To all the victims of the Orlando shooting; to their families, friends, loved ones; to anyone who now feels unsafe, afraid, alone –I am so sorry.
I am sorry that we still exist in a world today where hate and fear rule people’s emotions, where anger overpowers acceptance and violence overtakes love. I am so sorry that you have been attacked and that June 12 will haunt you forever. I am sorry that in the wake of your pain, there have been comments, posts, and tweets applauding the horrific actions inside Pulse night club. I am sorry that the attack did not just end with forty-nine innocent people dead and another fifty-four wounded. I’m sorry that the hate did not end as Omar Mateen was gunned down.
As I was reading the comments in Jacob Geer’s article, I felt sick, and almost vomited after these two comments:
“I wake up to some dude shooting up a gay nightclub. Isn’t that weird. Homosexuality is condemned by God so that’s why he let that happen ppl”
“The shooter is my hero, the cops should be sued for killing a hero, who was doing social justice, i mean since 80% of Americans no longer have brain’s to know that homosexuality is a great sin against God and every natural human law, let those who knows please buy guns and kill off any gay,lesbian,transgender, and their likes,including bruce Jenner or whatever he calls himself now.may the soul of the shooter rest in perfect peace,amen,and fyi I am a Christian not a Muslim, and my religion strongly condemns any acts of homosexuality”
They left me speechless.
I am a Christian and I am no stranger to radical claims made by “Christians”, but most of the time, I just ignore them as not to fuel the fire. Today, I can’t do that.
I am a Christian and I have grown up knowing a God of love, knowing a God whose heart broke with the rest of the world on that Saturday night.
I don’t know the God those posts are referencing, but I promise you, anyone who has ever felt isolated by religions, churches, people, know that you are not alone. I love you. God loves you.
I don’t believe for a second that he loves you any less for loving who you want to love, because love is love. God is love. You are loved.
For every terrible and ignorant post stemmed from hate, there are so many people of different beliefs who will do anything to make you feel safe, to help remind you how far we, as a nation, have come in terms of tolerance and love. There are people who will support you and protect you from the heartless acts of hate. There are people who are mourning with you.
My heart broke on Sunday along with millions of people Christian and Muslim alike, gay and straight alike.
Today, to all of you are in pain, who are afraid, who are broken by the appalling actions of Mateen, please know I am praying for you. I am praying for healing. I am praying for tolerance. I am praying that you will feel safe to love again. And I am praying that in spite of all of these attacks against you, that you know you are incredibly, unceasingly loved.