Faith is questioned after synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh

Image courtesy of Los Angeles Times.A passerby stands in front of stars displaying the victims’ names.

Image courtesy of Los Angeles Times.A passerby stands in front of stars displaying the victims’ names.

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Harley Fonseca

Americans have been on edge since tragedy struck the Jewish community on Oct. 27 when, according to an article by CNN, terrorist Robert D. Bowers walked inside the Tree of Life Congregation and screamed anti-Semitic slurs before shooting into the crowd. It has made Americans uneasy, believing that nowhere is safe, not even their own church.  

“It made me so sick to my stomach when I saw the news on Twitter,” said Shannon Lowenstein, a TAMU-CC Alumna. “It made me call all of my family members. Some of them prayed with me over the phone. It just makes you reevaluate everything, making some of us worried that places of worship are even considered a haven anymore, especially minorities, in today’s climate.”  

According an article by USA Today, Bowers killed at least 11 congregants, wounded four police officers and two people who were working in the synagogue, according to authorities who were first at the scene.  

USA Today states that since being arrested, Bowers has been charged with 44 indictments, including hate crimes. According to an article by The Washington Post, during his trial, Bowers had pleaded “not guilty” and requested to be put in front of a jury trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty after Bowers kept making anti-Semitic comments and showed no remorse as his charges were being read to him. 

“Recently, I’ve been trying to be a lot more individualistic in the way that I think,” said Daniel Edgnal, freshman Communications major. “I have tried to not value people’s lives differently, whatever race, gender, or religion they might be, but this changed things. This hit me really hard. Those of the Jewish faith are kind of a special one. They’re one of the big religions in the U.S., yet they make up less than .2 percent of the world’s population. So, the fact that there are people who have the evil inclinations in them to do such pathetic things is appalling.”