I am 51. Knowing how far America was from this when I was born, I never ever ever expected this to happen in my lifetime. Let alone the White House lights. ;-) Ever. If you want some sense of how far the nation has come, I suggest you check out The Boys in the Band,
Having just read Antonin Scalia's dissent, I can only chuckle a little and think back to my 10th grade history teacher, Caroline Loose, who said,
"When people complain about judicial activists, what they really mean is people that disagree with them."
Judge Scalia, I forgive you. The reference will make more sense in a paragraph or two. ;-)
And a reminder that the people who got America started on the road to this amazing moment were a bunch of drag queens and other "misfits". All hail the misfits!
And then there is the amazing eloquence of the community of faith of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. I still feel deeply affected by what's happened in South Carolina. It's hard to explain why exactly. These things seem to occur in America every couple of weeks. But the idea that a man would enter a prayer meeting, be welcomed and asked to participate, and then shoot those in attendance. It boggles the mind.
I think what REALLY gets to me about this is that the AME Church was created because blacks were unwelcome in the Methodist Church. This was not a scism driven by theological differences but rather because of hatred and prejudice. And, round about 200 years later, by which time surely that sort of misguided thinking should be understood and regretted, 9 people were shot in cold blood. During a PRAYER MEETING! Now, the UMC didn't pull the trigger. That's not what I mean. The UMC is quite progressive as Protestant denominations go. And I believe that the AME and UMC have ecumenical agreements in a step toward one Christian community. But you get the idea.
And a couple days later, their friends and families forgave. (!!!)
The horror of the shootings. And the profound and astounding forgiveness given by the families and friends of those that were lost. The President's eulogy is filled with the pain and the hope and optimism that the families and friends display every day of their lives. God Bless you all! You are an example to everyone on earth. Tunisia, France, and the mosque attack in Kuwait today give us a sense of the evil that men can do. Its important, though, that we remember what love can do as well.