Orlando: I blame you, Lyle

An Open Letter to Lyle Shelton, Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby

rainbow flag halfmastAs I write, 50 LGBTIQ people are dead and at least another 53 wounded; shot down by an Islamic terrorist in Florida.

Florida is a long way from Canberra, Lyle. And you are a Christian, not a Muslim. You were nowhere near the Pulse nightclub when Omar Mateen took out an assault rifle and a pistol and began firing indiscriminately into a club packed with the kind of people your Australian Christian Lobby spends so much money to vilify.

And yet, Lyle, I blame you for the horror which occurred in that nightclub. Because it is you, and people like you, who actively fuel the homophobic culture which helps unhinged people like Mateen justify their actions as ‘right’ and ‘holy’.

Omar Mateen was not born in a Muslim country. He was born in New York. He is as much a product of a Western religious culture as Muslim one.

Just like you, Lyle, Mateen appears to have been influenced by a father with extremist religious views. It is true, Mateen’s homophobia was fomented in a mosque rather than the Toowoomba City Church as yours was. But, the message preached from his imam is not a great deal different to the message preached from the pulpits of churches like your father’s. It differs little from the propaganda the Australian Christian Lobby spends millions of dollars to disseminate in Australia.

  • Homosexuality is not natural.
  • Sex between people of the same gender is ‘dirty’ and sinful.
  • Advertisements which seek to educate and protect homosexual people from sexually transmitted diseases should not be allowed in public.
  • Homosexuals are the same as pedophiles.
  • Children should not be exposed to homosexuality.
  • Homosexual love is unnatural and sinful.
  • People who are gay should somehow ‘become’ heterosexual or resign themselves to lifelong celibacy.
  • Gay families are not ‘real’ families.
  • Homosexual couples cannot parent as well as mixed-gender, married couples.
  • The children of homosexual couples are disadvantaged.
  • Homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt.
  • Children should only be raised within a marriage – but homosexuals must never be allowed to marry.
  • Australian ‘values’ and public morality will suffer if homosexuals are allowed to marry. People will want to marry their pets and farm animals and men will begin to take multiple wives (just as they did in the Bible).
  • Anti-bullying programs which seek to educate and protect LGBTIQ children should be ruthlessly attacked with propaganda in case nice, heterosexual children are lured into the dark world of homosexuality.
  • Homosexuality is a choice – a sinful one.
  • Nice, white, heterosexual, Christian people will suffer if homosexuals are given full equality.

All of these messages. All of this false, hateful, filthy propaganda adds to a culture which dehumanises LGBTIQ people and makes them vulnerable to attacks from people like Omar Mateen. And this, Lyle, is the Australian Christian Lobby’s stock-in-trade.

These messages are not messages of love, and tolerance and beauty. They are messages of ignorance, hate and irrational fear.

Ignorance, hate and irrational fear. This is what drives terrorists to blow up planes, tube stations and entertainment venues. This is the impetus behind a young American man of Afghan parents walking into a nightclub and opening fire under the delusion it was the ‘right thing to do’.

But this was not just any nightclub. This was a club full of people Mateen had been taught were evil, dirty, dangerous, less than human and an affront to God.

Who taught him these things? Possibly his father, certainly his Abrahamic religion, and undoubtedly the culture created by the Christian fundamentalist, right-wing Americans who inspire your organisation’s own homophobic propaganda here in Australia.

Let me be clear, Lyle. Regardless of whether they came from Muslims or Christians – and it is clear he was influenced by both – messages no different from those disseminated by the Australian Christian Lobby convinced Omar Mateen LGBTIQ people deserve to die. The same kind of religious zealotry you and the Australian Christian Lobby embrace, convinced Omar Mateen God would reward him for his service in ending their lives.

I blame you, Lyle.

You did not buy the guns. You did not pull the trigger. But you, and religious fundamentalists just like you (both Muslim and Christian), as sure as hell provided the psychological ammunition.

Words are weapons, Lyle. You and your ilk armed that young man to the teeth with everything he needed to become a terrorist – ignorance, hate and irrational fear.

If the Coalition wins the election on 2 July, Australia will face a plebiscite to decide the issue of same-sex marriage. The Australian Christian Lobby has called for anti-discrimination laws to be suspended to allow you to go for the jugular in your attacks on LGBTIQ people and rainbow families.

Psychologists have warned the harm done to the LGBTIQ community from your campaigning will be immense. People will die as a result of your campaign, Lyle; as surely as if you walked into a gay bar and opened fire on them.

You may not kill them directly, by pointing a gun and pulling a trigger, but the result will be the same. Your attacks will be the final straw for some LGBTIQ people who have spent a lifetime dealing with the kind of hateful ignorance you peddle for fun and profit. And your views will convince some young people they’d be better off dead than having to deal with a lifetime being vilified by people like you.

If you had one shred of decency, you would look at the events of the last 24 hours and put out a statement:

“The Australian Christian Lobby wants no part of the homophobia, hate and religious zealotry that led to the attack in Orlando, Florida. As Christians, we do not want to fuel that kind of fear and intolerance here in Australia. While we remain opposed to homosexuality and same-sex marriage, we accept our views are not shared by the majority of Australians and we are content to let the Australian parliament decide this issue. We will no longer add to the rhetoric that drives people like Omar Mateen to commit atrocities, or drives LGBTIQ people to addiction, self-harm, mental illness and suicide.”

Of course you will say nothing of the sort. Because, Lyle, at your core, you are Omar Mateen with a veneer of respectability.

You have no interest in the truth. You have no empathy for those who do not conform to your narrow, extremist, religious views. You believe in a righteous God, not a loving God. And you are happy to sacrifice the lives and happiness of the people you target in the interests of your own religious delusions.

And that is why, when I watch the footage of the carnage in Orlando, Florida, I blame you, Lyle.

I blame you.

Chrys Stevenson

62 thoughts on “Orlando: I blame you, Lyle

    1. DrPhil

      Chrys made her points well, with evidence in support. Your opinion appears worthless as it’s not backed by anything but prejudice.

      Reply
  1. Geoffrey Williams

    I agree with you Chrys. Progressive Christians who are compassionate and loving agree with the draft message that you suggested Lyle should have released publicly. Only fundamentalist Christians who believe that God personally dictated the infallible Bible to its human authors continue to villify the non-heterosexual community. My church had a gay priest and several gay parishioners who were all warmly welcomed into communion, and treated as equals.

    Reply
    1. Sidney Rayner

      What is a ” progressive Christian” ? Is it one who Cherry picks the scriptures to suit Political Correctness? I assume by ” Fundamentalist Christians, you refer to those who hold to scripture , OLD and New Testaments, and to the teachings of the Saviour who upheld scripture. We are taught by Christ to love everyone, even our enemies. Does that equate to love all they do? My own son was gay ( he’s dead now). I still loved him. But I won’t compromise my religion to conform to “progressives”. If a thing is an abomination in God’s eyes, it should be same in the eyes of those who profess Him and His Son.

      Reply
      1. plsuseyourbrain

        You believe your son was an abomination? Holy crap. That is some cold, heartless christian love you got going on there.

      2. Sidney Rayner

        For those who will try to twist my words; yes, I loved my son. Did I consider HIM an abomination? NO! Do I consider what he was doing abominable? Yes. Why? Because as a Christian I have no alternative but to follow scripture and the Saviour ( who upheld scripture) . I sympathise with people who are afflicted in any way. But that does not equate with liking it, condoning it, supporting it. I know that my attitude will upset “progressive” Christians, but then I’m not ” Riding on the back of the beast” I don’t dilute my religion to suit the philosophies and political correctness of our “progressive” culture. Once again, for those who won’t get it. We are commanded to Love one another. We are not commanded to love all they do.

      3. plsuseyourbrain

        You do not dilute your religion?? So, you put your own son to death as commanded? (Leviticus 20:13) Have you ever put an adulterer to death? (Leviticus 20:10) Make sure you don’t forget that jesus said adultery includes ANY lustful thoughts about a woman (Matthew 5:28). You REALLY do not dilute your religion??

        Have you ever eaten any variation on pig meat? (Deuteronomy 14:8) Have you ever eaten any kind of non-fish seafood? (Leviticus 11:10). Yes, I know that jesus overturned the food prohibitions (Mark 7:15-20) but he also said he would not change one jot nor tittle of the law (Matthew 5:18). It seems that you are following your dear lord in hypocrisy.

      4. Michael Barnett

        ” a Christian I have no alternative but to follow scripture”. This is nonsense. You can choose to reject the tenets of your faith. But clearly you don’t want to. Don’t tell me you “have no alternative”. What you mean is “I don’t want to accept any alternatives”.

  2. robanddi

    Sorry but this is an awful article. It seems that you can apply the same logic to blame Richard Dawkins for Muslims murdering Christians in Syria (which is happening a lot). Unfortunately the post does precisely what it sets out to condemn – namely demonise someone, promote hate, intolerance, using words as weapons and fosters precisely the environment for extremism to flourish. Sorry, that really is a nasty blog post.

    Reply
    1. plsuseyourbrain

      I disagree robanddi. Chrys has not demonised anyone. She has not promoted hate nor intolerance. And, unlike the ACL, she has not lied and twisted facts to generate poisoned propaganda. She has stated clearly and firmly and correctly everything that is wrong with this revolting organisation. Chrys has also, again correctly I believe, highlighted the inevitable consequences if this group’s discriminatory hate speech gains any traction. You may see this article as nasty, I see it as necessary.

      Reply
      1. robanddi

        Great. I disagree and that’s ok isn’t it? i.e. to disagree??

        But how is this letter not an attempt to demonise the ACL and Lyle Shelton by blaming him for a crime he didn’t commit, in a country he doesn’t live in by a person who has likely never heard of the ACL and driven by an ideology fundamentally opposed to Christianity?

        When has the ACL ever advocated taking up arms against those they disagree with? To suggest that there is a similarity between the ACL and Islam is utterly misleading and deceptive and plain nasty.

        How has Chrys not lied and twisted facts? Can you provide actual quotes from the ACL to support each of the claims above? e.g. Homosexuals are the same as pedophiles. Where have the ACL said that exact phrase?

        I am deeply concerned by where this will lead our society – as any dissenting voice will be silenced. An the deep irony with a statement like this, where people like Chrys can spout vitriolic and hate filled criticising those who preach ‘hate’.

        For example, how is this paragraph not hate filled?

        You have no interest in the truth. You have no empathy for those who do not conform to your narrow, extremist, religious views. You believe in a righteous God, not a loving God. And you are happy to sacrifice the lives and happiness of the people you target in the interests of your own religious delusions.

        If not ‘hate’, how would you describe it?

        Thanks for disagreeing and I hope to engage in civil discourse over these very important issues,

        Kind regards,

        Robert (robanddi is my wordpress name).

      2. plsuseyourbrain

        Thanks Robert

        I will allow that I may have been incorrect in saying that Chrys has not demonised anyone, but only if we use a benign definition of ‘demonise’ (e.g. to mark out or describe as evil or culpable). However, when using such a term I tend to imply that the marking out is achieved through deception and dishonesty. YMMV.

        You write : “Can you provide actual quotes from the ACL to support each of the claims above?” — now that would be simply tedious (and I hope you do not use that as a “aha! thought not!” type of response). Let’s just take your example … Members of the ACL have a history of equating homosexuality with child abuse generally (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/22wbbhf) and paedophilia specifically (e.g. http://tinyurl.com/hm9eb2o). I hope you will agree that it is unnecessary to cite the exact phrase “Homosexuals are the same as pedophiles” in order to establish that fact.

        You write : “When has the ACL ever advocated taking up arms against those they disagree with? To suggest that there is a similarity between the ACL and Islam is utterly misleading and deceptive and plain nasty.” — I cannot see anywhere in the article where Chrys stated or even implied these things. In fact, on the issue of weapons, she explicitly stated the opposite. (and I am not sure how drawing a similarity between ACL and islam, even if it were done, could be seen as ‘plain nasty’ … unless you have an ignorant view of islam perhaps)

        You write “For example, how is this paragraph not hate filled?” — At no stage did I use the term ‘hate filled’. I have no idea of Chrys’ emotional state when writing this piece. I stated that she ‘has not promoted hate’. This was in direct response to your claim that she was promoting hate. A claim which I believe is, as yet, unsubstantiated.

    2. Patrick Kelly

      Spot on Craig , nailed it. I agree that there is a degree of bigotry in these fundamentalist Christian teachings but you are only disservicing the issue by passing the full blame onto an unrelated party. Can we please wake up and accept that the islamic culture which derives from the middle east ( within which 11 countries punish homosexuality by death) is frankly incompatible with our progressive western culture. These are the people we should be blaming, and by neglecting this you perpetuate and are complicit in the grievances of those living in fear under these oppresive regimes. In conclusion, how dare you…

      Reply
      1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

        I was going to send this Islamophobic nonsense straight to the trash. But, this morning, I saw a comment on Facebook that answers it perfectly. So, I’m letting it through. But, Patrick, read my moderation policy. You’re sailing close to the wind.

        Reprinted with kind permission of the author, Josh Olson:

        In some ways, I had a truly privileged childhood. I grew up in Philadelphia, where, if you went to private school, you almost certainly went to a Quaker school, and those cats had their shit together. I didn’t grow up rich – far from it – but when my folks got divorced, my old man made sure I’d get the best education available, and I got to go to Quaker school. Took me decades to realize how privileged I was.

        We had a class when I was in Tenth Grade called “Religious Thought.” It was basically comparative religion, but we dove deep into social issues as well. Boring as hell at the time. Indispensable in retrospect.

        One day in the late Seventies, our teacher (Teacher Stephanie. Awesome lady) announced that next week’s class was going to consist of some gay dude coming in and talking to us about gay stuff.

        About a year before that, I’d seen two men kissing each other outside The Post on 18th & Chancellor, and asked my Dad what that was all about. My old man – a former Green Beret paratrooper who took me to every Clint Eastwood movie ever made, and helped me form my idea of what it is to be a fucking MAN – shrugged his shoulders and told me, “They love each other.”

        As in: “Who gives a shit? Walk on.”

        So:

        Teacher Stephanie brought this gay dude in to talk to us about what it was like to be gay in America in the late seventies, and whatever he said was, I’m sure, pretty cool, but honestly, I only remember one thing about that class, and it was this:

        One of the biggest jocks in the class begged her to give him permission not to attend the class, because he was worried that that goddam queer might look at him. Implying, of course, that if that goddam queer looked at him, it would make HIM goddam queer.

        And 15 year old me, having never thought about the subject for more than maybe three minutes, suddenly knew something about that jock – and guys in general – that I’d never had cause to think about before.

        I mean, seriously – do you have to be Sigmund fucking Freud to understand that homophobia is entirely based on self-loathing?

        Watching the news, it’s clear that some people are genuinely surprised to discover that Omar Mateen was a regular at Pulse; that he sat in the corner for YEARS, getting drunk; or that he hung out on gay aps trolling for men. They’re shocked by this. Even Rachel Maddow – who is awesome, but (I would argue) probably knows less about male sexuality than I do – was surprised.

        For fuck’s sake, people. OF COURSE HE DID.

        That is literally the only reason anyone picks up an AR-15 (Even though they’re on the FBI’s terrorist watch list) and shoots 103 happy and mostly gay people whose only sin is that they’re dancing together.

        This isn’t about fucking ISIS. This isn’t about fucking Sharia law. This is about some sad, repressed motherfucker who just wanted to kiss a dude, but was so terrified of that urge that he could only let it out through violence.

        ISIS has not stepped up their war on America.

        Muslims are not your enemy.

        The news is selling you terrorism, because it’s good for revenue.

        The NRA is selling you terrorism, because it’s good for revenue.

        Politicians are selling you terrorism because it’s good for lobbyists, and, thus, good for revenue.

        You know what’s BAD for revenue? Looking into the camera and telling people that the root cause of homophobia is self-loathing. That doesn’t bring in the bucks, because you’re telling most of your viewers that which they already know, and the rest of your viewers that which they cannot stand to hear under any circumstances. Easier and more profitable to just scare them with the Boogie Man.

        Stop buying their lies.

        This isn’t about ISIS.

        This is about a sad, repressed dude who just wanted to kiss another dude, and his stupid goddam religion told him that that wasn’t natural. (And if YOUR goddam religion tells you it’s not natural to want to kiss a dude, then your religion is every bit as fucked as his.)

        Chill out.

        Kiss a dude.

        Or don’t.

        Nobody gives a shit. Walk on.

  3. Sarah

    Brilliantly written. Orlando is an unspeakable tragedy and I dearly hope that it calls all to reflect on the hate directed towards the LGBTQIA community by fundamentalist Islam and Christianity alike. Let’s not forget that the religious right in America – people and organisations to whom Lyle Shelton has open links (including Alliance Defending Freedom) – have been promoting anti-lgbt legislation in certain American state legislatures and abroad in countries like Russia and Uganda.

    Reply
  4. warriorwomyn2

    This has created quite a bit of discussion on the FB ACL page. Their admin must be at a LNP fundraiser.

    Reply
    1. Oh my gush I could not agree more

      Homosexuality is not natural.
      *Correct.
      Sex between people of the same gender is ‘dirty’ and sinful.
      *Right again.
      Advertisements which seek to educate and protect homosexual people from sexually transmitted diseases should not be allowed in public.
      *Couldn’t agree more.
      Homosexuals are the same as pedophiles.
      *You’re on a roll.
      Children should not be exposed to homosexuality.
      *That’s right.
      Homosexual love is unnatural and sinful.
      *Exactly.
      People who are gay should somehow ‘become’ heterosexual or resign themselves to lifelong celibacy.
      *Correct. There is no other way.
      Gay families are not ‘real’ families.
      *No, they’re not.
      Homosexual couples cannot parent as well as mixed-gender, married couples.
      *Absolutely spot on!
      The children of homosexual couples are disadvantaged.
      *They most certainly are.
      Homosexual couples should not be allowed to adopt.
      *Well, refusing them adoption is a good place to start.
      Children should only be raised within a marriage – but homosexuals must never be allowed to marry.
      *Yes, this is true.
      Australian ‘values’ and public morality will suffer if homosexuals are allowed to marry. People will want to marry their pets and farm animals and men will begin to take multiple wives (just as they did in the Bible).
      *It’s hard to make a reasonable reply to loaded rhetoric, but yes, public morality will suffer if sodo’s are allowed to have the word “marriage” defined in a way that caters to their preferences.
      Anti-bullying programs which seek to educate and protect LGBTIQ children should be ruthlessly attacked with propaganda in case nice, heterosexual children are lured into the dark world of homosexuality.
      *This must be a satire piece surely. Of course Safe Schools should be ruthlessly attacked – it’s disgusting.
      Homosexuality is a choice – a sinful one.
      *Yep, and because sodomy is a freely chosen act, it will be punished with everlasting damnation, make no mistake about it.
      Nice, white, heterosexual, Christian people will suffer if homosexuals are given full equality. —*Another loaded bit of rhetoric, and some racism thrown in for good measure. What’s one to expect from an emotional rant? It’s pathetic.

      I don’t usually hop on to the comments section, but this article is one of the most stupid and disturbing pieces of deformed thought I have ever seen on the internet. Most people end up damned for all eternity. Not many are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to attain eternal life. There’s no reason why homosexuals should be excluded from this fact.

      Reply
      1. Pat P

        My word! What a long winded version of “Am not – you are!’ Merely delivering a flat statement of a contrarian position with no attempt to support your argument does nothing to persuade in favour of your argument. If you wish to convince others to your way of thinking (to put it in language you might relate to – to convert others) you might like to think more deeply and come up with some cogent points that go beyond ‘I’m right – you’re wrong’. Keep in mind that people who don’t believe that the bible is the unmitigated word of god are hardly going to be swayed by traditional biblical proofs. Good luck with your homework and peace to you and yours.

      2. Treacy

        Well, if it’s people like you who will be granted eternal life, I have ZERO desire to be there with you. Enjoy your nasty, pompous, holier than thou ‘paradise’. Sounds like Hitler’s idea of the Aryan race to me.

      3. Leon Knight

        Gush, I hope you have put a huge effort into your own personal sacrifices in this life, because ther is no second one for you (or anyone else for that matter)

      4. DrPhil

        I can recommend the “oh my gush” writer to a good therapist. His/her delusion is writ large in the text. Ways of thinking and acting written by bronze age goatherders lack both insight and the knowledge available to anyone living in the 21st century.

      5. TheBabelFish

        Boy, do I have some bad news for you mate! Better sit down. There’s no god, no devil, no heaven, no hell, nobody’s going to burn for the sin of being who they are, and (and this is the bit you’re especially going to hate) you’re gay. Or at least bi. All homophobes are. That’s why they think things like proper sex ed and the Safe Schools program can turn straight kids gay. If you were straight the way I’m straight, you wouldn’t think that. I’ve known I was straight since I was 5 years old, when I had my first crush. I’ve never doubted it for a moment since. I know, with 100% certainty, that there isn’t a herd of wild horses… well the point is, those who think it’s possible to be ‘turned,’ ‘converted’ or even ‘cured’ MUST think that because they fear it might happen to them. Has to be. There’s just no other logical explanation. Unresolved same sex attraction issues. They’re not as straight as they’d like us to think they are.

  5. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    From John Birmingham:

    “… We can only ponder the consequences of hatred. It always ends in blood, in horror. Always.

    It might take a while to get there but arrive there it will in the end.

    Some of you might think on that the next time you compare something like a Safe Schools Program to paedophile grooming. Or draw a line from marriage equality to bestiality. Some of you might consider the effect you have on weaker, smaller, more unstable minds when you point your crooked staff at a reviled minority and pronounce your very own fatwa upon them.

    There will be blood and a few inconvenient drops of it might just splatter on you as they fly.”

    http://m.smh.com.au/comment/blunt-instrument/orlando-shooting-thoughts-and-prayers-from-hypocrites-do-nothing-to-help-20160613-gpi6rp.html

    Reply
  6. ian clarkson

    I don’t now how I received your piece,but it is the most hate-filled I have read on this whole subject.And irrational. Please unsubscribe me.

    Reply
  7. Phil A

    Sigh. So you combat hate by spewing hate on others – people who had absolutely nothing to do with this wicked tragedy? It is simply a lie to say that there is Christian influence in the Islamic desire to murder gays. Not a single Jihadi would agree with you on that. This illogical rant really doesn’t help anyone. By the logic you use, you are partly responsible for the beheading of Christians in the Middle East – because you are stirring up hatred against Christians and contributing to the atmosphere that has allowed the mass slaughter…
    This is a time for grieving and mourning, not political point-scoring and stirring up hatred against others.

    Reply
  8. Kelly R

    It’s very clear the ACL supporters have brigaded to try & swamp the comments here. Go ahead…. It won’t change the fact that fundamental christians are just as bad as fundamental islam. From bombing women’s health clinics, to abusing kids to bashing gays, christians are as much a danger to me as any fundamental islamist is. How about we just ban all religion and you fundy happy clappers can slink back to your hypocritical holes and leave the rest of us in peace.

    Reply
    1. Oh my gush I could not agree more

      The only way for people like you to promote your views is to call for the banning of *everyone* who disagrees with you?

      Understood loud and clear, Kelly R

      Religion is pretty much a thing of the past in Western Civilisation anyway. How’s your Godless Utopia working out for you? A glance at the newspaper headlines any day of the week is a good indicator of your “progressive” religion-free little world.

      .

      Reply
  9. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    From Hank Plante, Emmy and Peabody award winning journalist:

    “Every anti-gay politician, every bigoted preacher, every self-hating bully has blood on his hands. Make no mistake about it, the shooting in Orlando which targeted the LGBT community was the end result of decades of anti-gay hate speech and gay bashings.

    … All of them have blood on their hands.

    And yet few of those who spread such hate speech and who write public policy that denigrates LGBT people will ever admit that they lit the fuse that led to so much tragedy.”

    http://www.wltx.com/news/nation-now/anti-gay-community-has-blood-on-its-hands-column/242669326

    Reply
    1. Nick

      “…All of them have blood on their hands”. Since you’re using the same logic in your article, would you care to enlighten us what is your logic about connecting a murder with a completely different person and religion, from a different country that hasn’t even called out for violence, and he is no where near murdering LGBT people? Yes, you say that at the beginning but that doesn’t back up your “argument”.

      Also, can you please tell us why you wouldn’t actually condemn the pervasive idea and belief that is widespread among Muslims (not just radical Islamists) and which is embodied in Sharia law basically giving you a free pass to throw gays from top of buildings? Or in this case shoot about 100 of them. How does Christianity have anything to do with that? The shooter was raised in an Afghan, Muslim family by Afghan immigrants. Are you suggesting that Western society was to blame for his education and beliefs rather than a backward culture and religion that is completely intolerant and violent towards homosexuals? The same Western culture that gave LGBT people the most rights and freedoms they ever had in entire human history? You’re either delusional or just driven by some other agenda.

      I’m assuming it’s the latter – you’re basically trying to push your political agenda about the ever shrinking “gay issue rights” in Western societies while you’re treading on eggshells and try not to offend any Muslims, even though if it’s them who do the most horrible atrocities against gays and women. How about the fact that the politically correct president of the US – Obama and perhaps the future president – Hillary are continuing to refuse condemning radical Islam, refusing to say that this was an attack on the LGBT community but rather an attack on all Americans.

      The biggest irony is that the person who everyone is trying to label as islamophobic, misogynist, homophobic and xenophobic (yes I’m talking about Donald Trump), was the first one to go out and condemn this attacks, call them as they are and deliver an incredible 30min speech. What a terrible Christian, white, conservative, pro-life male he is…

      Reply
    1. Nick

      Nope. Completely wrong. I’m actually not religious and would care less about certain lobby groups. I just hate double standards, twisting of facts and PC gone insane. Enough said…as you said

      Reply
      1. Kelly R

        “Hate double standards”
        Sorry, I guess you mean to say “I hate people who don’t conform to my standards”
        No…. I think you are quite the christian and supporter of the ACL happy clappers, otherwise you would have no reason to be here.

  10. valeriekerr11

    Please correct Oscar to Omar “you are Oscar Mateen with a veneer of respectability.” so I can post a copy!

    Reply
  11. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    “This was a targeted act of hatred against a specific group of people.

    More specifically, it was targeted against the same group of people that Turnbull’s party and government have been perfectly happy to explicitly declare are less-than-equal: less worthy of marriage rights, less worthy of being protected from bullying in schools, less worthy of protection from discrimination.

    Failing to initially acknowledge that the crime was specifically, deliberately committed in order to kill gay men and women was hardly surprising because Turnbull knows that high-profile members of his own party are perfectly fine – indeed, enthusiastic – about sending the message that gay people are not quite as important as everyone else.

    And we need to stop pussyfooting around this issue once and for all.

    … The shooting in Orlando is not simply a terrible act of terrorism by someone with a hatred of the abstract notion of a free society.

    It’s the logical endpoint of what happens when loud and influential voices make clear, over and over again, that certain people aren’t really people.” – Andrew P Street, Sydney Morning Herald -http://m.smh.com.au/comment/view-from-the-street/view-from-the-street-when-is-a-hate-crime-not-a-hate-crime-20160613-gphsvz

    Reply
    1. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

      Actually, it’s a perfectly reasoned argument underpinned by a Cultural Studies and sociology theoretical framework. Furthermore, it is a view shared by academics, psychologists and journalists across the globe.

      It seems only bigots and homophobes fail to understand how their particular kind of pollution has catastrophic effects not contained by national borders.

      But thank you for visiting.

      As my Uncle Claude used to say, “No one knows how ignorant you are until you open your mouth.”

      You leave us all better informed.

      Reply
      1. Oh my gush I could not agree more

        “It is a view shared by academics, psychologists and journalists across the globe”.

        A lot of emotional fawning over these people will not produce anything good.

        Your Uncle Claude was right.

  12. Aiden

    Well done Chrys. Some of the comments here reminds us of how far we have yet to go as a society.

    Reply
    1. Oh my gush I could not agree more

      Aiden, yes, we need much more stringent moves by the State to silence all those who are against our precious world views, don’t we?

      Reply
      1. Aiden

        Only those who promote hate and try to ostracise others.

        Please Gush, try to think of society as a collective group of individual lives that adds to the whole, not moulded copies of a individual.

  13. Craig Maynard

    I really resonated with your open letter and you know I’m not surprised at some of the responses you got who demonstrated shallow type of thinking. They don’t speak for me at all.

    You worded thing that as I read while I’m scared, tired and as a gay person my world was shaken. Everything I hear and see is being filtered and what I see and hear is so horrible that the idea of euthanasia sounded so much promising. But your words stirred up anger inside of me, it reminded me of the fact I have a right and religion does not speak for me.

    I have a lived experience and those who heckle you have no idea what we in Australia tolerates and your words somehow awakens me in that I’m not the victim.

    So now I challenge people and because of everything going on – I just don’t have time to listen to fundamentalist telling me what I can and can’t do. I dare them to come visit me and see how long they stand. I wi take on the energy of those who were murdered in their name and I’ll have my say. If they don’t flinch then I’ll certainly know they’re not even human.

    Thank you for your profound open letter. It has given me the comfort and resolves to build up my strength and use my lived experience which speaks harder than the idiots who have no idea what they say. They’re very enlightening and I’ll pray for them – instant drop dead wouldn’t go wrong but they have a journey so I’ll respect that. The last time I prayed the bigot leader died with a heart attack with 24 hours. I wasn’t even thinking about his death but I did say he needs to stop. Maybe that was the way he could be stopped.

    Kind regards

    Craig

    Reply
  14. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    American Christian, in Australia on book tour, also blames evangelical Christian culture of hate for Orlando massacre:

    “”Hateful thoughts lead to hateful actions.

    “The church in America is partly to blame as they have not been preaching and teaching unconditional love and acceptance.

    “This fuels hatred.”

    http://m.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/christian-says-evangelical-church-partly-to-blame-/3044856/

    Reply
  15. Oh my gush I could not agree more

    So it turns out that the mass murderer was himself [gay]. Talk about a spanner in the story. How are we gonna spin this now??

    ** Note from Chrys: “Oh my gush”, I have edited out the offensive word in this comment, and I have left it only because Michael has replied. This is a first and only warning. I will not tolerate language of this kind on my blog. Repeat it and you will be permanently blocked.

    Reply
    1. Michael Barnett

      What a load of crap. There is no evidence of him being sexually or romantically attracted to men. He might have attended a gay bar or used a gay pick-up app to chat with other men, but SO WHAT? It just means he attended a gay bar and used a gay pick-up app to chat with other men. More likely he was doing his research, so he could plan his attack.

      Reply
  16. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Whether or not the killer was gay is immaterial to the argument. If anything, it is even more evidence that the culture of hatred engendered by fundamentalists from both Islamic and Christian faiths has a profound effect on people. If this man were gay; if he was driven into such a state of self-loathing by the messages he was receiving all around him, that he set out to kill and be kill – that only condemns the hateful propaganda of evangelists. It certainly does not exonerate them.

    Reply
  17. Michael Barnett

    Do you mean gay or in denial? Usually people who identify as gay are not conflicted about their sexuality. However people who are closeted or in denial often experience some sort of conflict. Whatever he was, gay people are capable of what happened but experience would suggest it’s improbable. I have no qualms about his sexuality but i take exception to his sexuality being used against him.

    Reply
  18. Gladly, the Cross-Eyed Bear: Assorted Rants on Religion, Science, Politics and Philosophy from a bear of very little brain Post author

    Some church leaders are beginning to join the dots.

    “Bishop Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg responded on his blog, acknowledging forthrightly that Pulse was a nightclub for “Gay, Lesbian, Transgender” patrons. He continued:

    “[S]adly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.”

    https://newwaysministryblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/14/after-orlando-archbishop-to-lgbt-communities-i-stand-with-you/

    Reply
  19. gerowynhanson

    Excellent, Chrys! So glad you posted this. Bigots & hypocrites whose religion spouts hatred not empathy. What would Jesus say? If such a person had ever existed. If he did, however, I would expect he would welcome everyone.

    Reply

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