I woke up this morning to a friend texting me about a shooting in Orlando, Florida. "50 people killed" F-I-F-T-Y!! Plus at least fifty more severely injured. These are people. Over a hundred human beings with parents, partners, kids and friends. Yes it happened at a gay club. Yes it's Pride month. So what. These are people. People that had thoughts, feelings, struggles, victories, goals and dreams. And now, gone. Gone because of intolerance. To make it super clear that means: Unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behavior that differ from one's own.
This is stupid. Hi, you're different, I'm going to kill you. WHAT!!?? Isn't variety the spice of life? Didn't God make us all different... hence individual DNA. Why is this so troubling to people?
Ok so let's talk LGBT. You may think you have a valid point because the Bible speaks directly to homosexuality being a sin. Hey... (tapping you on the shoulder)... guess what? That's not the ONLY sin. Premarital sex is also a sin but many MANY people still do it. A large number of Christians do it yet still scowl in contempt at gays.
I am a Christian. I follow Jesus and my life manual is the Bible. Do I follow all of it without fail? No. I'll even go so far as to admit that there are things I know are wrong but STILL do it. I have to contend with God on those matters but that's between me and God. I do know and understand what the Bible says about homosexuality. As a Christian I have to agree that it is wrong - it's a sin. But, that isn't a matter against me and my brother or sister. That is between them and God.
I'm saddened by some Christians and their level of disgust toward the LGBT community. What happened to 1 Peter 4:8? "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." Uh, that says ALL... meaning EVERYTHING.
Last year I went to the San Francisco Pride Parade with some dear friends and posted pics on my social media feeds. I had a feeling it would stir up comments from some of my more conservative Christian friends and sure enough it did. Was my being supportive of my very dear friends a sin? I don't see it that way, but even if it is I believe the promise of God when he says love covers a multitude of sin applies.
When I went to the Pride parade I didn't know what to expect but what I found there was love. Not gay love, not straight love but just love. You know, the kind from God.
But when I got back from Pride I felt I was looked at with disdain by some of my Christian friends. This is the sort of thing that needs to change.
What happened in Orlando isn't just about one shooter. It's about a build up of bigotry.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Today I saw a long line of rainbow memes saying 'Pray for Orlando'. Pray for Orlando, huh? Ok what specifically are you praying for? Prayer is awesome and unifying but it's not just a cliche saying. Yes, I agree.... let's petition God to comfort all those affected by this distressing incident but please don't Pray for Orlando if you are not also going to look within. Search your heart for any trace of hate or intolerance and pray for yourself. And while you're on your knees...
Pray for your family and friends. You know, the ones who think f**got jokes are funny. (They are not. At all.)
Pray for our media outlets and tv personalities that they use their power for good, not evil. That they realize using biased footage, twisted stories and half-truths are seeds of darkness to come.
Pray for our Nation. We need to stop being so appalled by different opinions and views. Listen, respectfully disagree, and move on. It's not difficult.
Pray for our world. Some have made a religion out of eliminating those who have different beliefs.
When each one of us (myself included) can do these things, prayers for Orlando make sense. Without introspection prayers are just hollow words falling flat on the ground.
God hear our prayer.