Rev. Chris Buice is minister of Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, the site of the shooting last summer that killed two people and wounded six others. This week, he has an essay in Newsweek magazine’s “My Turn” feature. Here’s a brief excerpt:
the question keeps coming back: “Shall we return hatred for hatred?” Anyone who has endured a brutal act of violence will know the temptation. Our congregation’s experience, however, offers a cautionary tale. The man who brought violence to our church hated liberals. But in his desire to defeat terrorism he became a terrorist himself.
I have tried to use the power of the pulpit to advocate for a better way. I have told my congregation, “The man who attacked our church is in prison, but we do not have to remain prisoners of our own anger. Without denying the reality of our feelings in the present, we can be open to the possibility that one day we will be able to lay down our burden and say, in the words of the old African-American spiritual, ‘We are free at last’.”