STATEMENT FROM THE RIGHT REVEREND BRIAN R. SEAGE, BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF MISSISSIPPI:
I am profoundly disturbed by the act of violence against Hopewell Baptist Church in Greenville, Mississippi, and the alienation and bigotry it represents.
We have a painful past in Mississippi, and it is a history which, sadly, involves violence under the cover of darkness, along with Molotov cocktails and even dynamite aimed at places of sacred worship and people of faith. Mississippians have shown an intolerance for such acts and we should repudiate those acts in the strongest terms.
Martin Luther King, Jr., said “No one is free until we are all free.” Likewise, no one is free from the shadow cast by violence of this sort until all of us are free from that shadow. No person among us is an island. We are all connected, one to another, even if we choose not to see that connection – connected as Americans, people of God, and human beings.
The level of political discourse in recent months has been troubling. Instead of seeing either side of the aisle as a threat to a way of life, we should see our fellow human beings as seeking to enjoy the blessings our Constitution and system of governance offer.
I hope and trust that law enforcement officials will seek, find, and prosecute the perpetrators of this act. Mississippi and her people are better than this.