I encourage you all to read Sikivu Hutchinson’s piece about the terrorist attack at Emmanuel AMEC:
While black folk are the most religiously devout group in the nation, “God”, it seems, has never had to answer, nor be called to account nor be indicted for black suffering.
Due to economic apartheid, wealth inequality and residential segregation, activist black churches are still pivotal in many communities. Yet, as an atheist I can value their role while believing that it was not–as Christians rationalize–the Charleston victims’ “time”, nor a perverse example of “God’s will” that they were slaughtered. I can value the profound fellowship that the Emanuel family displayed in welcoming the murderer into their bible study yet believe that a just god would not have allowed this parasite in their church home to begin with.
No moral god would demand forgiveness for a crime for which there has never–since the first African was stolen, chained, exploited and “imported”–been any reparations.
I can understand if offering forgiveness to the terrorist makes his victims’ families feel better. I can also understand why the idea of Hell is so appealing when we look at someone like him.