News brief: Planned Parenthood vigil at Colorado UU church draws attention

News brief: Planned Parenthood vigil at Colorado UU church draws attention

A Unitarian Universalist minister in Colorado Springs receives praise, criticism after calling Planned Parenthood shooter ‘domestic terrorist’ during vigil.

Kenny Wiley

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One day after a shooter killed three people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood Friday, November 27, nearby All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church held a vigil to honor the three lives taken by the gunman.

Coverage of and commentary about the shooting—which lasted several hours and ended with the suspect, Robert Dear, being taken alive by Colorado Springs police—spread quickly and varied widely. The same can be said of the vigil at All Souls, held midday Saturday.

“We’re here to honor the lives of those who were killed yesterday by a domestic terrorist,” saidthe Rev. Nori Rost, senior minister of All Souls, at the vigil, which CNN broadcast live Saturday. (Read the Washington Post ’s coverage.) “We’re here to honor the work of Planned Parenthood and stand with them in solidarity. We’re here to honor the amazing response of the Colorado Springs police and other responders. But we’re mainly here to find comfort in each other’s company. Together, we can change the world.”

One woman at the vigil, after hearing Rost's words and reflections from Vicki Cowart, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, said, “I thought we were here to grieve and mourn and not make political statements,” before walking out of the service. Rost said in a public Facebook post that her comments had drawn "hate tweets."

The Gazette, the Colorado Springs newspaper, reported that the All Souls vigil was one of two vigils in the area, with very different tones and purposes.

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