Thursday, June 16, 2016

Requiesce in pace, mi anime

Let's not pretend.

Some blame the AR-15, a rifle that was NOT EVEN present at the scene.

Some blame all ISLAM, when all ISLAM was not at the scene.

Some blame a public display of affection, two men observed kissing in a time and place where the killer saw them do so.

Some blame the killer's latent homosexuality, his conversion to radical Islamic jihad.

Some blame churches for creating a culture where violence against LGBQT folk is acceptable.

What matters?

Forty-nine dead humans.

Perhaps some were gay, after all ‪#‎Pulse‬ was a place were the owners intentionally created an environment welcoming to LGBQT folk.

We know many were Latino or Hispanic.

Yet every one of them was ... human.

Some have posted on here that the greatest crime of these murders is that in killing these people at that time, Mateen was sending their souls straight to Hell.

What the hell?

You sit in the judgment seat of Christ? You sifted the hearts and reins of men?

What matters is that these deaths robbed us all.

Yes, I know it robbed us of some part of our sense of safety and security. Followed by word of an as yet to be released list of 8,000 Americans targeted by ISIS, it was bound to have that effect when the shooter took the time out of his murderous spree to call 9-1-1 and state a pledge of loyalty to ISIS.

But that isn't the robbery -- of our safety -- to which I refer.

Yes, I know it robbed us of the peace we enjoy -- to the extent we do -- both in the murder and in the vile disputations that follow. Not just a disgusting tirade by the President, but disgusting tirades from at least pulpits in which "Christian" pastors celebrated the deaths of those killed.

But that isn't the robbery -- of our peace -- to which I refer.

No. These deaths robbed us of those lives lost.

I didn't know anyone of those who died. Yet, I know everyone of them. They are my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters, my fathers and mothers. They are my neighbors. They are my co-workers.

Oh. Yes. I saw photographs of the inside of #Pulse. I know it was a bar. I know there is every likelihood that many of those killed were LGBQT folk. I didn't love them more for their sexual identity. Nor did I love them the less for it.

I loved them as I love every man and every woman, because early in my fractured, broken and disreputable walk with Jesus, I learned a truth that I find easy to hold onto because of my own overpowering brokenness: each of us -- the poor, the rich, the criminal, the upstanding citizen, the black, the white, the gay, the straight, the Catholic, the Protestant, the Jew, the Sikh, the Hindu, the Muslim -- is the object of God's love and affection.

Now it is enough to suffer the sorrow of these losses, to mourn with those who mourn. To bind up the brokenhearted. To walk alongside the fearful.

Another day is sufficient to continue conversations and collisions over guns, over radical Islamic terrorism, and over the questions our society confronts as LGBQT folks stand up for themselves in the matters of how they choose to live.

When those days of argument and collision come, I hope that all involved can bear in mind that the "others" with whom they engage are, like the lives we lost this weekend, made worthy of decent and respectful treatment because they are too the objects of Creator God's love and affection.