As the nation reels from two tragic shootings, Christian leaders are calling the massacres pure evil and urging people to seek a spiritual, not political, solution.
“If you turn on the television right now, you’re going to see the predictable responses, the pundits retreat to their perspective corners and people politicize it. I think there’s something bigger at play here,” said Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California.
Twenty-nine people were killed over the weekend in two separate shootings — one in El Paso, Texas, and another in Dayton, Ohio.
The El Paso shooting on Saturday at a Walmart left 20 people dead and 26 injured. The suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, was arrested on a capital murder charge with state authorities treating it as a domestic terrorism case.
According to police, the suspect posted a manifesto on the website 8chan before the shooting. The manifesto expresses support for the March shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, and warns of an attack in response to "the Hispanic invasion of Texas."
In Dayton, nine people were killed and 27 were injured on the streets of a busy neighborhood around 1 a.m. Sunday. The suspect, Connor Betts, 24, was killed by police who were nearby less than a minute after the shooting began.
The victims included Betts’ sister, Megan, 22. Police have yet to identify a motive.
Here are five responses from Christian leaders and others to the massacres.