Monday, June 13, 2016


People on social media are posting admonitions to "love everybody." 
I'm having a really hard time loving everybody right now. I don't think it's always a useful thing to do. I can't love people who teach others to hate and kill me. Sorry. just not doing it. That includes preachers and others who want to impose their fanciful religious beliefs on everybody. I'm not loving them. I'm not even liking them. I am going to war against them instead. 
I'm not loving people who say "pray for Orlando" then do nothing to change the political climate that allowed such a thing to happen. Sorry. It's a cop out. If you really care, you will DO something. My mother's old admonition "Don't faint, do something!" is in play here. So is her famous "pray in one hand and shit in the other and see which one gets full first." You will see that automatic weapons are outlawed. You will change the gun culture. You will stand up against the preachers and haters who perpetrate this stuff and are complicit in every death because of their teachings. 
I do believe prayer sometimes works, especially for healing, but not for changing minds or political beliefs. That takes action. 
One of the worst things about Orlando was that the people who were killed were full of hope and joy at the time. They felt safe where they were and were celebrating the freedom to be their whole selves in that environment, not having to hide a piece of themselves to avoid offending someone or endangering their lives. They were celebrating Pride. They were completely vulnerable, and were destroyed for something they could not help -- for who they were born -- by someone who was ignorant and had been taught that God hated them. In that moment of vulnerability, they were violently attacked and murdered. A line from a prayer comes to mind -- "shield the joyous..." There is something even more particularly evil about the timing of this attack. 
God doesn't hate them. Homophobic bigots do. People who are afraid of their own feelings, that they might also be one of "those people." You just have to ask, why is this such a big issue to these people that they spend a large part of their time preaching hate and trying to harm LGBT people. It's pathological. Normal people don't obsess on other people's lives or behavior. It's not at all unusual for one of those preachers of hate to end up getting caught with a rent boy, nor is it surprising when that happens. Maybe the shooter was struggling with this within himself. 
What kind of society creates an atmosphere where someone would be so frightened of something within himself that he would commit mass murder? One that requires a lot of work to repair. Let's get started.