The Wolves of Hate
Transgender people. Democratic leaders. Members of the press. Refugees. African Americans. Jews.
What do these very different groups of people have in common? They were all targets of hate in America last week. Some were threatened by the leaders of our country. Others were bullied online. Then things escalated to bombs and mass shootings. By the end of the week many of us were mourning and in despair over the state of things in the country we love.
Of course, this is not the first time that hatred and terror have reigned here. Sixty years ago, on October 12, 1958, The Temple in Atlanta was bombed by anti-Semitic white supremacists, enraged that Jews were supporting the Civil Rights Movement, much as last week’s shooter in Pittsburgh was enraged that the Tree of Life Synagogue was supporting refugees.
As last week’s events unfolded I was reminded of Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph McGill’s column the day after The Temple bombing. It won him the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is eerily and sadly relevant 60 years later.
Here is an excerpt from that column:
Dynamite in great quantity ripped a beautiful Temple of worship in Atlanta. It followed hard on the heels of a like destruction of a handsome high school in Clinton, Tenn.
The same rabid, mad-dog minds were without question, behind both. They also are the source of previous bombings in Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina. The school house and the church are the targets of diseased, hate-filled minds.
Let us face the facts.
This is a harvest. It is the crop of things sown.
It is the harvest of defiance of courts and the encouragement of citizens to defy law on the part of many southern politicians. It will be the acme of irony, for example, if any of four or five southern governors deplore the bombing.
It will be grimly humorous if certain state attorneys general issue statements of regret. And it will be quite a job for some editors, columnists, and commentators, who have been saying that our courts have no jurisdiction and that the people should refuse to accept their authority, now are to deplore it.
It is not possible to preach lawlessness and restrict it.
To be sure, none said go bomb a Jewish temple or a school.
But let it be understood that when leadership in high places in any degree fails to support constituted authority, it opens the gates to all those who wish to take law into their own hands.
There will be, to be sure, the customary act of the careful drawing aside of skirts on the part of those in high places.
“How awful,” they will exclaim. “How terrible. Something must be done.”
But the record stands. The extremists of the citizens’ councils, the political leaders who in terms violent and inflammatory have repudiated their oaths and stood against due process of law, have helped unloose this flood of hate and bombing.
This, too, is a harvest of those so-called Christian ministers who have chosen to preach hate instead of compassion. Let them now find pious words and raise their hands in deploring the bombing of a synagogue.
You do not preach hate and encourage hatred for the Negro and hope to restrict it to that field. It is an old, old story. It is one repeated over and over again in history. When the wolves of hate are unleashed on one people, then no one is safe.
Hate and lawlessness by those who lead release the yellow rats and encourage the crazed and neurotic who print and distribute the hate pamphlets, who shrieked that Franklin Roosevelt was a Jew, who denounce the Supreme Court as being Communist and controlled by Jewish influences.
For a long time now it has been needful for all Americans to stand up and be counted on the side of law and the due process of law – even when it goes against personal beliefs and emotions.
It is late. But there is yet time.
On Tuesday I attended a vigil at The Temple, to remember those gunned down during worship at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. I’ll end with these words I heard that day from Rabbi Peter Berg.
“Today we are asking you to stand with us and put an end – not only to anti- Semitism and anti-Muslim persecution, but to all forms of sexism, racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and hatred.
“This vigil is a call for Atlanta – not to be passive observers where our thoughts and prayers are with you for a day or so – but to roll up our sleeves and work together to create a better world for our children and our children’s children.”
It is late. We must act now while there is still time.
Remember that Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend. Set your clocks back an hour when you go to bed Saturday night. Get an extra hour of sleep and still get to church on time!
For All the Saints
Sunday, November 4, is All Saints’ Sunday, the day on the church calendar set aside to remember those we love who are now part of the heavenly chorus. We will have special music, and we will read at the altar the names of those we remember with love. If you have names to add, email Tricia at firstname.lastname@example.org or write them on the sheet in the narthex before the service.
Armistice Day Remembrance
Sunday, November 11, is Veterans’ Day, also known as Armistice Day. This year is the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War One. What better way to remember the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month than to be in church? We will have special prayers and hymns to remember this occasion.
The Altar Guild Needs You
Sunday, November 4, there will be a meeting of all current Altar Guild members and anyone interested in finding out more about this important ministry. Members of the Altar Guild lovingly and reverently prepare the church for worship each week, and clean up after the service is over. They also help prepare for weddings, funerals, and special services throughout the year. Men and women are invited to join.
Adult Sunday School in November
For the first two Sundays of the month we will continue discussing Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis. The statement has proven to be eerily timely each week, shining the light of the gospel on that week’s events. Even if you’ve missed the first part of this series, we invite you to come join the discussion.
One of the topics that has come up in each week’s discussion is the need to be able to stand up for the gospel and against hate without succumbing to hate ourselves. A shining example of living this out is the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
On November 18, we will begin discussing his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, one of the most important theological statements of our time.
Hotel St. Dunstan Open This Month
On Sunday, November 11, two families without homes will arrive at St. Dunstan’s to spend the week with us. Our response for volunteers has been great, but we still have a few slots open. If you can be an evening host or spend the night on the 11th, please sign up on our website, www.stdunstan.net. The Sign Up Genius button is at the bottom of the page.
- Thanks to Peachy Horne, and her son Seth for clearing out all the yard clippings and waste from behind the church. Unfortunately, some of our neighbors’ lawn services have discovered that it is cheaper to dump their waste on our grounds than to dispose it it properly elsewhere.
- Thanks to everyone who helped with the Flying Pig BBQ. A special thanks to our chief BBQ chef John Gimson, and to those who stayed up all night helping keep the fire stoked and the meat smoking – Mark O’Connell, Erik Kleven, and Connor Mark. Also thanks to everyone who chopped and bag meat, helped set up, decorate, and clean up, and who brought side dishes. It was a great event!
- Thanks to all who helped prepare and serve dinner at Holy Comforter Episcopal Church last month, including Bob and Mary Kathryn Wolfson, Tommy and Mary Jane Hannah, Pam Weed, Fair Sutherlin, Christine Bird and Gilda Morris.
- Thanks to Tom Smither, who cleaned and restained the bench in front of the church and one in the courtyard. They look beautiful.
- Thanks to Keith Latimore, who is stepping down as the coordinator of our ushers after several years of faithful service. And thanks to Bob Wolfson, who has agreed to step into that
- Several parishioners have commented about the positive difference the drapes have made in the Founders Room. These drapes as well as the drapes in the nursery were donated by parishioners to provide privacy for families who use these rooms as bedrooms during our Family Promise host weeks. The drapes also provide a nice finishing touch to these rooms. The Family Promise coordinators wish to thank the donors of these drapes: Mark, Jackie, and Reese O’Connell; and Deb Dee. We also thank Dick and Ginny Harris who in previous years have provided labor and materials to paper these windows to provide privacy during Family Promise host weeks. The drapes in the two other rooms in the Parish Hall were purchased at a significant discount also to provide privacy when these rooms are used as bedrooms.
Our condolences to the Kaltenbach family on the death of John’s mother, Katherine Kaltenbach.
And to Owen Dougherty on the death of his sister-in-law, Yvonne Mariskanish Dougherty
The Flower Guild Wants You!
Does the beauty of the flowers each week add to your sense of worship at St. Dunstan’s? The flowers are arranged each week by members of the Flower Guild. If you enjoy arranging flowers, please consider joining this group. If you’ve never arranged flowers but would like to learn they will teach you! Contact flower guild chair Gilda Morris at email@example.com if you are interested.
And if you’d like to donate flowers to the glory of God, and in memory or honor of someone, sign up in the narthex.
Angel Yoga on Mondays
Join us on Monday evenings at six for Angel Yoga, a gentle, spiritual yoga using chairs. Classes are led by Gilda Morris. A $10 donation to the rector’s discretionary fund is suggested.
Time & Talent – Want to be more involved?
Sundays at St. Dunstan’s are not possible without a large number of volunteers. There are plenty of opportunities to lend a hand. Feel free to contact the following people to get more information on ways you can help.
Coffee / Hospitality
Lay Readers / Lectors
A few notes about what is happening in our music program:
- Our choir has two new members: Kate Gaul and Jonathan (Jon) Throop. Welcome, Kate and Jon! We also have a new instrumentalist, Billy Dubose, and he will also sing with the choir occasionally.
- On All Saints’ Sunday, November 4, violinist Kerren Berz will be with us.
- For the next few weeks our beautiful Steinway Model M grand piano will be out for some refurbishment. We expect to have it back before Christmas.
- Sean Robertson has been nominated for the Governor’s Honors program in music and will be competing next month. Good luck, Sean!
- I’m not sure about shopping days, but the choir countdown has begun: only seven more Wednesday evening rehearsals until Christmas. Only five more until Lessons and Carols. Here is the Lessons and Carols information
4393 Garmon Road, NW Atlanta, Georgia 30327 www.stdunstan.net
Vestry 2018 – 2019
Harriett S. Smith, Sr. Warden; Bruce Lafitte, Jr. Warden; Deborah Dee; Mark O’Connell; Ellen Taratus; Susan Howard; Lori Westphal; Misty Bentz; Jessy Briton Hamilton
The Reverend Patricia Templeton, Rector
The Reverend Maggie Harney, Priest Associate
Dr. Thomas Gibbs, Parish Musician
Claudia Gimson, Parish Administrator
Billy DuBose, Seminarian
When evil darkens our world, let us be the bearers of light.
When fists are clenched in rage, let our hands be open for the sake of peace.
When injustice slams doors on the ill, the poor, the old, the stranger, let us pry the doors open.
When shelter is lacking, let us be builders.
When food and clothing are needed, let us be providers.
When knowledge is denied, let us be champions of learning.
When dissent is stifled, let our voices speak truth to power.
When the earth and its creatures are threatened, let us be their guardians.
When bias, greed, and bigotry erode our country’s values, let us proclaim liberty throughout the land.
In places where no one acts like a human being Let us bring courage.
Let us bring compassion.
Let us bring humanity.
(From the prayer book of the Reform Jewish Movement)