Hundreds gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, Wednesday night for a march for peace, less than a week after a scene filled with hate and chaos.
Participants held a candlelight vigil in honor of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, the woman killed when an attacker drove a car into a crowd of counter-protestors at a white nationalist rally. The vigil followed an emotional memorial service for Heyer.
“No father should have to do this,” said Heyer’s father, Mark.
President Trump tweeted about Heyer, calling her “beautiful and incredible” and a “truly special young woman.”
On CBN’s “Faith Nation” Wednesday, one of the president’s evangelical advisors, Pastor Robert Jeffress, blasted the white supremacy movement as “demonic.” He also said liberals are wrong when they accuse Trump of supporting racism.
“There is an effort to do whatever is necessary to take this president down,” Jeffress said. “And they have painted, the media has painted, the liberals have painted, a false narrative that the president is a racist, and anytime he tries to break out of that box, liberals aren’t going to allow him to do it.”
“I know the president; you know the president. There is not a racist bone in his body,” he continued.
And Evangelist Franklin Graham said Satan is to blame for the racist riots, not the president.
But the president’s news conference comments on the violence in Charlottesville have sparked outrage across the country.
“I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump said. “You look at, you look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides.”
Corporate leaders protested by pulling out of Trump’s business advisory councils, so the president has now closed down his economic panels.
He tweeted, “Rather than putting pressure on the business people of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!”
The Charlottesville uproar has also led to efforts to remove symbols of the Confederacy in cities across the country.
In Baltimore, the statues are already coming down.
The mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, had workers cover the city’s 52-foot Confederate memorial obelisk with wooden panels.
And in Norfolk, Virginia, a large crowd gathered Wednesday evening at the Confederate monument for a peaceful protest.
“I’m here for to support equality,” said one participant. “I believe in 2017 we’ve progressed so much as a society that we should not allow the freedom of speech to encourage hate and to produce hate.”
Many Christian leaders this week are calling for the Church to lead the way in a country that needs reconciliation and healing.