Welcome to Roger’s Take on Religion: An Inclusive Perspective
Assuming President Obama is right when he says “Our hearts are broken too,” will the slaughter of the innocents in Orlando change attitudes toward the LGBT community, especially among the more self-righteous?
Judging from responses to the massacre by conservative religious leaders one could easily answer No. Typical is the tweet by Southern Baptist spokesman Russell Moore: “Christian, your gay and lesbian neighbor is probably really scared right now. Whatever our genuine disagreements, let’s love and pray.”
Implied here is that there are two kinds of people, “Christians” and “gay and lesbian neighbors.”
Joel Hunter, Orlando mega-church pastor, sounded one of the few hopeful notes. He was asked: “What complicity do American evangelicals have for a culture that relegates LGBT folks to a category of “other?” His reply: “Unfortunately, a lot… Thankfully, the next generation is not all in that camp.”
Here’s My Take: Rev. Hunter understands that evangelicals share blame for the Orlando killings by their message of hatred and divisiveness. He seems also to understand that our “gay and lesbian neighbors” can be and often are, Christian.
I grew up singing “Are you washed in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?” It meant little since the blood of the crucified Jesus was outside my experience. But, having witnessed the slaughter of the lambs in Orlando and knowing that all have been touched by their blood, I now understand.
Too, I pray that Rev. Hunter is wrong – that we don’t have to wait until the next generation for the soul cleansing that is needed.