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What Conservative Pastors Didn’t Say After El Paso

Aug 6, 2019

By Emma Green

On Sunday morning, some of America’s pastors made no mention of the horrific mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that killed at least 31 people and injured dozens more over the weekend. Other Church leaders, however, knew they could not ignore the events.

“Our pulpit is not one that silence works in,” Jason Morriss, the pastor at Austin New Church, a progressive Methodist congregation in Austin, Texas, told me. “My first response as a pastor was that my people are going to need words of comfort. And they’re also going to need a way to channel their anger and frustration.”

Anger and frustration: This is what many Americans have come to feel in a culture of endless mass shootings, and it is also what some Americans have come to feel about Christianity in this country.

Evidence suggests that the El Paso suspect, a 21-year-old white male, posted a manifesto online, shortly before entering a Walmart and opening fire, stating that he was motivated by “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Facing this open declaration of white-supremacist ideology, politicians and commentators have scorned Republicans and faith leaders who offer only “thoughts and prayers” in response to these events.

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One comment on “What Conservative Pastors Didn’t Say After El Paso”

  •  …evil is real,” he said. “Wicked Satan is a real force and power on our Earth.”

    It is impossible to point to evil.  Very easy to point to instances of evil, but not to Evil itself.  As a concept it behaves like the colours.  You can point to an instance of red, but not to Red itself.

    Gramatically red and evil might be able to be used as nouns, but logically they are not nouns.  If used nominally, they have sense, but no reference, they are words with defined meaning, but no actual or concrete entity to which they refer.  Logically they are only adjectives.

    Evil exists only as a description of actions or situations, as red only exists as a description of objects.  I would be very unwilling to apply the word to sentient beings. Saying that evil exists is to posit an entity of which there is no proof.  But it is good ammunition for bible thumpers, right wing preachers and politicians, and of course, members of the gun lobby.

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