There was more going on in Charlottesville than resentment over moving a statue, and there’s more going on in the country than what happened in Charlottesville. In an interview after the carnage caused by domestic terrorism, the mayor pointed out that, until the last few years, these racist groups lived unorganized existences in the dark. It is only recently they have been emboldened to “come out in the daytime.”
I can think of no better way to describe the nature and activities of these hate-mongering groups as “in the dark.” Evil. Corrupt. Destructive. Malicious. It doesn’t take long—certainly not anywhere near two days—to think of many adjectives to describe them or to understand the importance of publicly denouncing their existence and behavior. I am proud of the thousands of people who immediately and literally put their lives on the line to voice a counter-protest against an ideology and an agenda which is wholly un-American, not to mention un-Christian. These hate groups must not be allowed to think that the barbarism they brought to Charlottesville has given them any kind of a foothold in national acceptance.
Considering the current climate, it seems even more crucial to foster Gospel values where they have been dulled by hate or apathy or ignorance. Over the years, there have been several individuals in the parish who have asked about establishing a “social justice/social needs” group in our community which would provide a forum for awareness, education, discussion, and action, with regard to various issues raised by the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church. The signs of the times suggest we take this step as well.
So, what is of concern to you? What stirs your passion? Hunger? Poverty? Criminal Justice? Environmental Concerns? Racism? Immigration? Fair Employment? Bring that passion and interest to an informal meeting on Monday, September 18, and let’s see where the Spirit of God takes us from there. So many of our parishioners are al- ready involved with different social action concerns that, I’m sure, it is bound to be an interesting and enlightening evening of discussion. What might come out of it—if anything—remains to be seen and is up to God, but at the very least, I think it will be a relief to hear and express with others those values which we hold in common as followers of Christ. When those Christian values are linked with a compassion of heart and a willingness to work, there is no darkness that will prevail…