LOS ANGELES — A firestorm of reaction to the events unfolding in Charlottesville, Virginia, continued Sunday morning with Christian leaders taking to Twitter to express their views.
“The ‘Cross’ will always be more powerful than the swastika! #Charlottesviille,” tweeted Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC)/CONEL, which is America’s largest Latino Evangelical organization.
The "Cross" will always be more powerful than the swastika! #Charlottesviille
— Rev.Samuel Rodriguez (@rev_rodriguez) August 13, 2017
On Saturday evening, author and pastor Erwin McManus of Mosaic in Los Angeles, tweeted, “We cannot unite with hate. We must stand against it. You cannot reason with racism. You must condemn it. The church must lead the way. NOW!”
We cannot unite with hate. We must stand against it. You cannot reason with racism. You must condemn it. The church must lead the way. NOW!
— Erwin McManus (@erwinmcmanus) August 13, 2017
Leaders all over the United States are responding via social media to an eruption of demonstrations and violence in Charlottesville that began overnight on Friday and included the death of Heather Heyer, 32, run over by a person driving a car on Saturday, who is in police custody.
It is reported that violent clashes between white nationalists and counterprotesters began prior to a Unite the Right rally that was being held to protest the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The city of Charlottesville voted to remove the statue earlier this year, but it remains in the Emacipation Park, formerly known as Lee Park, pending a judge’s ruling expected later this month, according to the Washington Post. Police have ordered hundreds of people out of a downtown park, resulting in the cancellation of a noon rally, according to reports.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency shortly before 11 a.m., blaming the violence on “mostly out-of-state protesters.”
“I am disgusted by the hatred, bigotry and violence these protesters have brought to our state over the past 24 hours,” McAuliffe (D) said.
“I am heartbroken that a life has been lost here. I urge all people of good will — go home,” Signer wrote on Twitter.
Harvest America and Harvest SoCal evangelist Greg Laurie tweeted, “These people in Charlottesville do not represent the Christian faith in any way, shape or form. Racism is sin.”
These people in Charlottesville do not represent the Christian faith in any way, shape or form.
Racism is sin.
— Greg Laurie (@greglaurie) August 13, 2017
D.A. Horton, who serves as Pastor of Reach Fellowship a church plant in North Long Beach and as Chief Evangelist for the Urban Youth Workers Institute (UYWI), began a long Twitter thread by stating, “Healing begins when infection is cleaned out. #Charlottesville needed to happen so more people realize our nation isn’t ‘post-racial’! 1/2.”
Healing begins when infection is cleaned out. #Charlottesville needed to happen so more people realize our nation isn't "post-racial"! 1/2
— D.A. Horton (@da_horton) August 12, 2017