Reflections on Orlando

As I write this, news has broken about a what some are calling the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and the worst terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001. The shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, that resulting in the death of some 50 people and in the injury of over 50 others, is both heart rending and angering for many reasons.

As the many “talking heads” on the news, blogs, and other sources start the resounding cacophony of opinions and critique of this attack on America, I have two predictions I want to make.

First, I predict that this attack on our country will stir up the voices of those who wish to disarm Americans with a renewed drumbeat of calls for more “gun control.”

Second, I predict that those on the extreme fringes of so-called “Christianity” will say that this attack against a gay nightclub was some how justified or an example of “God’s vengeance” against homosexuals.

Both of these perspectives are mistaken because they fail to take into account the facts of reality.

I wonder what would have happened in the “Pulse” club if one of the patrons had been armed. Would that have turned the tide of this terrorist attack? The founders of this country recognized that the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness was a “inalienable right” given to humanity by God. The protection of one’s life is perhaps the most basic human right. Protection against an armed terrorist can only be accomplished if one is equally armed. The old adage, “never bring a knife to a gun fight” is fitting here. I have to wonder how the situation may have played out differently had there been anyone armed in this situation.   Those who wish for more “gun control” in America fail to realize a fundamental truth: criminals, including terrorist, do not obey laws. We already have laws against murder (with rather stiff penalties I might add). But that did not deter this terrorist from carrying out his attack. What makes anyone think that more laws against the private ownership and carrying of firearms is going to prevent an evil act like this? The further erosion of our right to keep and bear arms is not an answer to this problem.

Regarding those so-called Christians who may claim this act of terrorism was some how justified given the target selection was an establishment that catered to homosexuals is also equally misguided thinking.   Please don’t misunderstand me. As a Christian I accept God’s teaching that homosexual conduct is immoral. But there is a distinction between an individual person and his or her actions. In addition to homosexual acts, lying, fornication, idolatry, murder, and a host of other sins are all violations of God’s moral expectations on humanity. But God is also clear in his Word that one act of sin (murder) is no justification for the prevention of another. And for anyone who claims to be Christian who would think that God would use an Islamic terrorist as a form of “judgment” is clearly warped in his understanding of Christianity.

I came across an interesting interview with Dr. Sebastian Gorka, an Adjunct Professor with USSOCOM’s Joint Special Operations University.   He said about this terrorist attack, “It’s not a hate crime. It is part of an ideological military assault on the United States of America.”

The ideology of which he is speaking is, of course, radical Islam. And radical Islam is antithetical to everything to which Jesus of Nazareth taught. If Jesus was, as he claimed to be, God incarnate, then he knew a thing or two about how the world really is. Personally, I’m going to stick with what Jesus has to say about this one.