Friday, June 24, 2016

Bad and Good

With every horrible event in history, there is both bad and good. It may be hard to think of anything good on that fateful night in Orlando, when a shooter took the lives of 49 people in a popular gay club, but take a moment and think about how it has brought people together and how so many people are determined now to win a fight that we have been fighting for a very ling time.

Gun violence is never a good thing and the taking of lives earlier this month was a sad day for their families and friends, and I think should have been sad for everyone. Unfortunately there were some how actually rejoiced! I have mentioned the clergy who preach hate, but I am amazed that there have been so many. In a sermon on the day of the massacre, the preacher at Verity Baptist Church in Sacramento said to his congregation: "Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um – no – I think that's great. I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight." Even more outrageous statements followed. From this bad though is coming some good. This past Sunday at least 1,000 people came to the church's location to protest the hateful preacher, chanting "shame on you" and "love conquers hate" during their rally. In addition, the church's landlord is trying to evict them.

Even if the church is gone and even if the pastor is no longer preaching, there is still the matter of hate. How do you get rid of that? How do you turn hate into love?

I'm hearing all kinds of positive stories too about first responders who saved lives that night in Orlando. There's the bittersweet story of the mother who shielded her son in the club, giving her own life for his. There are stories of tears shed around the world because the violent event touched people in so many ways. I heard yesterday of a young gay man, who decided to come out after the incident in Orlando. He said he needed to become visible.

The number of people who have stepped up efforts regarding gun safety is huge. Bills have already made it to Congressional votes. The bad news is that every one of them has been voted down. There are many people who will not be giving up though, and that is a very good thing.

As I predicted, the Orlando story is already disappearing slowly from the news, and from people's minds, but as I said, I am not going to stop. There is too much at stake. The anti-lgbt hate needs to become a thing of the past, just like gun violence. We need to work for a loving and caring future.

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