GenesisDevice

50 dead in gay nightclub shooting, Orlando, FL

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I had a bad day today - after an absolutely lovely weekend with friends. The best kind of weekend, just fun, all the way through. Then news of this.  

[Long rant deleted]

Then I saw this vigil on Old Compton Street in London and I felt a tiny bit better. 

https://t.co/hGkDKb1fwq

It's how we behave in the aftermath of these horrors that really defines humanity at its best, right?

I remember feeling the same way; Sunday morning... bam!   My wife and I were both just stunned.  And the news only seemed to get worse every hour.   Then I saw the images of survivors all coming together to help the injured and wounded.  People who were bleeding/wounded themselves helping those who were worse off.   Those people transformed from partiers/revelers into heroes in an instant.   

Those images, as well as the vigil in your link, did indeed help.   It assured me that on those occasions when humanity faces a monster among us, our better natures are not always casualties.   I also saw the lighting dedications in the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building on the news (we'd already left NYC at that point).   And even though all of these things were lovely gestures, I wish ALL of it were unnecessary.

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Sim   

Twitter is alive with hate. People couldn't start cheering fast enough. 

http://thoughtcatalog.com/jacob-geers/2016/06/here-are-all-the-people-applauding-the-orlando-gay-club-shooter/

To sum it up: Fifty less paedophiles in the world, so glad they shot perverts and not innocent people, someone is finally doing God's work, and let's not forget Donald Trump's "thanks for telling me I was right". 

Religious leaders and elected officials are tripping over themselves to say we had it coming. Sehlat is right. No one will care about a club full of dead faggots. They'll say the usual empty words and offer the usual hollow prayers but nothing will be DONE.

And then there's this: http://sdgln.com/news/2016/06/12/car-filled-weapons-chemicals-found-way-la-pride

A man with a car full of weapons and ingredients for pipe bombs was arrested on his way to LA Pride. We almost had a repeat performance the very same day.

And the man arrested in LA was named James Howell.    The horrific monstrousness we saw in Orlando isn't limited to radical Islam.   These people, by their actions, are the 'monsters' among us.   Both sides see themselves as 'avengers' of their beliefs (much like the son of a b!tch who shot up the Planned Parenthood facility last November); I see these people (and I use the term loosely) as monsters; hate-filled predators living among us who are unfit to be called human beings. 

Reminds me of this:

LANGUAGE WARNING

The bigots on the far-right and ISIS have more or less the same agenda.  It wouldn't surprise me if they joined forces somehow (well then again, it would; the far right here in the US don't trust any 'non-whites').  They're ALL hate-filled, repressed ammo-sexuals who are all about anarchy, applauding cruelty, killing and hating anyone else who doesn't fall in line with their 'beliefs.'   Besides fashion sense and musical tastes, what separates these two?  Not a whole hell of a lot.  

It makes my heart sick that I have to share a planet (or a millennium) with these floating turds ejected from the human genome.  

Yes, the American far-right "Christians" and islamist radicals are branches on the same tree...

An incident like this *should* trigger a larger debate in America about homophobia, and how "moderate" homophobia is connected to its violent expressions... but I doubt this will happen. "Christians" are too dominant to open this debate, or aren't they? Which is why even Democrats can't make this a topic, if they want to maintain a chance of winning elections.

As for my opinion about those "Christians"?

I have read the Bible, and know a few things about Jesus Christ, whom I am very fond of. He said (Mark 12:28-34):

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Jesus Christ does NOT say: "Love your *straight* neighbor as yourself."

I also know a few things about Christian theology, and it's pretty obvious that we're all sinners, and even if you want to interpret the OT or Paul meaning that homosexuality still is a sin for followers of Christ (though you could argue that Paul didn't mean loving, committed homosexuality, but debauchery in the context of ancient Roman rituals) -- it's no sin worse than cursing or greed or lust, no bigger sin than all the sins all of us are guilty of (even the Pope, if you're Catholic) -- and what did Jesus Christ say about judging sinners? (John 8:7):

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

So if you're a Christian, and indeed believe homosexuality is a sin, could you please restrain from judging that person and leave it be the business between him and God -- as Jesus Christ commands!

And what about making the government legislate Christian morals, i.e. by banning homosexuality? Jesus had clear words on government, too (Mark 12:13-17):

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.

The way many American "Christians" are preaching hate is just a sign of how corrupt and perverted their understanding of their religion has become.

What American right-wing homophobes call "Christianity" is in reality cultural fascism mixed with politics, that stands against everything Jesus Christ taught. IMO.

Edited by Sim

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I was just watching CNN this morning; in Florida, you could be on an FBI terror 'watch list' and still buy a gun.  There is nothing on the Florida questionnaire that inquires about an applicant's ties to terrorism, nor is it investigated; the applicant can still WALK OUT of the store right with a newly purchased gun after filling out a that questionnaire (!).  Larger weapons aren't considered 'concealed' therefore the waiting periods can be waived.  THAT is the one of the (many) loopholes that must be closed ASAP.

I realize this may be dangerously close to KM territory, but I can't imagine any reasonable person who would be in favor of terror suspects (or people on no-fly lists) getting their hands on automatic weapons (or any kind of gun).   That's not infringing on the 2nd Amendment; that's just common f--k!ng sense. 

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kenman   

I was just watching CNN this morning; in Florida, you could be on an FBI terror 'watch list' and still buy a gun.  There is nothing on the Florida questionnaire that inquires about an applicant's ties to terrorism, nor is it investigated; the applicant can still WALK OUT of the store right with a newly purchased gun after filling out a that questionnaire (!).  Larger weapons aren't considered 'concealed' therefore the waiting periods can be waived.  THAT is the one of the (many) loopholes that must be closed ASAP.

I realize this may be dangerously close to KM territory, but I can't imagine any reasonable person who would be in favor of terror suspects (or people on no-fly lists) getting their hands on automatic weapons (or any kind of gun).   That's not infringing on the 2nd Amendment; that's just common f--k!ng sense. 

I have deleted and decided not to post a few times on the topic because I didn't want to get too KM...this is just ridiculous. At this point the biggest terror organization in the US is the NRA. 

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There are numerous layers to the gun thing. I have friends who are very pro gun. What they seem to say is that while a criminal shouldn't have a gun, if not a criminal then any gun should be allowed to be had. There are also those who believe that we would have long ago been invaded if not for the 2nd amendment. Of course, these are the same ones who think the same had we left the native american's alone and lived beside them in peace instead of almost wiping them out (in other words they believe that was right to do what we did to them, which is disturbing when you think about it).

To me, an american civilian should only be able to have either a handgun, or a hunting style gun. Anything resembling military grade, be it semi or full automatic, should never be made available to the public. I don't hunt, but I'm pretty sure you don't need a semi automatic to hunt pheasant or deer (wouldn't be much left of them if you did). 

The NRA was originally set up for hunting education and safety. Now look what it is.

I often wonder what would happen if we had time travel and went back to when the declaration was being drafted and we could show them proof of what would happen with guns from the old west days to now. I wonder if they'd rethink the 2nd amendment?

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Sim   

There are numerous layers to the gun thing. I have friends who are very pro gun. What they seem to say is that while a criminal shouldn't have a gun, if not a criminal then any gun should be allowed to be had. There are also those who believe that we would have long ago been invaded if not for the 2nd amendment. Of course, these are the same ones who think the same had we left the native american's alone and lived beside them in peace instead of almost wiping them out (in other words they believe that was right to do what we did to them, which is disturbing when you think about it).

To me, an american civilian should only be able to have either a handgun, or a hunting style gun. Anything resembling military grade, be it semi or full automatic, should never be made available to the public. I don't hunt, but I'm pretty sure you don't need a semi automatic to hunt pheasant or deer (wouldn't be much left of them if you did). 

The NRA was originally set up for hunting education and safety. Now look what it is.

I often wonder what would happen if we had time travel and went back to when the declaration was being drafted and we could show them proof of what would happen with guns from the old west days to now. I wonder if they'd rethink the 2nd amendment?

I'm very glad about the rather strict gun laws in my country, although even those did not prevent occasional massacres (like a couple of school shootings not unlike in Columbine, or islamist terror attacks in some neighbor EU countries, like France or Belgium).

The "invasion" argument, or argument "we need to be able to defend ourselves against government turning evil" strike me as rather silly -- against foreign invasions, you got the army. And the true danger is not government magically becoming tyrannic, but an elected government becoming tyrannic with support from large parts of the population (which most likely would be exactly those people who are most-gun crazy). The right-wing gun nuts would not only not even realize the government has become tyrannic, but even support it, in that case.

But I wonder how effective a ban on certain guns would be, in the US. Imagine if you introduced very strict gun laws today -- you'd still have millions (billions?) of guns in the populace, in the hands of people who refuse to turn them in, and/or on the black market. Such a law would probably just push guns into an illegal black market, but not effectively reduce their numbers in private hands; much like marihuana or prostitution won't be effectively reduced by strict laws, as long as the demand is there (and it would be, because of the "gun culture").

I also wonder if some American regions are even well off with private gun ownership. When you live in a remote rural area, where wild animals might be a threat, and you live so far away that it would take the police several hours to arrive when you call them -- maybe in those regions, private guns aren't such a bad idea. But of course, such laws don't make much sense in densely populated urban areas, where the only things guns do is pouring gasoline into the fire.

At any rate, military grade weapons, automatic and so on, should be restricted. There is just no sane reason why private people should be allowed to own them.

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Im horrified and saddened at the loss of life.

But I am disgusted at both the Left and the Right using the deaths for their political advantage.

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kc1966   

Im horrified and saddened at the loss of life.

But I am disgusted at both the Left and the Right using the deaths for their political advantage.

 

I am so saddened right now by the reaction to the tragedy in Orlando. Whether it is the left blaming lack of gun control, homophobia, or wrongs America has done in its history to create these individuals or the right blaming immigrants, Islam or the failures of the current administration all I see is people trying to make political capital.

 

When did we as a nation lose our compassion for the suffering of others OR for those who disagree with us politically? Each side bears an EQUAL responsibility for this national disgrace due to the zero sum game we have made it.

 

Twitter is alive with hate. People couldn't start cheering fast enough. 

http://thoughtcatalog.com/jacob-geers/2016/06/here-are-all-the-people-applauding-the-orlando-gay-club-shooter/

To sum it up: Fifty less paedophiles in the world, so glad they shot perverts and not innocent people, someone is finally doing God's work, and let's not forget Donald Trump's "thanks for telling me I was right". 

Religious leaders and elected officials are tripping over themselves to say we had it coming. Sehlat is right. No one will care about a club full of dead faggots. They'll say the usual empty words and offer the usual hollow prayers but nothing will be DONE.

And then there's this: http://sdgln.com/news/2016/06/12/car-filled-weapons-chemicals-found-way-la-pride

A man with a car full of weapons and ingredients for pipe bombs was arrested on his way to LA Pride. We almost had a repeat performance the very same day.

And the man arrested in LA was named James Howell.    The horrific monstrousness we saw in Orlando isn't limited to radical Islam.   These people, by their actions, are the 'monsters' among us.   Both sides see themselves as 'avengers' of their beliefs (much like the son of a b!tch who shot up the Planned Parenthood facility last November); I see these people (and I use the term loosely) as monsters; hate-filled predators living among us who are unfit to be called human beings. 

Reminds me of this:

LANGUAGE WARNING

The bigots on the far-right and ISIS have more or less the same agenda.  It wouldn't surprise me if they joined forces somehow (well then again, it would; the far right here in the US don't trust any 'non-whites').  They're ALL hate-filled, repressed ammo-sexuals who are all about anarchy, applauding cruelty, killing and hating anyone else who doesn't fall in line with their 'beliefs.'   Besides fashion sense and musical tastes, what separates these two?  Not a whole hell of a lot.  

It makes my heart sick that I have to share a planet (or a millennium) with these floating turds ejected from the human genome.  

Yes, the American far-right "Christians" and islamist radicals are branches on the same tree...

An incident like this *should* trigger a larger debate in America about homophobia, and how "moderate" homophobia is connected to its violent expressions... but I doubt this will happen. "Christians" are too dominant to open this debate, or aren't they? Which is why even Democrats can't make this a topic, if they want to maintain a chance of winning elections.

As for my opinion about those "Christians"?

I have read the Bible, and know a few things about Jesus Christ, whom I am very fond of. He said (Mark 12:28-34):

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater than these.

32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Jesus Christ does NOT say: "Love your *straight* neighbor as yourself."

I also know a few things about Christian theology, and it's pretty obvious that we're all sinners, and even if you want to interpret the OT or Paul meaning that homosexuality still is a sin for followers of Christ (though you could argue that Paul didn't mean loving, committed homosexuality, but debauchery in the context of ancient Roman rituals) -- it's no sin worse than cursing or greed or lust, no bigger sin than all the sins all of us are guilty of (even the Pope, if you're Catholic) -- and what did Jesus Christ say about judging sinners? (John 8:7):

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

So if you're a Christian, and indeed believe homosexuality is a sin, could you please restrain from judging that person and leave it be the business between him and God -- as Jesus Christ commands!

And what about making the government legislate Christian morals, i.e. by banning homosexuality? Jesus had clear words on government, too (Mark 12:13-17):

13 Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. 14 They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay the imperial tax[b] to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay or shouldn’t we?”

But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. “Why are you trying to trap me?” he asked. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” 16 They brought the coin, and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

17 Then Jesus said to them, Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.”

And they were amazed at him.

The way many American "Christians" are preaching hate is just a sign of how corrupt and perverted their understanding of their religion has become.

What American right-wing homophobes call "Christianity" is in reality cultural fascism mixed with politics, that stands against everything Jesus Christ taught. IMO.

^

This.

I find it even worse that some in the church are responding as if this was a judgment from God upon the victims. We above all others should be heartbroken because if the victims, and for that matter the shooter, died without Christ they are now facing an eternity in hell and that is because of OUR failure to live and love as Christ did.

May God forgive us all.

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Sim   

 

The way many American "Christians" are preaching hate is just a sign of how corrupt and perverted their understanding of their religion has become.

What American right-wing homophobes call "Christianity" is in reality cultural fascism mixed with politics, that stands against everything Jesus Christ taught. IMO.

^

This.

I find it even worse that some in the church are responding as if this was a judgment from God upon the victims. We above all others should be heartbroken because if the victims, and for that matter the shooter, died without Christ they are now facing an eternity in hell and that is because of OUR failure to live and love as Christ did.

May God forgive us all.

You know I'm not Christian, but I do believe in Jesus (as a manifestation of God)... and I feel Jesus was pretty clear about judging people (like homosexuals): A true Christian shouldn't be concerned about the sins of others. True followers of Christ should rather be concerned about their own salvation and leave others be.

As for none of us truly knows who will achieve salvation -- only God knows. Even the most "law abiding" Christian (which you might say, even is a contradiction in itself, as Christ made clear it's not the law that matters) may well not be chosen, while even someone we consider an obvious sinner might be saved (not going into the debate between different denominations; but I guess that much can be said). You can't buy a ticket to heaven. On that basis, it's pretty ludicrous to judge sinners, as it's even possible they will be saved in the end, and we are not.

And as I understood Jesus Christ's teachings, his entire point was that true faith is not about making marks on a list of lawful behavior -- that was what the Pharisees did. But alas, not just Jews can be Pharisees; Christians can be, too.

Edited by Sim

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kc1966   

 

 

The way many American "Christians" are preaching hate is just a sign of how corrupt and perverted their understanding of their religion has become.

What American right-wing homophobes call "Christianity" is in reality cultural fascism mixed with politics, that stands against everything Jesus Christ taught. IMO.

^

This.

I find it even worse that some in the church are responding as if this was a judgment from God upon the victims. We above all others should be heartbroken because if the victims, and for that matter the shooter, died without Christ they are now facing an eternity in hell and that is because of OUR failure to live and love as Christ did.

May God forgive us all.

You know I'm not Christian, but I do believe in Jesus (as a manifestation of God)... and I feel Jesus was pretty clear about judging people (like homosexuals): A true Christian shouldn't be concerned about the sins of others. True followers of Christ should rather be concerned about their own salvation and leave others be.

As for none of us truly knows who will achieve salvation -- only God knows. Even the most "law abiding" Christian (which you might say, even is a contradiction in itself, as Christ made clear it's not the law that matters) may well not be chosen, while even someone we consider an obvious sinner might be saved (not going into the debate between different denominations; but I guess that much can be said). On that basis, it's pretty ludicrous to judge sinners, as it's even possible they will be saved in the end, and we are not.

And as I understood Jesus Christ's teachings, his entire point was that true faith is not about making marks on a list of lawful behavior -- that was what the Pharisees did. But alas, not just Jews can be Pharisees; Christians can be, too.

Exactly.  It is by His grace that one is saved by faith - not works.  In some circles this would be controversial but no sin is greater than any other.  We have all fallen short of God.  WE are ALL sinners to one degree or other.  We are to examine or own lives.  I would add, however, that we are also to be witnesses to the truth but in love, not judgment.  (Which is hard to do at times BECAUSE we are all fallen.)

 

No one deserved what happened in Orlando.

 

Edited by kc1966

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Im horrified and saddened at the loss of life.

But I am disgusted at both the Left and the Right using the deaths for their political advantage.

The first thing Donald Trump tweeted about was a big fat "See?  I told ya!"  He wanted to use the massacre to further his p!ssing contest with Clinton.   And Hillary has taken the bait.

This is INSANITY.

Both sides should try to turn off their exploitative sense for five damn seconds and show a little bit of compassion for the 49 people slain and the 53 injured.   THEY are the ones who deserve some love right now; not pompous, self-congratulatory fartbags hoping to exploit tragedy for political points. 

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Sim   

 

 

The way many American "Christians" are preaching hate is just a sign of how corrupt and perverted their understanding of their religion has become.

What American right-wing homophobes call "Christianity" is in reality cultural fascism mixed with politics, that stands against everything Jesus Christ taught. IMO.

^

This.

I find it even worse that some in the church are responding as if this was a judgment from God upon the victims. We above all others should be heartbroken because if the victims, and for that matter the shooter, died without Christ they are now facing an eternity in hell and that is because of OUR failure to live and love as Christ did.

May God forgive us all.

You know I'm not Christian, but I do believe in Jesus (as a manifestation of God)... and I feel Jesus was pretty clear about judging people (like homosexuals): A true Christian shouldn't be concerned about the sins of others. True followers of Christ should rather be concerned about their own salvation and leave others be.

As for none of us truly knows who will achieve salvation -- only God knows. Even the most "law abiding" Christian (which you might say, even is a contradiction in itself, as Christ made clear it's not the law that matters) may well not be chosen, while even someone we consider an obvious sinner might be saved (not going into the debate between different denominations; but I guess that much can be said). On that basis, it's pretty ludicrous to judge sinners, as it's even possible they will be saved in the end, and we are not.

And as I understood Jesus Christ's teachings, his entire point was that true faith is not about making marks on a list of lawful behavior -- that was what the Pharisees did. But alas, not just Jews can be Pharisees; Christians can be, too.

Exactly.  It is by His grace that one is saved by faith - not works.  In some circles this would be controversial but no sin is greater than any other.  We have all fallen short of God.  WE are ALL sinners to one degree or other.  We are to examine or own lives.  I would add, however, that we are also to be witnesses to the truth but in love, not judgment.  (Which is hard to do at times BECAUSE we are all fallen.)

 

No one deserved what happened in Orlando.

 

It's also important that "moderate" believers don't remain silent in case of such an incident, when other self-declared "faithful" people give religion a bad name, IMO.

Which is why I'm going to add that I also am a believer in a free, open society, and as such I think it is not the government's job to legislate religious morals. In our societies, different people with different faiths (and no faith) have to live together peacefully, and because of that, it's a necessity that no group is allowed to impose their faith on another.

I expect others to respect my religion, and not to infringe on my right to practize it -- so it's a no-brainer I return that favor and respect the right of others to practize their faith (or lack thereof) as they please. So when someone follows a faith or no faith and feels homosexuality is fine, it's not my business.

Personally, I don't think homosexuality in a committed, loving relationship is sinful. But when someone feels homosexuality is sinful -- fine, then he just shouldn't do it (and his right not to do it is protected by freedom of religion: Nobody is allowed to force him into homosexual acts against his will). But he shouldn't tell others how to behave. Their fate is their business.

 

Edited by Sim

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kc1966   

 

 

The way many American "Christians" are preaching hate is just a sign of how corrupt and perverted their understanding of their religion has become.

What American right-wing homophobes call "Christianity" is in reality cultural fascism mixed with politics, that stands against everything Jesus Christ taught. IMO.

^

This.

I find it even worse that some in the church are responding as if this was a judgment from God upon the victims. We above all others should be heartbroken because if the victims, and for that matter the shooter, died without Christ they are now facing an eternity in hell and that is because of OUR failure to live and love as Christ did.

May God forgive us all.

You know I'm not Christian, but I do believe in Jesus (as a manifestation of God)... and I feel Jesus was pretty clear about judging people (like homosexuals): A true Christian shouldn't be concerned about the sins of others. True followers of Christ should rather be concerned about their own salvation and leave others be.

As for none of us truly knows who will achieve salvation -- only God knows. Even the most "law abiding" Christian (which you might say, even is a contradiction in itself, as Christ made clear it's not the law that matters) may well not be chosen, while even someone we consider an obvious sinner might be saved (not going into the debate between different denominations; but I guess that much can be said). On that basis, it's pretty ludicrous to judge sinners, as it's even possible they will be saved in the end, and we are not.

And as I understood Jesus Christ's teachings, his entire point was that true faith is not about making marks on a list of lawful behavior -- that was what the Pharisees did. But alas, not just Jews can be Pharisees; Christians can be, too.

Exactly.  It is by His grace that one is saved by faith - not works.  In some circles this would be controversial but no sin is greater than any other.  We have all fallen short of God.  WE are ALL sinners to one degree or other.  We are to examine or own lives.  I would add, however, that we are also to be witnesses to the truth but in love, not judgment.  (Which is hard to do at times BECAUSE we are all fallen.)

 

No one deserved what happened in Orlando.

 

It's also important that "moderate" believers don't remain silent in case of such an incident, when other self-declared "faithful" people give religion a bad name, IMO.

Which is why I'm going to add that I also am a believer in a free, open society, and as such I think it is not the government's job to legislate religious morals. In our societies, different people with different faiths (and no faith) have to live together peacefully, and because of that, it's a necessity that no group is allowed to impose their faith on another.

I expect others to respect my religion, and not to infringe on my right to practize it -- so it's a no-brainer I return that favor and respect the right of others to practize their faith (or lack thereof) as they please. So when someone follows a faith or no faith and feels homosexuality is fine, it's not my business.

Personally, I don't think homosexuality in a committed, loving relationship is sinful. But when someone feels homosexuality is sinful -- fine, then he just shouldn't do it (and his right not to do it is protected by freedom of religion: Nobody is allowed to force him into homosexual acts against his will). But he shouldn't tell others how to behave. Their fate is their business.

 

The denomination I belong to is Baptist and, until recently, we were strong supporters of separation of church and state as a denomination.  (A policy I adhere to, by the way.)  What some don't seem to understand is that if the "Christians" impose their morality through the state what is to stop Islam from imposing its morality in the US if they become the majority, for example.  And if you look at Christ's ministry, He witnessed but did not try to impose His teachings on anyone.  He simply witnessed to the truth of His message.  Free choice/free will is the bedrock of not only the Christian faith but western society.  Like Michael Douglas's character said in "The American President" (paraphrasing here) - America is hard.  It means defending to the death the right of someone to say something that you totally disagree with.

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Sim   

What some don't seem to understand is that if the "Christians" impose their morality through the state what is to stop Islam from imposing its morality in the US if they become the majority, for example.

The only thing that can stop it, IMO, is the strong belief of a majority of citizens -- Christians, atheists, Buddhists, liberal Muslims and so on, alike -- that government is not supposed to prefer one religion over another, and make sure the freedom of anyone only ends at the very point, where the freedom of someone else begins. ;)

I don't agree with the claim that "lack of religion is nothing, and nothing cannot defend itself against something (such as Islam)". Even the "atheist" belief in a free political system, and seperation of church and state, is a very strong positive belief. And one that's well capable of asserting itself against theocratic ideas such as political Islam. IMO.

Plus, atheists usually do believe in something (positive). Be that passed on remnants of Christian values, humanist ideas, humanist ideas in Christian tradition, or other ethical systems ... atheism in itself may indeed be "no belief", but that doesn't mean atheists don't have values.

Edited by Sim

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What some don't seem to understand is that if the "Christians" impose their morality through the state what is to stop Islam from imposing its morality in the US if they become the majority, for example.

The only thing that can stop it, IMO, is the strong belief of a majority of citizens -- Christians, atheists, Buddhists, liberal Muslims and so on, alike -- that government is not supposed to prefer one religion over another, and make sure the freedom of anyone only ends at the very point, where the freedom of someone else begins. ;)

I don't agree with the claim that "lack of religion is nothing, and nothing cannot defend itself against something (such as Islam)". Even the "atheist" belief in a free political system, and seperation of church and state, is a very strong positive belief. And one that's well capable of asserting itself against theocratic ideas such as political Islam. IMO.

Plus, atheists usually do believe in something (positive). Be that passed on remnants of Christian values, humanist ideas, humanist ideas in Christian tradition, or other ethical systems ... atheism in itself may indeed be "no belief", but that doesn't mean atheists don't have values.

Ethics are not just tied to religion. 

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Sim   

What some don't seem to understand is that if the "Christians" impose their morality through the state what is to stop Islam from imposing its morality in the US if they become the majority, for example.

The only thing that can stop it, IMO, is the strong belief of a majority of citizens -- Christians, atheists, Buddhists, liberal Muslims and so on, alike -- that government is not supposed to prefer one religion over another, and make sure the freedom of anyone only ends at the very point, where the freedom of someone else begins. ;)

I don't agree with the claim that "lack of religion is nothing, and nothing cannot defend itself against something (such as Islam)". Even the "atheist" belief in a free political system, and seperation of church and state, is a very strong positive belief. And one that's well capable of asserting itself against theocratic ideas such as political Islam. IMO.

Plus, atheists usually do believe in something (positive). Be that passed on remnants of Christian values, humanist ideas, humanist ideas in Christian tradition, or other ethical systems ... atheism in itself may indeed be "no belief", but that doesn't mean atheists don't have values.

Ethics are not just tied to religion. 

Exactly.

And "atheism" is not an indication for your ethics, it just says you don't believe in God. But it doesn't say which values or ethics you believe in.

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. Whether it is the left blaming lack of gun control, homophobia, or wrongs America has done in its history to create these individuals or the right blaming immigrants, Islam or the failures of the current administration all I see is people trying to make political capital.

Umm...when he was a regular at said bar... (though you can argue he was just casing the place)

...When he had gay dating apps on his phone...

..When his police academy class all thought he was gay, and closeted, and he'd asked one of his classmates out, but he declined...

...When his father certainly, and his religion arguably, calls gay something to be loathed or destroyed... 

Those things taken in their totality certainly suggest homophobia and self-loathing and it's not "the left making hay." to say so.

 

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. Whether it is the left blaming lack of gun control, homophobia, or wrongs America has done in its history to create these individuals or the right blaming immigrants, Islam or the failures of the current administration all I see is people trying to make political capital.

Umm...when he was a regular at said bar... (though you can argue he was just casing the place)

...When he had gay dating apps on his phone...

..When his police academy class all thought he was gay, and closeted, and he'd asked one of his classmates out, but he declined...

...When his father certainly, and his religion arguably, calls gay something to be loathed or destroyed... 

Those things taken in their totality certainly suggest homophobia and self-loathing and it's not "the left making hay." to say so.

 

I could understand him being a regular at the bar to case the place, but the dating apps suggests that he was deeply conflicted between his religion's stance on homosexuality and his own anger at himself.   A classic self-loathing case.   I'm just heartsick that his creep had to take out his own issues on so many other joyful, non-self loathing people.   Shame he couldn't have just killed himself and spared the innocents. 

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. Whether it is the left blaming lack of gun control, homophobia, or wrongs America has done in its history to create these individuals or the right blaming immigrants, Islam or the failures of the current administration all I see is people trying to make political capital.

Umm...when he was a regular at said bar... (though you can argue he was just casing the place)

...When he had gay dating apps on his phone...

..When his police academy class all thought he was gay, and closeted, and he'd asked one of his classmates out, but he declined...

...When his father certainly, and his religion arguably, calls gay something to be loathed or destroyed... 

Those things taken in their totality certainly suggest homophobia and self-loathing and it's not "the left making hay." to say so.

 

I could understand him being a regular at the bar to case the place, but the dating apps suggests that he was deeply conflicted between his religion's stance on homosexuality and his own anger at himself.   A classic self-loathing case.   I'm just heartsick that his creep had to take out his own issues on so many other joyful, non-self loathing people.   Shame he couldn't have just killed himself and spared the innocents. 

They can't though. They just can't. When you have that much rage and self-hatred bottled up inside you, if you kill yourself, that's just...it. It's gone and no one knew what was going on inside you.

Now lots of people know his pain. In his mind that was a win.

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CaptPapa   

Like Kenman, I have written and deleted several thoughts on this thread.  This subject just hurts so much.

Personally, I find 'religion' to be the greatest threat to mankind in the world.  This is certainly not a new phenomenon; man has been killing in God's name for . . . well, probably since man conceived God.  To me, religion is just a tool for few to control many.  Maybe instead of gun-control, we should be discussing religion-control.

Gun ownership doesn't make any sense to me either.  As mentioned above - only a moron would actually believe in the US government taking over the country . . . pending results of the coming general election that is.  Seriously though - how many studies have been done to show that private gun ownership merely means increased suicide and increased accidental shootings.  Seems like every time I turn around I'm reading about somebody's baby getting ahold of a gun and shooting a sibling or parent.  Other than the immediate tragedy, one can only imagine the lifelong psychological damage done to the survivor.

ME

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Like Kenman, I have written and deleted several thoughts on this thread.  This subject just hurts so much.

Personally, I find 'religion' to be the greatest threat to mankind in the world.  This is certainly not a new phenomenon; man has been killing in God's name for . . . well, probably since man conceived God.  To me, religion is just a tool for few to control many.  Maybe instead of gun-control, we should be discussing religion-control.

Gun ownership doesn't make any sense to me either.  As mentioned above - only a moron would actually believe in the US government taking over the country . . . pending results of the coming general election that is.  Seriously though - how many studies have been done to show that private gun ownership merely means increased suicide and increased accidental shootings.  Seems like every time I turn around I'm reading about somebody's baby getting ahold of a gun and shooting a sibling or parent.  Other than the immediate tragedy, one can only imagine the lifelong psychological damage done to the survivor.

ME

You're not alone with the writing and deleting thing, believe me. I come here to talk about stuff that's a bit more fun and frivolous than the real world in which I am embedded and wholly aware of, so I tend to avoid KM-style subject matter (I have more than enough of it in real life). 

 

 

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Sim   

Personally, I find 'religion' to be the greatest threat to mankind in the world.  This is certainly not a new phenomenon; man has been killing in God's name for . . . well, probably since man conceived God.  To me, religion is just a tool for few to control many.  Maybe instead of gun-control, we should be discussing religion-control.

That sentiment is certainly understandable when there are terrible incidents like this. Peaceful, compassionate or empathic believers are often much less vocal and loud than the hateful examples of religion, and they stay silent too often when hateful people give their faith a bad name.

But I'd suggest that when you think religion has the power to make people do terrible things they wouldn't do without it, it also has the power to make people do great and good things they wouldn't do without it. At any rate, when you are hateful (and/or self-loathing), and looking for an ideology or community to support your hate, you'll find that not just in the realm of religion.

As I wrote above... it's immensely sad and hope-shattering that even a message that's all about love and forgiveness can be perverted into something that supports and encourages hate and ostracism. The problem IMO goes deeper than a formal choice of faith.

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Locutus   

Regardless of whether the shooter loathed gay people because he wished to live up to an ideology that loathes gay people or loathed himself because he could not live up to an ideology that loathes gay people, the existence of such hate-filled ideologies ultimately enabled his violence.  More gun control laws will not solve the problem if we do not address the persistence of the toxic ideologies that drive violent minds to act on such hatred (of others or self).  

While I cannot imagine resorting to such heinous violence, I can imagine the rejection some individual's feel when one's sexual identity does not conform to one's religious ideology.  My own sexual identity does not conform to my religious upbringing.  My religious upbringing taught me that gay people are not evil, but that acting on their desire is sinful.  Fortunately, I was able to confidently walk away from my religious upbringing instead of permitting self-loathing to take root anytime I acted consistent with my sexual identity.  

A close friend of mind, however, once found himself drawn into a Christian fellowship.  After months of breaking ties with old friends and committing himself more and more to the cloistered community of the fellowship, his fellow Christians told him he could no longer be part of their fellowship if he did not renounce his homosexuality.  Isolated from the friends and family he had distanced himself from as he was drawn deeper and deeper into the fellowship, he now faced the total isolation that would come with abandoning that fellowship.  The circumstances nearly drove him to suicide.  It is troubling to me that many religions place individuals in this predicament.  Something as innately good as consensual love for another human being should not be transformed into a source of hatred from others, hatred of self, and fear of alienation

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Regardless of whether the shooter loathed gay people because he wished to live up to an ideology that loathes gay people or loathed himself because he could not live up to an ideology that loathes gay people, the existence of such hate-filled ideologies ultimately enabled his violence.  More gun control laws will not solve the problem if we do not address the persistence of the toxic ideologies that drive violent minds to act on such hatred (of others or self).  

While I cannot imagine resorting to such heinous violence, I can imagine the rejection some individual's feel when one's sexual identity does not conform to one's religious ideology.  My own sexual identity does not conform to my religious upbringing.  My religious upbringing taught me that gay people are not evil, but that acting on their desire is sinful.  Fortunately, I was able to confidently walk away from my religious upbringing instead of permitting self-loathing to take root anytime I acted consistent with my sexual identity.  

A close friend of mind, however, once found himself drawn into a Christian fellowship.  After months of breaking ties with old friends and committing himself more and more to the cloistered community of the fellowship, his fellow Christians told him he could no longer be part of their fellowship if he did not renounce his homosexuality.  Isolated from the friends and family he had distanced himself from as he was drawn deeper and deeper into the fellowship, he now faced the total isolation that would come with abandoning that fellowship.  The circumstances nearly drove him to suicide.  It is troubling to me that many religions place individuals in this predicament.  Something as innately good as consensual love for another human being should not be transformed into a source of hatred from others, hatred of self, and fear of alienation

^
Wow.  That was a powerful post.   I hope your friend found his way back to his real friends (the kind who love you, warts and all) and not a bunch of phony conformists.   And I agree so much; consensual love for another human being is not 'bad' or 'evil' or 'sinful.'  It has been a lie perpetuated on the human race by primitive cultures who didn't understand, that's all.   The same kind of lie that tells us our species' means of reproduction is 'original sin' and that even thinking about it is somehow 'impure.'   

Utter rubbish.  

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