DAN MUELLER, San Clemente
Thank you for the piece that you ran in the June 13 edition: Emanuel: The Untold Story of the Victims and Survivors of the Charleston Church Shooting. I watched the documentary, and I was blown away by it. I have some scarce memory of the event when it happened, but I never got it. In the midst of unspeakable evil, love intervened; and instead of further violence, hatred and division—like water poured over a fire about to rage out of control—the families of the victims chose to forgive the unforgivable, and love won the day.
What courage and strength— and, dare I say, even divine intervention—occurred in that moment that averted further bloodshed and mayhem. The shooter hoped to start a race war, but the families of the victims, through their forgiveness, stopped that from happening.
Today, as a nation, we are so polarized. There is no more middle ground, no move toward unity. Each side convinced of its own moral superiority presses on with its agenda demonizing the other, and as a result, hatred and suspicion and division only increases. I, too, have been guilty of such thinking. Yes, there are strong opposing views in America about how we go forward as a nation. Yes, there is deep division concerning issues and problems we must find solutions to in order to move forward, but we are all letting hatred move us and divide us. We must, each of us, choose to love and forgive the offenses we each so easily bestow on one another in our zeal for what we believe is right. We need to stop accusing and start listening. We all love this nation, we all want a better life for our children, we all want freedom and a chance at peace and prosperity. If this documentary showed me anything, it showed me that love and forgiveness are brave choices. Let’s choose to forgive and so honor the memory of these brave families.
Thank you, Brian Ivie, for telling this story.