- Not all Muslims!
Yes, we know this. I have several students right now who are observant enough to be fasting for Ramadan, and none of them would ever dream of attacking their American neighbors. Indeed, one of my Iranian seniors wrote a college admissions essay expressing her horror over ISIS and religious extremism in general. The thing is, when you continually deny that a substantial proportion of the world's Muslim population holds views that are fundamentally incompatible with liberal Western democracy, you're not helping the moderates who want to reform their religion from the inside.
Look at it this way: I'm Catholic, but I happen to think Martin Luther was one of the best things that ever happened to the Church. Why? Because Luther's 95 Theses forced Catholic leaders to grapple with corruption in their ranks and inspired our theologians to clarify and deepen our doctrine. Similarly, when the papacy lost its chunk of Italy (save Vatican City), it freed our Holy Fathers to confront the modern world and incorporate its best aspects into our catechism. This is what inside and outside challenges can do for Islam too -- provided we don't shield our Muslim brothers and sisters from critique on the misguided - and frankly bigoted - belief that they are in special need of defending.
In short: Stop being condescending. You're making things worse.
- We need more gun control!
As a disabled soon-to-be gun owner, I invite you to fuck the hell off. Criminals don't care about your laws. That's why they are criminals. Adding more prohibitions and regulations won't stop them; indeed, it didn't stop Mateen, who was fully licensed. The only thing that will stop an active shooter is a public policy respecting our God-given and Constitutional right to defend ourselves. As a press release from the Pink Pistols put it:
“This is exactly the kind of heinous act that justifies our existence. At such a time of tragedy, let us not reach for the low-hanging fruit of blaming the killer’s guns. Let us stay focused on the fact that someone hated gay people so much they were ready to kill or injure so many. A human being did this. The human being’s tools are unimportant when compared to the bleakness of that person’s soul. I say again, GUNS did not do this. A human being did this, a dead human being. Our job now is not to demonize the man’s tools, but to condemn his acts and work to prevent such acts in the future.”
Patton’s concerns are that knee-jerk gun-control efforts may make preventing future events harder rather than easier, as only the law-abiding potential victims will be affected by such laws. “It is difficult, if not impossible, to foresee such an event,” continues Patton, “But if they cannot be prevented, then they must be stopped as fast as someone tries to start them.”
- This is the fault of Christian conservatives!
Nope. There's an objective qualitative difference between raising doubts about the gay lifestyle and killing fifty people in a nightclub. Indeed, even picketing a funeral sporting signs that proclaim that "God Hates Fags" - while a shitty and theologically incorrect thing to do - doesn't rise to that level.
We Christians, by and large, simply want our rights to free speech and free association respected. We don't want to be forced to celebrate something that violates our religious beliefs. But that doesn't mean we want our gay neighbors to be punished and/or executed; in fact, Catholic teaching condemns violence and discrimination against those with same-sex attraction. In paragraph 2358, the catechism states outright that homosexuals "must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity." It's no wonder, then, that Pope Francis released a statement immediately denouncing Mateen's actions!
Bottom line? Blaming anyone or anything other than Omar Mateen and his vicious, satanic ideology for what happened in Orlando is disgusting, dishonest, and borderline racist. Quit covering for him. Recognize that Mateen had agency and stop treating him like an infant.