Sunday, June 12, 2016
Yazidis and Gays: The Perverse Violence of Fundamental Islam
Strange morning to find that two such disparate threads -- Yazidism and Homosexual identity -- being knitted so carefully together by the headlines and the hate they report.
This morning, I was searching for a way to make a Yazidi Peacock Angel effect for my profile pic. What I hoped to do was to have that Peacock Angel washed over my profile pic in memory of the young Yazidi women and girls burned to death for refusing to consent to being used for sex by ISIS and its supporters.
What started out as a reminder that violence is being inflicted in other places than Paris, Belgium, Fort Hood, and San Bernardino took a decided sideways turn when I began my search.
When I went exploring I started at Google's News page, and was stunned to read of the mass slaughter at an Orlando nightclub, Pulse, that describes itself as welcoming to LGBQT patrons. Some 20 dead on the scene, perhaps more dying at local hospitals. The perpetrator an Afghani American whose social media suggests that he was acting out of an Islamic fundamentalist motive to punish gays for their insult to God.
That took me over to Twitter. #pulse. Suddenly what I'm seeing is a seething hatred from some members of the LGBQT community, and friends, toward the XIAN community: keep your prayers bigots, being the essence of the message.
No acknowledgement from such that there hasn't been a single instance of a faithful Xian entering a nightclub that welcomes LGBQT patrons and murdering patrons "in the Name of Jesus!"
The rage expressed is no doubt real.
Just as the rage being expressed by another group, who will seek to use this instance to attack the lawful right to keep and bear arms against tyrants and in self-defense, is no doubt real.
But in both instances, the rage is misdirected more or less.
ISLAMIC fundamentalists murder gays, imprison gays. We've seen the photos of gays being thrown from rooftops, and being stoned if they survive the fall. We've read the accounts of whippings inflicted under law in Islamic states. Not in the USA. Not in Canada. Not in England, France, Germany, Italy. Not in countries that, to a greater, but much too often to a lesser extent, continue to walk out a tradition of TOLERATION for even that with which they disagree rather than resort to murderous sprees.
So raging against the church generally is misplaced.
But, and I know this to be so, the church has made of itself, in many instances, a despised voice of pointed hate, rather than a compassionate friend of sinners. In other words, the church has, in the observation of LGBQT folks, made itself out more like the Pharisee at the front of the synagogue and made itself unreachable by the sinner kneeling at the back with face downcast in the dirt. And by this I do not mean merely that the church has spoken truthfully, but that many voices perceived as the voice of the church have spoken hatefully and with searing condemnation.
Consequently, in moments of deep hurt and terrible grief, the weakness that is the human heart and mind will just as likely rage against reason as with it, maybe more likely against it.
On one undisputed hand, ISLAM is the enemy of those who identify at LGBQT, or at least fundamentalist ISLAM as practiced in many ISLAMIC nations is. On the other undisputed hand, Xianity's founder and framer never made Himself that enemy, and we, His followers, are out of His steps when we do not do otherwise than He.
So, too, is raging against the "gun culture," the Second Amendment, and the natural right of self-defense misdirected.
Scour the murderer's social media. Look at his belongings. Find the NRA membership information. Locate the Molan Labe or Don't Tread on Me bumper sticker or flag. In all likelihood, you will search and scour in VAIN.
While this was the act of an individual, it appears motivated by a murderous rage against those he viewed as deserving of death because of their perverse disregard for Allah's designs. He wasn't, from all appearances, a gun nut. He was a nut with a gun. A nut with a gun, a nut with a knife, a nut with a chemistry kit, a nut who can push you on the subway tracks. None of these EXIST because the Constitution acknowledges the right of the individual to keep and bear militial arms.
And while Xians, it is true, will tell you that sinners deserve death, what signals the difference between the Xian that makes that assertion, and the murderer at #Pulse? This does: the Xian goes on to explain that ALL are sinners, ALL deserve death, and yet ALL can be delivered from that sentence of death by the grace of salvation.
Moreover, unlike the legally imposed violence and mayhem inflicted on various kinds of “sinners” under the law of Islamic nations, Xians don’t go about shooting drunks, prostitutes, tax cheats, thieves. They aren’t in the business of chopping hands off shoplifters. Perhaps the closest we come to that is capital punishment and chemical castration. But Xians understand and stereotypically live by the sense that whatever we each justly deserve for our own corruptions will come to us from God, and it is not the business of the Xian to inflict such punishments.