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Orlando: Where to Begin

Roskam (1)Orlando. Where to begin.

There is so much wrong with the news of the massacre at The Pulse.  1) The direct attack on the LGBT community takes violence against that community to new depths of horror. (The fact that the attack came during Pride Week was especially poignant.) 2) It occurred on Latino night, targeting a subset of the LGBT community, often discriminated against in their own culture. 3) The shooter, homegrown but inspired by Isis, is Muslim, generating more anti Muslim backlash.

It’s a poisonous stew of hatreds -and as un-American as it could be.  But hatred and discrimination are now part of what passes for political discourse.

We only have to read the psalms to be reminded that words have the power to create or destroy, to remember God spoke the world into being by his own creative Word, which became flesh in Jesus.  How many more Pilates will want to head for the wash basin eager to disavow any responsibility after speaking hatred in the public square?

And how many people who call themselves Christian have used a similar rhetoric of judgment and condemnation—for the LGBT community, for Muslims, for the outsider.

Where is the God who loves his children unconditionally?

Alas, he is still hanging on a tree, bearing our sorrows, and waiting for us to be his hands and heart in the world.

“Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your name.” (BCP p. 99)

In Christ,