From Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal, Two Miracles in Charleston:
That was the first miracle, the amazing grace that pierced the hearers’ hearts—in America, in 2015, at an alleged murderer’s bail hearing in a plain, homely courtroom. Christian churches and their believers are used to being patronized or mocked as silly, ignorant or hypocritical. They often don’t mind, often laugh along with the joke. But these were public statements that laid out the essence of Christianity, unedited and undiluted, and you couldn’t laugh or scoff. You could only feel awe and ask yourself: “If I were that person in those circumstances, would I be great too?”
Within days, something else wholly unexpected happened. A tough old knot became untied. Something people had been fighting about for a long time was suddenly about to be resolved. The murders at the church, and what was said by the relatives of the dead, prompted the rejection of the Confederate battle flag in gentle, kindly, heartfelt words.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee, if they know it, have some new nominees: the relatives of the dead who offered the mercy that relaxed the hands of those who’d been holding, too tight, to a flag.
Everyone thinks progress depends on indignation, accusation, aggression, demonstration, marching. But we just saw anger lose to love. It’s a huge moment.