Jay Bookman

Opinion columnist and blogger at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, specializing in foreign relations, environmental and technology-related issues

'A coward who enters a House of God' to slaughter the innocent


Waking up to the horrific story coming out of Charleston ... it makes you see the world from a different, less positive perspective, to say the least.

A young white man with a concealed firearm walked into a Bible study class last night in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest AME congregation in the South. He apparently sat with the group for as much as an hour before pulling his weapon and executing nine people, including the pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney.

The Rev. Clemente Pinckney

According to news reports, quoting a survivor, the killer told his victims that "You rape all our women and you're taking over our country and you have to go.’”

The rampage is being treated as a hate crime, as it should be.

In the comments below, please be respectful. Do not trivialize this tragedy by using it an opportunity to advance whatever political opinion you may harbor; do not use it as a cudgel against others. This is neither the time nor the place. Our enemy is hate; it is not each other. Treat this as the act of a deranged, vicious individual, an act for which many are now deeply suffering.

As NAACP President Cornell William Brooks, put it:

"There is no greater coward than a criminal who enters a house of God and slaughters innocent people engaged in the study of scripture."


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About the Author

Jay Bookman writes about government and politics, with an occasional foray into other aspects of life as time, space and opportunity allow.