As if we needed further proof that bad theology can be not just corrosive but murderous, we now learn that after the Orlando massacre earlier this month, pastors of several allegedly Christian churches praised the killing of LGBT people in that Florida nightclub.
This is the kind of toxic anti-gay garbage we've come to expect from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka and its late leader Fred Phelps. But Westboro has no monopoly on hate rooted in a degenerative reading of what the Bible says or doesn't say about homosexuality.
The New York Times story to which I've linked you quotes a Sacramento preacher this way: "The tragedy is that more of them didn't die. The tragedy is -- I'm kind of upset that he didn't finish the job! Because these people are predators! They are abusers!"
The story also mentions a visiting sociology professor at Arkansas State University saying she has tracked similar sentiments from a handful of other preachers.
The U.S. has come a long way toward respect and equal rights for LGBT people. But clearly there remain pockets of disgusting resistance, people who traffic in hate, in loathsome rhetoric, all the old free-range bigotries that once stained much of our public discourse.
Our response to such outrageous talk must never be silence.
Rather, we must make sure that the purveyors of such filth understand that they are unacceptable outliers who don't represent the rest of us, don't speak for us, don't mirror our visions. Our responses must honor the victims of this vile prejudice.
(By the way, by radical contrast to the preachers referred to in this post, my own denomination, the national governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA) just adopted this statement of regret for how it previously treated LGBT people and said it "Encourages congregations to reach out actively to those who have experienced marginalization due to decisions of the church, across the spectrum of theological understanding.")
(The image you see here today came from this blog.)
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TRUMP'S REAL GOAL?
A Washington Post investigation has found that Donald Trump, an alleged billionaire, seems to have given less than $10,000 to charity over the last seven years. What's he running for? Commander in Cheap?