What Does Flying the Rainbow Flag Say About Us?

Remember after September 11th when we all flew American flags in solidarity? Those flags stayed up for months.

And after the terrorist attack in Paris, we all rushed to display French flags on our Facebook profiles. Again, to show solidarity. We did the same thing after the terrorist attack in Belgium. We all stood united against terror and against evil. It was beautiful.

After Orlando, some of us put up rainbow flags, some of us expressed sympathy in other ways, and some of us did nothing. We certainly didn’t put up American flags. We didn’t identify this as an attack on America™. We identified it as a hate crime against a small group, not a hate crime against our nation.

Why?

It’s not like this attack exclusively affected people in the LGBT community, and even if it did, so what? Forty-nine Americans died. Dozens more were injured. This impacted Americans of all identities. Straight people. Gay people. Trans people. Black people. White people. Hispanics. Asians. Muslims. It affected everyone.

So why do we refuse to unite under one banner and one identity and reject evil?

Then, even more regrettably, we used the attack as a way to castigate our political opponents. We managed to find more blame in our neighbor than in the evil perpetrator who murdered those 49 people in cold blood.

We equivocated moral opposition to gay marriage with a cold-hearted massacre. We criticized public officials striving to help a community recover for not having tweeted about Gay Pride Month. Continue Reading

Orlando Should Not Be an Occasion to Score Political Points

It began so quickly. Last night I posted a quick note of horror on Facebook and Twitter about the mass murders in a gay bar in Orlando and offered prayers. It felt inadequate. Naturally.

By the morning we had resumed not just on my Facebook page the usual disputes: Am I responsible for the murders because I don’t believe in gay marriage? Or in gun control? Jihad-denying!

Hate provokes hate and self-defense. It was a press release from an old friend of mine in the gay-marriage wars that called me back to sanity and decency.

John Stemberger is heroically responsible for the defense-of-marriage campaign that produced a 62 percent approval of the Florida marriage amendment less than eight years ago. It seems a lot longer now. Here is what he said in a press release about the killing:

The people shot by the Islamic jihadist were sons and daughters, mothers and fathers. They were citizens and workers. They were precious souls. Most importantly they were people who were made in the image and likeness of God himself. They were image bearers of the Creator and worthy of dignity, value, and respect.

This is an unspeakable tragedy and we should take extended time to mourn, to pray for the families of those murdered and injured, and to consider the depth of evil in the hearts of men that this senseless act represents. Finally, we should also pray for and support law enforcement as they investigate and bring to justice all persons involved.

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