I have tried to stay out of the Facebook nastiness that has been going on since this horrific event in Orlando–but I really cannot take it much more. When did we as a Country decide to take tragedy and make it about ourselves or about our agenda or about our politics? When between 9/11 and today did we decide as a Nation not to unite around those affected by evil and heartache? When did we depart from being the United States to a State of Everyone for Him/Herself? I am appalled at the Republicans, the Democrats, the Independents, and everyone else who has decided to make this about something other than what it is.
I guess it was Rahm Emanuel that said we should never let a crisis go to waste–how wrong he was. That kind of talk has done nothing but divide us and pit us against each other and ourselves. When tragedy, evil, catastrophe and calamity strikes—we must exhibit grace, understanding, assistance, prayer, love and hope–that is what makes us Americans, not tribes of people trying our best to show everyone else that our tribe is best.
What happened in Orlando was awful, horrific, and tragic. It was caused by evil, nothing less, nothing else. It was not caused by gun laws or liberals or conservatives. It was caused by the radicalization of religious ideals that have so warped an individual’s sense of right and wrong that he believed what he was doing was right. The only addendum to that explanation is that it takes something more to take religious beliefs into mass murder–that something more is “evil.” This would not have been stopped with gun bans or gun restrictions. Criminal laws do not stop crime–they punish crime. He was set on killing these people–gun restrictions would not have stopped that. But even if they would have–this is not the time/place to pontificate on biased views of the second amendment.
And now we have an example of what social media has done to our way of thinking—Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s campaign posts a Bible verse every Sunday at 7:00 a.m. This Sunday it was from Galations and spoke of reaping what we sow. For anyone who does not know the context of that verse or why Paul was writing it to the Galation Church it could be seen as insensitive–that is if it was meant to be a commentary on what happened. But why wait to find out—instead a flood of internet comments have been made accusing the Lt. Governor of gay bashing. Interestingly, no one jumped to the conclusion that maybe he was talking about the shooter that was killed during the fray. Instead, it was assumed by many that he, as a Republican and a Christian, must have been spreading hate speech about the victims. Turns out it was neither.
Shame on everyone for jumping to any conclusion–or using the verse to mean something it didn’t mean. One post even said that his excuse that he was out of the Country and that this verse was selected Thursday and was automatically posted by the campaign was “BS.” I find it amazing that it is more believable to that person that he would intentionally state such a horrific and hateful thing aimed at accusing the victims of bringing this evil upon themselves. Really?? He is that stupid?
The New Testament is not a book of accusations, judgment or hate. It is a book that says–we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God. We are ALL sinners. We ALL need a Savior. It is a book that preaches love, grace, forgiveness, putting others ahead of yourself and hope. It is a book that shows that a thief on the day of his death and as his punishment is being given can turn to God and receive eternal life. It is NOT a book of hate or a book that preaches that you “get what you deserve.”
So let’s take a breath–Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has posted on his webpage an explanation of how/why that verse appeared on that day and what it means–I encourage you to read it. If you are so filled with hate toward Republicans and Christians that you just assume he is a liar–then I suppose you should just continue to believe that he meant to be insensitive and harsh. If you choose instead to forget your politics and biases and accept what he has to say, then maybe you can see that he was not making this tragedy into something other than what it was–we are by jumping to judgment.
I’m a Christian, Right-Wing Conservative that often votes Republican but I see myself as more of a Libertarian. With regard to this event, I see myself as a human being. I mourn for the loss of the families and loved-ones affected by this tragedy. I am sad that another human being could be so filled with evil and hate that he believed that killing innocent people was justified. I stand united with the LGBT community in denouncing this horrific and evil event. I stand with the LGBT community in prayer and mourning. I pray for comfort and understanding for everyone involved and I pray that events like this unite us instead of divide us. No one, regardless of beliefs, lifestyle, race, gender, occupation, age, or social position deserves to be murdered–period.
And please—can we all stop immediately believing everything we read on Facebook–instead let’s take a moment, look for the truth and employ some grace.