SC religious leaders react to Texas elementary school shooting
Church leaders are calling on lawmakers for better gun control following the mass shooting that killed 19 children in Texas.
COLUMBIA, SC — As the tragedy in an elementary classroom in Uvalde, Texas impacts people across the country, many are looking to faith leaders to uplift our hearts and spirits in difficult times.
Here in the Midlands, some religious leaders are offering prayers to the families of the victims, but they are also calling for action to stop the violence.
Pastor Dr. Travien Capers, senior pastor of Zion Benevolent Baptist Church in Hopkins, says this violence happens too often, explaining how he felt when he heard about the shooting.
“It hurt my heart that young people and educators lost their lives,” Capers said. “#ThoughtsAndPrayers, this guideline from politicians and even some religious leaders, without action to join in, I think is unsuccessful.”
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A father of five Capers says this tragedy is very real. “As a father of four school-aged children, I don’t know the pain they are feeling. There were kids who woke up yesterday, took their favorite bowl of cereal and never came home.
Rabi Jonathan Case of Beth Shalom Synagogue is asking his parishioners to speak up to help end gun violence.
“How many atrocities have we suffered because of the unchecked gun violence in the United States?” Case requested. “Prayer is wonderful, remembrance is wonderful. Both are integral to our fabric and our being. However, prayer, remembrance and moments of silence are simply not enough.
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“Things have to be tighter because the people doing these things keep falling through the cracks,” Grady said.
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All three religious leaders we spoke with said the violence must stop.
“It’s time we all had to take a stand and we must come together, hand in hand, as faith-based organizations to say enough is more than enough,” Case said.
Grady said there will be a vigil for the victims Thursday at Reid Chapel AME Church.
Case said at his synagogue prayers will be said for the Texas victims on Friday.
Capers said his church will hold a vigil this weekend.
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