The ultra-pale geniuses at Fox News would like you to know that the mass shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina is really an attack on faith.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck: A horrifying attack on faith killing 9 people, including a famed pastor. So, if we're not safe in our own churches, then where are we safe?
Steve Doocy: Joining us right now is Senior Pastor of Hope Christian Church, Bishop E.W. Jackson. Good morning.
Jackson: Good morning.
Doocy: Your thoughts this morning?
Jackson: Well, first of all, I'm pastor of the Fall Church in Chesapeake, Virginia, but....We had a prayer vigil this morning at 6am, praying for the people of Charleston, South Carolina. We are urging people, wait for the facts, don't jump to conclusions. But, I have to tell you that I am deeply concerned this gunman chose to go into a church, because there does seem to be a rising hostility against Christians across this country because of our biblical views. And, I just think it's something we have to be aware of and not create an atmosphere where people take out their violent intentions against Christians. And I would mention one other thing very quickly and that is, I would urge pastors and men in these churches to prepare to defend themselves. It's sad, but I think that we've got to arm ourselves. At least have some people in the church who are prepared to defend the church when women and children are attacked. (Fox News hosts mumbling in agreement)
Brian Kilmeade: Do you think that is something that would fly inside a church? To have a pastor with a gun? To have security with a gun?
E.W. Jackson: Look, I'm a pastor. (Hasselbeck voicing her approval) If someone comes into hurt my church members I have an absolute obligation to defend them, to protect them. (Doocy interrupts with "of course"). Look, 9 people dead, I think that people understand that it's sad but this is the world we live in.
Brian Kilmeade: Hey, I understand it. I'm just, from a pastor perspective, I want to know if that's something you would do.
E.W. Jackson: Well, I'm gonna, as a pastor, it's absolutely something I would do to protect the people whom God has given me charge over.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck: You protect and shepherd your flock in anyway that you can, in faith and in practicality.
E.W. Jackson: Amen.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck: When you are speaking now, we saw prayer circles forming immediately after, at that church, through the night saying—it doesn't matter what religion we are, we need God's protection right now, we pray for peace. When you see this, Emmanuel means "God with us." There are people out there who say—well, evil was there as well, the man who is still on the loose. Do you say to churches—close our doors? Keep them open? What's your message right now to churches across the states?
E.W. Jackson: We have to keep our doors open. But, what we have to be discerning. There are evil people out there and they want to hurt and kill and destroy. But, no, we have to love people and invite people. Look, being a Christian means taking a risk. Because it means loving the unloveable. It means helping people who maybe want to hurt you. And we have to keep doing that. But, on the other hand we also have to be prepared to defend those innocent people against these kinds of vicious attacks.
Steve Doocy: Uhhh, it was released earlier—and extraordinarily they called it a hate crime—uhhh, and some look at it, because it was a white guy, apparently, and a black church, uhh, but you made a great point just a moment ago about the hostility towards Christians, so—and it was a church! So, maybe that's what their talking about. They haven't explained it to us.
E.W. Jackson: Well, yeah, I don't know whether to—most people jump to conclusions about race. I long for the day when we stop doing that in our country (Kilmeade jumps in to agree). But, we don't know why he went into a church, but he didn't choose a bar. He didn't choose a basketball court. He chose a church. And we need to be looking at that very closely.
Elizabeth Hasselbeck: Absolutely. And reports are saying he was sitting there for about an hour and then decided to kill all 9 people that he shot dead. (Kilmeade says "sick")
E.W. Jackson: Which is an amazing thing, that somebody would come in like they're peaceful and intent on receiving what's being taught and then they turn and attack people, I mean it's just, it's just a tragedy beyond human comprehension. We pray for those people down there, but yes, I think churches have got to be a lot more vigilant, perhaps more than we've ever been before.