hot topic: Orlando Massacre

It is very disturbing to read the unfolding news about the mass shooting yesterday in Orlando.  A muslim security guard, armed with a semi-automatic machine gun, entered a gay bar in Orlando and began shooting.  He was confronted by an off-duty police officer and manuevered into the bathroom where he maintained a stand-off for three hours while the Orlando police and emergency services worked to protect and rescue victims from the carnage and violence.  Of course this story is continuing to unfold in the news and I have no doubt more information will come to light over time.

In the political world, various leaders are advocating better gun control laws, some leaders are rallying support for the LGBT community and many leaders are blaming the immigration struggles with which the US is wrestling.

As a follower of Jesus, it is my sincere prayer that my community rallies around the words of Jesus more than the world of hate.  There are some people who would try to explain that because this was an attack on a gay bar, God is expressing His judgement and wrath on the homosexual community.  There are other folk who would seek to ostracize muslims because of this violent atrocity.

Seems to me that when Jesus was hanging on the cross, He didn’t ask the Father to get revenge on these wicked, violent and undeserving sinners.  He asked the Father to forgive the people who violently beat, condemned and hung Him on a cross – the most innocent and pure human to ever grace the human race.   May our words and actions be overflowing with the grace and love that have been so richly lavished on us.  Let us freely give what we have so abundantly received.  We need the Holy Spirit to work into our thoughts and actions the redeeming life of Christ.

Hot Topic: massacre in Paris

Yesterday, 12 journalists at the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris were killed by radical Muslims. The news is full of details about this massacre, the motives for the slaughter & the subsequent manhunt to find the guilty individuals. There’s a large outcry against this atrocity, particularly from Western nations to say nothing of the journalism community who herald the cause of freedom of speech.
Here’s what gets me: the rationale for this massacre is based on the premise that this magazine said offensive things related to Islam so several Muslim men believed they were justified to reply to such insults with large scale murder. In essence, if you say something offensive enough to me, my extreme behavior is a justified response to your insults.
This kind of thinking doesn’t square with Jesus’ teachings about being insulted & turning the other cheek. While we are horrified with what happened yesterday, let’s be careful that we don’t pay back insults for insults 🙂