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Reflections on Charlottesville: Commentary roundup

The conversation about what we need to learn from Charlottesville continues to unfold, as people around the nation look hard at what happened and what it reveals about the country.

People of faith are asking what they are called to do and to say.

Congregate Charlottesville, Aug. 12 (Photo credit: Stephen Melkisethian, CC 2.0)

There’s discussion of how to respond to hate; about the deep roots of white supremacy in American history and contemporary life; about how to move beyond words to action.

Here’s a sampling of some of the commentary, from Presbyterians and elsewhere. As more is written, this list may evolve.

8/17: Union Presbyterian Theological Seminary – President Brian Blount says “violence has brought us here.”

8/17: John Grisham – Silence is not an option, says the author, a Charlottesville resident for 24 years.

8/17: National Catholic Reporter – More than 400 Christian ethicists have signed a statement saying that racism and white supremacy are a “Christian problem.”  The signers include Presbyterians — among them, former Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) stated clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick.

8/16: Columbia Theological Seminary – Columbia responds to Charlottesville and racism.

8/16: Jan Edmiston – There are protests. This was terrorism.

8/16: Jack Jenkins – Meet the clergy who stared down white supremacists in Charlottesville. From ThinkProgress.

8/16: John Gehring – A wake-up call for the Catholic church. What changes after Charlottesville? And where was the Catholic clergy that day? From Commonweal.

8/15: Jeffrey Pugh – Fear, courage from front lines of a just struggle. In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by a professor of religious studies at Elon University, who participated in the counter-protest in Charlottesville.

8/15: Warren J. Lesane Jr. – A call to action from the Synod of Mid-Atlantic.

8/15: Jonathan Blitzer – How church leaders in Charlottesville prepared for white supremacists, from the New Yorker.

8/14: J. Herbert Nelson – The stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) asks, “Are we complicit in the racism of the alt-right?”

8/14: PC(USA) leaders – A statement from four top leaders of the PC(USA) — the stated clerk, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the General Assembly co-moderators — condemns condemns white supremacy and racism.

8/14: Presbyterian Women – A letter from the leaders of Presbyterian Women condemning “all forms of violence, particularly violence that tears at the fabric of God’s beloved community.”

8/14: Jan Edmiston – The co-moderator of the 2016 General Assembly asks, “How can I possibly love this guy?”

8/14: Michael Jinkins – Reflections from the president of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

8/14: Brian McLaren – “What I saw in Charlottesville,” from an author who spoke to counter-protesters during the white nationalist rally at the invitation of clergy from Charlottesville.

8/14: Lisa Sharon Harper – “Will America pick up its cross?” – on why she marched in Charlottesville.

8/14: Alan Zimmerman – In Charlottesville, the local Jewish community presses on. Written by the president of Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, describing the scene in and outside his synagogue on Aug. 13.

8/14: Siva Vaidhyanatha  – Why the Nazis came to Charlottesville, from a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. He wrote in the New York Times: “ This week, it was Charlottesville. Next week, it could be any other town. We all must make a decision. How would you confront this threat?”

8/14: Dahlia Lithwick – “They will not replace us. White supremacists can march on my hometown, but they can’t win,” writing for Slate.

8/14: Traci Blackmon and Cornel West – An interview about what they experienced in Charlottesville.

8/14: James McDonald – The president of San Francisco Theological Seminary promises the seminary will be a full partner in working to eradicate racism.

8/14: Marci Glass – White supremacy is evil, from a pastor in Idaho.

8/13: John Vest – Maybe rewriting your sermon isn’t enough, from the visiting assistant professor of evangelism at Union Presbyterian Seminary.

8/13: World Communion of Reformed Churches – Condemns white supremacism in the U.S.A.

8/13: Emma Green  – How will the church reckon with Charlottesville? From The Atlantic.

8/12: Jemar Tisby – The president of the Reformed African American Network, writing in the Washington Post asks: “After Charlottesville, will white pastors finally take racism seriously?”

8/12: David Crawford – The president of McCormick Theological Seminary wrote after white nationalists marched Aug. 11 at the University of Virginia. This story “will not end in Charlottesville. Sadly, it will play out again in other towns, and cities, and states across the country.”