On June 12, a religious, mentally ill man with a history of violence and an assault rifle ended dozens of lives and attempted to end dozens more.
We can take out any descriptor that I used in that last sentence and analyze it, attempt to fix it, and see less death in our society. I chose the one that no one else does: religion.
I know very little about assault rifles. I know quite a bit about violence and more than I ever wanted to about mental illness. But the thing that I’m most equipped to handle (and incidentally, the thing I’ve been attempting to handle with kid gloves for the last few years) is religion.
Religious fanaticism isn’t a foreign concept. It’s not an Islamic concept. It’s what happens when you give gullible people with stupid ideas power.
It’s important to recognize that what happened in Orlando is a result of a culture that refuses to adequately condemn what happened in Orlando. So, I went to Right Wing Watch to see what led up to a terrorist attack that left millions of people shocked and angry.
June 12 was a Sunday.
On June 11, John Haller of Ohio’s Baptist Fellowship Bible Chapel went on a radio show and said, “What was going on then was wickedness and violence filled the earth in the days of Noah, and homosexuality was running rampant in Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot. This is exactly what we’re seeing”
Okay. You could argue that he’s just preaching. He’s just relaying what he likes to pretend is historical information. But what lesson is he trying to teach? What happened to Sodom and Gomorrah (according to some interpretations)? Oh yeah, some evil son of a bitch killed everyone in both cities. What Haller’s doing here is called victim blaming.
On June 3, Sam Rohrer of the American and Pennsylvania Pastors Networks, went on a radio program called Crosstalk and said, “No court has the authority to overturn what god says and what god defines to be a matter of marriage in this case, so that’s the clearest example where man’s law counters what god has said is what something ought to be”
Rohrer’s god never testified and no one’s opinion can take my rights away. If you think otherwise, you have no respect for what our country was founded on. If his god exists, it still doesn’t have any authority over me and whoever I decide to fuck. You can’t just throw out laws that you don’t agree with. You can try to change them (and Rohrer would fail) but you can’t just claim that they don’t exist. That’s ridiculous.
The day before, June 2, “Coach” Dave Daubenmire, a very vocal conservative commentator who apparently has a decent following (larger than mine and that’s concerning), said, amid a rant about Jews, white genocide, and Muslims, also mentioned a Christian singer who recently came out. I think he was talking about Trey Pearson, but as an avid non-follower of any Christian rock that is newer than my godless lifestyle (2010) my google search turned up several names so that might not be the case. **
Daubenmire’s comments, “I just saw on the internet, some big Christian singer- I don’t know who he, don’t know his name cause I don’t follow that stuff” (Same, Coach) “Came out as a homo and the church is embracing him. Embracing the homo.” He then went back into his white genocide rant so maybe this wasn’t an anti-gay comment but given his record that seems unlikely.
In an email trying to garner support for the National Organization for Marriage’s March for Marriage, the organization stated, “Let’s be clear: the ideology that the LGBT extremists are advancing and President Obama is imposing is insane and dangerous. It must be stopped.”
Let’s be clear. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called inciting violence. And, it must be stopped, peacefully, with protests and lawsuits until these motherfuckers are broke.
Also on June 2, a Faith and Freedom broadcast featured an ex-gay activist Janet Boynes, who told parents that they shouldn’t allow gay children’s spouses or partners into their homes because gay relationships are “unacceptable”.
Unacceptable? And parents that cut off relationships with their children are acceptable? If “unacceptable” is your word for love, is it any surprise that your words are seen as hateful?
“I remember in Sunday school, reading one of my favorite stories. It was about a giant, a bad giant, who came into a valley on day and he called out to the Israelites ‘Send down your champion and let me vanquish him’. We were in that valley, but Tony Perkins was there with us.” That’s Mississippi Governor (read that again, he’s a governor) Phil Bryant praising Tony Perkins by bringing up yet another gruesome bible story about killing as a solution to disagreement. Tony Perkins, by the way, is president of Family Research Council, a hate group which was presenting the governor with an award for signing an anti-LGBT bill earlier this year as he made these comments.
The man’s a governor. He’s a governor. How??
On May 25, Peter LaBarbera (of JoeMyGod’s Twitter feed) said of LGBT rights “when it gets to that point, you’re really incentivizing confusion and you’re bringing about the downfall of your country”.
I don’t understand this train of thought, as common as it is. Gay marriage = destruction of the country. You are missing several important steps if you want that to be true. Is it like a threat? Like are you guys threatening to throw a tantrum so insane that you’d rather destroy the US yourself than allow it to move forward? I guess that’s what happened when you claimed that Target’s policy would make their stores unsafe and then proceeded to harass people in their stores. Is that how your predictions are supposed to come true?
May 19, AFA’s Sandy Rios claimed that recently confirmed Army Secretary Eric Fanning couldn’t lead men into battle, because, “You that are in the gay community, if you were to describe your friends and colleagues who are in this community, I don’t think you would describe them as warriors.”
Okay, let’s get one thing straight here. Gay men and women are some of the toughest people in this country. And their sexuality has nothing to do with their qualifications for any job that isn’t related to prostitution and porn (which I’m sure Rios doesn’t care about as much as she cares about the military) This stereotype of gay men being weak is kind of funny, because if you follow the logic of stereotypes based on sexual orientation, we need an army of lesbians. (If you google that I am not responsible)
The group opposes education on anything to do with sexuality. This year it was timed to honor a mob attack on LGBT people that injured 17 people in 2013.
May 11, Sally Kern, an Oklahoma politician, put together what has to be one of my top 10 favorite political rants of this year (we’re six months in). She previously (in 2008 before being elected again by a large margin in 2010 and running unopposed in 2012 and in 2014) said that gay people were worse than terrorists, and doubled down on those comments last month. “Now we all know that terrorism destroys lives, property, and brings devastation. Just look at where we are today in our society.” She then went on to describe how LGBT people can no longer be discriminated against and then added, “Same-sex marriage has been forced on every single state by the courts.”
This is the context where the massacre in Orlando took place. Every person mentioned in this post is a Christian and most of them think Islam is as evil as homosexuality.
But they agree on so much. They advocate for violence. They advocate for religion. They compare gay people to terrorists and say we’re going to destroy society.
If I had to pick adjectives, I’d probably use religious, mental, and violent. And I think the idea that any of these people would be stopped from buying an assault rifle is just wishful thinking.
** Speaking of Christian singers coming out, The Order of Elijah’s vocalist recently opened up about losing his faith. They’ve lost fans (as expected) so any of my readers who like metal, they’re worth a listen (in my non-musical-expert opinion)