This was the deadliest incidence of violence against LGBT people in the US. The horror of the incident and the issues it raises must, over time, be faced – not least by religious leaders. Michael, who comes to St Chrysostom’s offers this blog comment which we issue in two parts.
The first part:
It has now been a little over a week since the mass shooting at the Pulse night club in Orlando.
In that time we have heard it described as the deadliest mass shooting in US history, we have been exposed to some of the ugliest sentiments that human beings can display, we have seen the homophobic nature of this attack pretended away by some of the mainstream news media both in the US and the UK, and all the while we have been deafened by the silence of many Christian churches whose governing synods did not delay in issuing statements of sympathy and support in the face of the Sandy Hook school shooting and the Charleston church shooting.
At the same time, we have had our hearts warmed by witnessing the worldwide outpouring of love, displays of solidarity, and offers of practical assistance from people of all faiths and none, of various gender expressions, and of different sexual orientations. Those of us in the queer community have met friends we never knew we had, and we have found love in surprising places.
My own reaction to all of this has been a mixed one, and my thoughts on all that has happened are not yet fully developed.
However, one thing that has particularly struck me is the story I read of the members of an Orthodox Jewish congregation in Washington DC who went with their rabbi to a gay bar to show solidarity with the LGBT community. The story is quite beautiful, and may be read here.
We invite you to read the story which Michael indicates, and use it for personal reflection and prayer.
The second part of this blog can be found here