"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Orlando Murders: Thinking it through...

That train has already left the station.

Beyond ideologies, beyond scapegoating ...

I'm glad I can't 'shake' this off my back.  I'm glad I just can't move on and wait for the next tragedy, terror attack, hate crime - whatever fits yours or someone else's agenda.

I always feel as if these things 'happened to me' personally - and I have to work through it, I have to pray and sit alone and in silence, trying to sort things out.  Lately I hear in the background those nostalgic strains from "Iron Sky" but I know the lyrics mean something else ... 'beyond love, beyond hate...' we cannot go beyond love - unless it be a false love.  Instead, I ponder 'beyond ideologies, beyond scapegoating ...'

Why it's important for some to call the attack homophobia.

It seems very simple to figure that out - maybe too simple.  It removes the act, the massacre from being an act of terror committed by a Muslim, to being a homophobic hate crime instead.  As an act of domestic terrorism by a homophobic man who is conflicted about his own same sex attraction, Islam is immediately exonerated of any responsibility for the act.  Hence the insistence it couldn't be ISIS terror - but homophobia.  Despite the fact some American Islamic leaders believe gay people should be killed.

I formed that opinion after watching Tavis Smiley's interview with civil rights lawyer Arsalan Iftikhar, author of Scapegoats: How Islamophobia Helps Our Enemies.  While I don't disagree with him on everything, I think he is wrong to claim the Orlando attack was exclusively homophobic - Mateen was decidedly influenced by ISIS and claimed the action for the terrorist group, who in turn claimed him as their own.  Complicated, I know, but I think Iftikhar is doing a bit of scapegoating himself.

So you really want to make this about homophobia?

Why?  Because there is an ideology to promote.   It is ideological and it robs the victims of their humanity - more pointedly, the dead are being used to promote an ideology.

Calling for the American Bishops to identify it as a crime against the LGBTQ 'community' is motivated by politics and ideology.  I've noted in the past few days why  I think this is wrong, writing, take into consideration that one could easily claim the attack was anti-Latino bigotry - which is just as ludicrous as the claim it was a homophobic hate crime. The nightclub was a soft target for ISIS terror. The attack is being used by all sorts of people now to further their agenda with hate-filled rhetoric.

This was a hate crime on people, not just gay people.

I noticed a link to a First Things article after viewing a feed from Creative Minority Report on Fr. Martin's response to the 'failure' of the USCCB to specifically send condolences to the LGBTQ 'community':
Fr. Martin expresses his dismay over the responses of the American Catholic bishops, not because the bishops failed to express sorrow, outrage, and solidarity with those suffering, but because they did not (except for Chicago’s Blaise Cupich) direct their condolences explicitly to the LGBT community. - First Things
I admire and respect Fr. Martin very much.  I respectfully disagree with him on this however - with no loss of respect or esteem for his person and priesthood.  As the author, Elliot Milco makes clear:
Note well—Martin’s complaint is not about any lack of sympathy or solidarity, but about the language with which the bishops chose to identify the suffering. “All those affected” (Abp. Kurtz) isn't enough. “The people of Orlando” isn't enough, either. We need to stand with the identity group of which those affected were mainly members, because they were targeted neither as residents of Orlando, nor as random bystanders, but as members of that identity group.
Fr. Martin's video is a great example of his thoroughgoing humaneness and care for words. He says what he means, and makes clear as always that he deeply means what he says. He is nonetheless wrong, and I think his statement is misleading and uncharitable to the bishops in question. - ibid
The Catholic Church and the LGBT Community have divergent understandings ...

To make a long post short - I will simply reprint Milco's reasoning for why Fr. Martin is wrong on this point - he makes some important distinctions.
What does it mean to be “gay” or “LGBT”? This question could be answered in many different ways: according to sexual preference, behavior, orientation, identity, psychology, biology, lifestyle, etc. There can be no question, though, that at present the label “LGBT” and its components represent more than simply a fact about the dispositions, lifestyles, or biologies of various individuals. They represent a highly developed political and anthropological ideology, which makes hard claims about human nature and desire, morality, the structure of the family, and the proper use of bodies.
To be clear, everyone who identifies with any of the labels that go into “LGBTQ...” is worthy of our love, our sympathy, and our solidarity in their quest (with all Christians) for the truth, for justice, and for eternal happiness. But what we share with our brethren on account of our common humanity does not nullify what divides us in terms of our choices and beliefs about happiness, justice, and the truth.
And so, here's the rub: The Catholic Church and the LGBT Community have divergent understandings of human nature, personal identity, the proper use of bodies, and the requirements for happiness. As Fr. Martin rightly points out, Catholics treat the LGBT Community as “other”—not because the Church wishes to exclude members of the LGBT Community from the mercy of Christ, induction into the Church, or eventual participation in the Sacraments (on the contrary, this is one of our great hopes), but because the beliefs, practices, politics, and morals proposed by the LGBT Community as an ideological bloc are fundamentally inimical to the primary end of man. - Finish reading here.
This is close to what I wish I had been able to express.  As I pointed out in another post: Remember that one survivor from the Pulse shootings who insisted - "this is about hate - hate on human beings - not just gay people."  It's an act of terror. Make it about gay - about ideology and politics - you really become part of the problem.

"This was a hate crime on people, not just gay people. We were never a disease or abomination. We are human. We wanted to be accepted, we were in our safe comfort zone. This was somewhere we can be us. There is no judgment when you enter somewhere you are safe at, it's like your home." - Survivor Demetrice Naulings CBS

And it's a hard rain falling ...


  1. "This was a hate crime on people, not just gay people. We were never a disease or abomination. We are human."

    A crime too, against America because we are American and hated in many dark areas of the world. It was a mishmash of lots of groups that this guy sought to slaughter.

    They are not done yet ... not by a long shot. America is caught up now in the Tower of Babel with all sorts babbling going on and on and on while the enemy slowing and ever more cunningly scoping us out and preparing for their next move.

    I am trying to remain clear in thought, steadfast in prayer but there is so much babbling about I gotta turn the news off.

    Holy Virgin, Patroness of the Americas, pray for us!

  2. I am so glad that you brought the comments by Elliot Milco here: after reading, my tense shoulders relaxed: I sighed: finally, a clear expression, and one with which I can totally resonate.
    re: Tavis: the thing about MSM (and I think he very much embodies MSM) is the Steering they engage in. The...emphatic opinions and all. If you want to follow this or that personality you had better agree with it all. Social Control by Group Think.
    In my paranoia I think occasionally of the Re-education camps in Mao's China. We are heading so quickly to the apex of political/social/cultural/religious manipulation and intolerance - but then I Am a tad catastrophic in my thinking.
    um....am I ?

    1. I was very impressed with Milco's essay.

      I'm a big Tavis fan - I love his interviews with black artists and other artists.

      I'm a fan of Charlie Rose too - but as you can tell - I disagree with their POV at times - although I love listening to what they have to say. It keeps me sane on some level - so I don't get myself sucked into the ultra conservative propaganda. MSM is a mine field.

    2. I too appreciate both Tavis and Charlie Rose: I disagree with their 'slant' at times, but without pbs and the two of them on it, I would be without anything to watch on t.v.
      I am very grateful to not have cable thus no temptation to watch those big guns, fox, cnn et al.
      In my own family, politics have replaced religion, with all the same vehemence...
      I just feel such heartbreak over this, and The Many other such tragedies...

  3. I have also thought about the Tower Babel analogy as well. It involves everything today from the simplest subject to religious topics to politics. The mean spirited retort is now common place. I do not know if we can return to a more civil society or not. This attack in my mind was terror pure and simple. The sexual identity and the victims conflicted mind play a part but it was hatred of America that is the primary catalyst. I have been walking my neighborhood with designating petitions for local candidates for this upcoming election. The number of hostile, suspicious people increases every year. Many people do not want you walking onto their property. I always begin with, "I am your neighbor." I do find reasonable people who like a pleasant neighborly conversation, but that is the exception. I have lived in the same community for 30 years. Things have changed. I find myself avoiding movie theaters and malls. I watch my surroundings like a hawk especially if I have my granddaughters along. This is not the way I choose to live. Our presidential election, especially Trump is doing great damage to the national fabric. That mentally ill people continue to have access to weapons of mass destruction is only because big powerful special interests are stopping any action to restrict. I hear so many pundits say everyone should have a concealed weapon to shoot the villain. It is so ludicrous when he has an AK15. We are out of control overrun by hysteria not common sense or Christian love.

    1. "This attack in my mind was terror pure and simple." - I totally agree.

  4. A little laugh on a grim week..this is hilarious.....


    1. I still can't laugh - but I'm sure others will appreciate it. It certainly fits.

    2. I know..I'm Irish and German...we have a dark sense of humour..laughing and fighting is always better then crying..or so we tell ourselves.

  5. Correction: Third sentence should read villains conflicted mind not victims.

  6. I saw these comments and am left wondering ...

    "I will shed no tears for the lgbt's.....why should I....the biggest mass murder in the United States is abortion...why are there no tears shed for those victims??? the lgbt's are their own worst enemy...they brought this on themselves...now all they are doing is begging for attention and getting their moment of glory while innocent lives are still being lost in abortions...lgbt's only care about themselves and forcing their lifestyle on everybody...how do we teach our children that marriage is between one man and one woman when you have freaks like the lgbt's running around????"

    The reply to the above comment ...

    "One of the command from God is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. As Catholics, we can never accept their demand of acceptance for their view on marriage or lifestyle but we do know that 49 lives are lost and 53 people are injured. Can we treat these lives are statistics and shrug our shoulders or are we willing to share the pain of the family members or friends of the victims? Just because they were in the locations with questionable morals during the time of the tragedy, can we say without doubt that those people deserved their ill gotten fates? I wouldn't rush to make conclusions until evidences have been found. What if some of the victims don't know about the purpose of that place or they were brought there against their will? Like the article said, disagreement may arise but that does not excuse violence or hatred."

    I am left wondering what to think or say when I read that folks in LGBT community claim the Church spews "hate" because of her teachings regarding homosexuality.

    1. I read this article and saw the comments there. I agree with the Filipino Bishops and what they have to say.


    2. Thanks Yaya - I think I saw that too. I spent a lot of time in Adoration today - I'll try to write more if I can - tomorrow maybe.

  7. Even that reply is off..so the only people who didn't deserve their fate are people who stumbled into the bar to use the restroom and didn't know it was gay or were kidnapped and taken there? This is getting so freakin' nuts and these people don't realize that THIS is what makes a normally nice, polite and quiet homo like myself go full out "radical activist gay!" I see more people crying sweet tears for Jesus over cupcake makers then I see about fellow Americans gun downed in cold blood! Gloves are off religious fanatic whack jobs!


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