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Religious Leaders Address Dallas Ambush During Sunday Services

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In this country, we've been listening to sermons - sermons in Dallas, Texas, after a gunman killed five police officers last week. The shooting came after two widely publicized killings of black civilians by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. That week of news left Pastor Richie Butler wanting to reach out.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

RICHIE BUTLER: If you bleed, then you are my people. I don't care if you live in north Dallas or you live in south Dallas. You are my people.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

He was at St. Paul United Methodist Church yesterday, recorded by member station KERA in Dallas. He says north and south Dallas because South Dallas is the location of an historically black neighborhood - several neighborhoods - while north Dallas tends to be more white. Reverend Joe Clifford of the Presbyterian Church of Dallas had this to say.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE CLIFFORD: What keeps us from loving one another? Well, it is very hard to love one another when we seldom see each other, when our lives are so separated, so segregated. How can we love those we rarely see?

MONTAGNE: There was also another emotion running through some churches yesterday - anger.

BUTLER: What happened here in our own city - Dallas, Texas - should evoke a righteous anger in us. The justice system should evoke a righteous anger. Gun violence should evoke a righteous anger in all of God's children.

INSKEEP: That again is Pastor Richie Butler, one of many religious leaders called on Sunday to make sense of the previous week. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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