During a speech in Florida about removing sanctuary city policies, Attorney General Jeff Sessions condemned the violence and hatred that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia according to Miami Herald.
Christian leader Franklin Graham gave a heartfelt message on his Facebook page agreeing with Sessions on the need for opposing hate. Referencing Sessions, he said, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is exactly right – ‘In no way can we accept and apologize for racism, bigotry, hatred, violence and those kind of things that too often arise in our country.’ One race is not superior over another. God created mankind in His image and He loves us.”
The protest over the removal of a Confederate statue turned into a scene of violence and hate as white supremacists and anti-protesters came to blows over their dispute, according to The New York Times. As law enforcement and National Guard were diffusing the situation, tragedy struck when a white supremacist drove his car into the anti-protesters, injuring 19 and killing a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyers.
The death shocked the nation and spurred further acts of aggression as individuals in Durham, North Carolina rushed to tear down a Confederate statue outside the courthouse, as Time reported. City officials around the nation worried about other acts of aggression. Officials in Baltimore swiftly removed their statues in the middle of the night to avoid a similar confrontation.
The violence in Charlottesville has placed everyone on edge. Concerns over further violence rise as tensions increase between white supremacists and those who oppose them. Politicians criticize and attack each other over what was said or not said, while failing to focus their efforts on what truly matters.
During a speech in Florida praising the mayor of Miami for removing key sanctuary city protections, Sessions touched upon the tragedy in Charlottesville. “We’ve had a tough week. In no way can we accept, or apologize for, racism, bigotry, hatred, violence.”
Graham agreed strongly with the attorney general’s words and used it to call for peace and unity saying “The Bible tells us that, ‘He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth,’ and ‘God does not show partiality.’”
He went on to condemn the violence in Charlottesville and called on all Americans to seek God. “The venomous hatred we saw displayed in #Charlottesville should repulse all Americans. It should take us to our knees in prayer for hearts to be changed. He alone can forgive and heal our land. Everything can change through Jesus Christ.”
Graham then quoted the Savior’s call for love and unity from the Bible. “He said, ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another'” (John 13:34).
Graham’s words are a reminder that there is a higher path to resolving differences. Racism and bigotry have no place in one who lives their life with love for others. Violence must not be a solution for those who are angry or offended–regardless of the side they’re on.
Americans should embrace Graham’s call for peace and kindness, and pray that the anger and hostility within our nation will be resolved through love and understanding.