Realizations after the Orlando Shooting
First and foremost, what happened in Orlando was horrible. My heart and prayers go out to those affected directly and Orlando as a whole. I also pray for this country for healing. This attack has not united us like 9-11 did, and I think that was the intention. It has further divided us and made me realize that we are very close to a point of no return if we have not already reached it.
Division is part of human nature. We are tribal by nature. There will always be an “Us” and “Them” in any given situation. However, it is how we deal with that division that defines a good and functional vs. bad and dysfunctional society. The left speak tolerance but what they really want is acceptance, while not tolerating opposing views. The right speaks of repentance and does not show love; hate the sinner as much as the sinner when they should hate just the sin and love the sinner. We are both guilty perpetuating and exploiting division. It is a harsh reality that I do not see an end to.
The left wants to call Orlando Pulse shooting a hate crime so they can push their agenda – gun laws/bans, advancement of the LGBT agenda, and anything they can get to stick against Trump to draw more votes away from him. Meanwhile, the right wants to call it a terrorist attack to push for more conceal and carry freedoms, tighter immigration that could include bans from Islamic terrorist countries and anything that can make Clinton look weak on national security. The differences can not be more stark. This guy could not have picked a more perfect target for this purposes. In this way, the terrorists have already won! Instead of uniting against those that attacked us, we have started to pick on other groups to blame- Christians, Gun Owners, GOP lawmakers in NC (over HB2).
The sad part is that from a Christian point of view, this division can not be more clear. And certain aspects of it are an indictment of Christian-dom as a whole. A conversation I had on FB made me realize something that shocked me. And I don’t shock easily. There are elements within the LGBT community that see no difference between myself as a Christian and that guy that killed 49 people in an Orlando gay night club. NO DIFFERENCE! And of course, my knee-jerk reaction is to call that ignorance. But then I had to think. Why does that ignorance exist? It’s not up to them to find out they have a misconception of Christianity. It’s up to US as Christians to show that love and show that difference. And I am preaching to myself more than anyone. I have failed at this too.
1 Corinthians 13:13 – And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (KJV says Charity but that has been translated to Love)
It is not loving to support a Christian pastor that supports the killing of gays (as did two GOP presidential candidates). Gays are simply sinners, just like anyone else. Yep, they are not repentant but aren’t we all of some sin or another? Love the sinner but hate the sin – one of the hardest things humanity has been asked to do. And why do you think we were asked to do that? Not because it was easy, that is for sure.
I have sinned in this way, as many of us have. It’s not an easy thing to deal with. As a father, I have to choose how much sin my kids are exposed to over time. But at the same time, I have to show more love. As a person that does not show that easily, I struggle with it daily. I can only say forgive me, I am only human. Forgive us. We are only human. Flawed and fallen short.
Pray for this country. Pray that it is not too late.