Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced that the Justice Department has opened a hate crime investigation to look into the shooting last night at a South Carolina church:
"The Department of Justice has opened a hate crime investigation into the shooting incident," Lynch this morning in Washington. "The FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshall Service, civil rights division, and the U.S. attorney's office are working closely with state and local partners and we stand ready to offer every resource, every means, and every tool that we poses in order to locate and to apprehend the perpetrator of this barbaric crime. Acts like this one have no place in our country, and no place in a civilized society.
"And I want to be clear: The individual who committed these acts will be found and will face justice. As we move forward in the matter, my thoughts and prayers and those of our entire law enforcement communit, here at the Department of Justice and around the country, are with the families and loved ones of the victims in Charleston. Even as we struggle to understand the heartbreaking event I want everyone in Charleston and everyone affected by the tragedy to know we will do everything we can to help heal the community and make it whole again."
In an effort to sign up as many consumers as possible for insurance under the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare), the Obama administration has gone to extraordinary lengths to partner with churches and other faith-based groups, even publishing sample church bulletin inserts, flyers, and scripts for announcements, as well as "talking points." These materials are part of the "
...Easter worship at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church, DC
First family arrived at church through tented entrance at 10:05 am, and sat in second pew in mostly, but not completely filled church. POOL estimates about 250 people celebrating Easter here.
President, wearing a light khaki suit, is rocking his head back and forth to the fabulous choir and chewing something. Malia is wearing spring yellow dress, and Sasha, her hand to her chin, appears to be in pale gray or pale blue. …
Later today, President Barack Obama will be officially sworn in for his second term. But first, Obama and his family attended church, where the reverend's sermon used the president's reelection campaign slogan "Forward" as a theme. From the pool report:
St. Petersburg, Fla. The day after delivering his first major address to the nation, Paul Ryan attended daily mass at Our Lady of Grace parish in St. Petersburg. The church, built in 1929, is a beautiful structure that is “Byzantine in style with Romanesque features.” A sign in front of the church read: “ALL ARE WELCOME.”
A fair number of Americans would probably tell you that Memorial Day is held to celebrate the Indy 500. And, even those who are aware of why, actually, the day has been set aside tend to honor it in the breech, if at all. On my way, every year, to the service in our town, I am struck by how many more cars are parked near the golf course than in the church parking lot.
But that, of course, is one of the glories of America.
As we look ahead to Easter—Christianity’s greatest feast day, and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead—there is much to pray for. We pray for those affected by economic strife, and those harmed by natural disasters and war. But let’s not forget the Christians suffering around the world for their beliefs.
U.S. church officials are voicing objections to the continuing violence against Iraqi Christians, by sending letters to Defense Secretary Bob Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor James Jones. But the church prelates are declining to name Islamists as the perpetrators.
If the Obama administration has its way, the gospel of climate change will be coming to a pulpit near you. That at least seems to be the dream of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships—a 25-member group of leaders from across the religious spectrum that is part of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Six years ago, the nearly 3 million member Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) became the first and only U.S. religious body to adopt a divestment policy against Israel. After a large uproar from Christians and Jews, including a personal appeal from Presbyterian former CIA Director James Woolsey at the church’s General Assembly in 2006, the divestment stance was repealed.