White supremacist murders 49 in New Zealand

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Another incident of white-supremacist terror has taken 49 lives, this time in Christchurch, NZ. At least 48 others were being treated in nearby hospitals.

 

According to the local New Zealand press site, Stuff.co.nz;

A 28-year-old man has been charged with murder and two others are in custody after 49 people were killed in shootings at two Christchurch mosques.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said as of 9pm 49 people had lost their lives in the shootings at the Masjid Al Noor on Deans Ave and the Linwood Masjid on Linwood Ave on Friday.

Forty-one people had died at the Deans Ave mosque, while seven had died at Linwood and one in hospital.

 

The killer, an Australian citizen, videoed himself with a head-mounted camera shooting unarmed and terrified men, women, and children. The shooter and two accomplices have been arrested. The shooter also posted a manifesto online that mentioned President Trump and Anders Breivik (the Norwegian white supremacist who murdered 77 people in 2011) as inspirations; saying of Trump that he was “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”.

 

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said;

“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world. While we do not have any reason to believe at this stage that there are other suspects, we are not assuming that at this stage. The joint intelligence group has been deployed and police are putting all of their resources into this situation.”

 

Queen Elizabeth sent a two-part message on Twitter, expressing her condolences;

I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives…

…I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured.

At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.

 

New Zealand Archbishops, Philip Richardson and Don Tamihere, offered this statement;

“The freedom of worship and religious life is an absolute right to all in this land. We choose to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters and support their continued and inalienable right to live and worship here in peace. All of us who live here in Aotearoa New Zealand must stand in solidarity in the face of such evil – and we call upon Anglicans throughout Aotearoa New Zealand to uphold all those affected in prayer, and to respond to this act by rejecting the rhetoric of hatred and religious intolerance, and to show compassion and kindness to all our neighbours who wish to live here in peace.”

 

The Anglican bishop of Christchurch, Peter Carrell, issued a statement on behalf of the leaders of churches in Christchurch city and Canterbury province;

Church leaders are absolutely devastated at the unprecedented situation in Christchurch this afternoon and our hearts and prayers go to all involved. No religious organisation or group deserves to be the target of someone’s hate – regardless of beliefs. We stand for an Aotearoa New Zealand which will never condone such violence. So across the churches of Christchurch and Canterbury, we are praying for our Muslim brothers and sisters, for those injured and those who have lost loved ones, for the police, ambulance and other emergency services, and for all in the city of Christchurch who are feeling distress and fear due to this event.  We are upholding you all in our prayers. We pray too for the shooter and their supporters, because for any person to do this, they must have such hatred in their hearts, such misalignment of the value of human life, that they too, need our prayer. We thank many others from around our nation and the world who are praying for peace in Christchurch.

 

New Zealand Anglican blogger and Christchurch resident Bosco Peters likely captured the disorienting experience of many who heard the news in a Facebook post;

 


 

image: A man outside the Deans Ave mosque on the edge of Hagley Park after the Christchurch mosque shootings. George Heard/Stuff.co.nz

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Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

May all of the victims rest in peace with the saints in light.

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JoS. S Laughon
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Absolutely horrid. Requiescat in pace. May God in his ineffable mercy have given salvific grace through His Son to the victims.

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Member

Thoughts and prayers... As this insanity unfolds globally I tire of hearing this. Not that it's inappropriate, but that it's woefully inadequate. Not for nothing did this white supremacist mention Trump in his manifesto.

Shortly after this incident in New Zealand, Trump tweeted a link to Breitbart. This on the heels of his veiled threats to use bikers, police, and the military to counter his opponents. His followers like Seb Gorka were proclaiming "Some civilizations are better than others. And ours, the Judeo-Christian civilization is the best of all." This in just one day- just another day of MAGA.

The issue here is simple and straightforward. We live in a nation where white supremacy, racism, and bigotry resides and controls the very pinnacle of political power. This is the problem.

This is not politics, and it's time for our religious leadership to take up the mantle and fight and counter this. To call it out for what it is and do so openly and aggressively.

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

You've deftly identified a singular problem for TEC today: A reluctance to label, name and identify the persons, systems, and structures responsible for the MAINTENANCE of white supremacy and religious intolerance. Prayers and platitudes are insufficient.

Our Church has a long track record of coming down on the wrong side of history: Native American genocide; African enslavement; denial of divorce; women in leadership. Of late, we struggle with the full inclusion of same-gender-loving members. This era, the Trump era, will become part of the Church's social justice tally. Future generations will ask: "Which side were they on?"

Our's is a society that sheds tears for it's victims, but does nothing to identify the conditions that created their victimhood. Our's is a society that values making heroes and martyrs of its victims rather going to the source and those accountable for their victimhood.

It's time TEC declared resolutely on the White House lawn: "I am Spartacus!"

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Cynthia Katsarelis
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I hear you, Philip. Although our sensibilities, as expressed in General Convention, seem compassionate, we fall short of taking action to identify and dismantle white supremacy. I'm coming to the conclusion that institutional racism is so pervasive that many can't see it. It is sadly normalized. If we just look at redlining: it prevented mobility to areas of opportunity, it condemned whole neighborhoods to substandard schools (as they are funded through property taxes) and associated services, to this day it makes wealthier neighborhoods more eligible for the bulk of disaster relief. Why do Ivy League African Americans make less than poorly educated whites? And why are the maternity health outcomes of upper-middle-class African American sisters worse than that of poor white women? How come Selena Williams had to self-diagnose and self advocate to get the postpartum care she needed? You don't have to kick the tires that hard to see that there's a systematic problem.

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Philip B. Spivey
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Philip B. Spivey

All good examples, Cynthia. I'm thinking that It's not so much that people don't see, e.g., #Churchtoo. It's that acknowledging these realities would force us to take ownership of them; it would force us to cry out; it would force us to challenge the status quo. There are many good reasons to do nothing and sit silent. There are consequences for challenging the status quo. My question is: Is the status quo on the verge of destabilizing everything we value?

It's folly to think that any of the maladies that you and I have cited will "just go away"; in fact, they will only worsen for some us now, and all of us later. It's critically past time that the Church Universal, and TEC in particular, moved to a new level of prophetic witness. The Church spends a great deal of it's time, talent and treasure "mopping up" societal messes. I would like to see it devote more to the prevention of future casualties. Prevention will entail "naming the malady and naming its sources".

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Brian
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Brian

Excellent responses.

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