because "You rape our women and you're taking over our country."
That's quite an assertion to unload at prayer meeting. "You rape our women", Dylann Roof told a group that was mostly church-going women, an allegation against black people reminiscent of D.W. Griffith's 100 year old pioneering film, Birth of a Nation, "and you're taking over our country."
Although the shooting took place in a church, I don't see a lot of reason to consider this an attack "on religion" or "religious liberty". This young man, who is seen in the above picture in a jacket adorned with patches showing the flags of apartheid-era South Africa and Rhodesia, is broadcasting fairly undiluted anti-black racism and white supremacy. Not acknowledging the ideology of the shooter might seem like not giving his pernicious creed any more mileage than it deserves, but I think it's wrong to try and smooth this act of terror over with a sin of omission in denying its racist component, and yet more wrong to hijack this tragedy to try and serve some trumped-up idea that it's part of some larger war on "churches" or "religious people".
This bowl-cutted blond-haired boy didn't head down to the church nearest his house and voice words of disagreement with the fucking Nicene Creed. He didn't seek out an historic African-American Church to perform his terrorism because he didn't want people to go to church--he went there to kill black people. One of his associates has said he actually did talk about race and civil war (although it's a fine time for him to be bringing this up just now, after the fact, right?)
This is an example of how racism isn't really over. It exists, in a virulent enough form to screw over the pea-brain of a prescription-drug-headed fool. Because it exists, nine good people have had their lives brutally stolen from them--and from us, from people who benefitted by positive, community-oriented souls like them being in the world.
My thoughts are with the family and community of the slain. My concern is calling this tragedy what it is and to describe the sick illogic and fatal stupidity of race-hate for the nonsense it is. This young man attacked this particular church because he wanted to make a lesson for black people to fear--if that isn't terrorism, and hate, I don't know what to call it.