

    If you are going to punish a whole demographic for the actions of some of their radicals then at least do it across the board and make it fair. If you want to punish the innocent people in Wisconsin because of Jeffrey Dahmer’s crimes then do it everywhere — punish the whole group for one member’s crimes. Not popular at all but at least it would be fair in the application but not at all fair in punishing any innocent people for another citizen’s crimes.

  • I’m glad I missed this whole conversation. These people make me want to bathe, repeatedly.

  • I am appalled that anyone who professes faith in Christ would argue that slavery is right in the eyes of God. The Almighty might have made allowances for it in the Old Testament, and Christ certainly recognized it as an economic and politically reality when He walked the earth, but along with many things God has tolerated in recognition of our fallen human condition, slavery cannot be construed as something that God willed in His vision for human culture. I am overwhelmed by and wholly applaud the spirit of the church that was victim of this heinous crime. It is my prayer and wish that I would uphold the commands of the faith so diligently if I were ever faced with such a spiritual challenge. A mighty lesson for us all regardless of point of view.

ADVERTISEMENTs