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His father was a carpenter and his mother a five foot blonde with hair down to her ankles and they’d divorced three years before he was born.

His father remarried, abused his second wife, and divorced again when he was fourteen.

After the second divorce he dropped out of school in the 9th grade, drank vodka, smoked marijuana and turned into an Internet recluse. He announced – on a website – he was ‘The Last Rhodesian’ and posted a picture of himself holding a Confederate Flag and a glock pistol. Eight weeks after his twenty-first birthday he walked into an African-American church and murdered nine people.

In an earlier, more religious era people would have seen those nine murders as the fruit of a litany of sins and of devils weaving webs and if the cure – in those days – brought peace it also came after a fair amount of heartbreak: Sinners had to walk the Road to Golgotha, shoulder the Cross, repent and pray for Grace to be healed.

But, today, our new Secular Religion has a simpler cure: You just ignore the sins and blame that Confederate flag.

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