g(O)dd Topics: The Orlando Tragedy
The topic of this first episode deeply saddens us, but because of some of the response we have seen, we feel like it is an important topic to discuss.
In the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016 a lone gunman walked into a gay nightclub in Orlando and began shooting. By the time that law enforcement shot and killed the gunman, 49 people were killed and at least 53 others were wounded. The gunman was later identified as an American-born man that had pledged his allegiance to ISIS, making this the largest casualty terror attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.
My first thought when I woke to the news on Sunday morning was, "Dear God, help them." My second was, "People are going to make this about how much God hates gay people." I hate that I knew that was true. There has been an overwhelming outpouring of love, grief and support, from both Christians and non-Christians. Chick-fil-a provided free food to blood donors, while JetBlue offered free travel to and from Orlando for family members of the victims. But, unfortunately there has been an equally overwhelming response by people using this tragedy to either advance their agenda, whether it is gun control or the right to bear arms, or to reiterate the Bible's stance on homosexuality.
Regarding the latter, Thomas made the point that if that is your first response to this tragedy, then your opinion doesn't matter. In fact, no one cares about what you have to say or what you think, beyond offering compassion and grieving with those that are hurting. He went on to point out that this is not the time for your view on sin. Instead, this is the time to share the part of the Gospel that is compassion.
I wrapped the episode up with this thought: regardless of the historical issues that exist between the Christian Community and the LGBTQ community, someone has to close the gap. Someone has to go first. Because of who we are in Christ and who we chose to follow and call Lord, we go first. We get to go first. We always go first. When it comes to love and compassion, we have to go first. Go first, friends.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the Orlando community.
Here is a CNN article that contains links to contribute to funds and organizations that are helping victims in Orlando: