The Pulse Shooting: Tragic Irony

Orlando_Pulse_shootingIn the early hours of June 12, 2016, a shooting occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Over 100 people were wounded, roughly half of which died either at the scene or in the hospital.

I personally spent much of that day watching the news coverage, as well as observing the endless stream of comments on the story from Facebook. In these comments I saw the same questions being asked and answered over and over again. I saw all manner of opinions, from both conservative and liberal viewpoints, which sometimes bordered on the absurd. I saw various unsubstantiated rumors about what had supposedly really happened, or what similar things were supposedly happening elsewhere in the area. I saw a lot of finger-pointing, with people placing blame for the shooting on this, that or the other.

The most notable thing I didn’t see was any comment that tried to place any blame on the victims, or expressed any sort of contempt for them. That would indicate something that I, and many others, already knew: that actual hate towards LGBT people — i.e., genuinely wishing them harm, as opposed to mere anger over some of their actions — is vastly less common than it’s claimed to be. It also indicates that any real hate that does exist is unlikely to be coming from the very people who are supposedly the most guilty of it: conservative Christians. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable that normal Christian disapproval of homosexuality — which only seeks the salvation and redemption of people — will be popularly equated with the extremely non-Christian motivations behind this shooting.

I think most people would agree that there weren’t “gay rights” being violated here, but simply human rights. Whatever anyone may have thought of the people at that nightclub, they had every bit as much right as anyone else to expect safety and protection.

At a time like this, I think it’s important for us as Christians to remind ourselves that homosexuality is not a “special” sin, and homosexuals are not “special” sinners. When it comes right down to it, all of us — LGBT or otherwise — are in the same big boat. We’re all sinners who are desperately in need of Christ’s grace and redemption. We’re all victims of having been born into a broken, fallen world. We’ve all been told the same appealing lies throughout our lives, and have all fallen for them on various levels — the lies that say we should be able to have whatever we want, do whatever we want, and have no one higher than ourselves to have to answer to. We all have to come to the point of realizing that getting whatever we want doesn’t bring satisfaction; it merely leaves us wanting more of what we want. We all have an empty place inside us that can only be filled by connection to our Creator.

As Christians, we should hate homosexuality primarily because of what it does to homosexuals, just as we should hate our own sin because of what it does to us. Sin, for any person, is a prison that deceives the prisoner into thinking it’s the greatest freedom they could ever have.

Woodrow Wilcox


The gunman took more from the victims — most of whom were quite young — than just their lives. He stole from them the opportunity to get their lives right in the future — to acknowledge and submit to their Creator and walk away from a way of living that dominated their lives, hijacked their identities, and left them endlessly seeking satisfaction and wholeness where it could never be found.

But perhaps the most bitter, tragic irony of all is that those who would claim to protect and speak for people like the victims have ultimately been guilty of that very same theft. The various LGBT organizations — who are being portrayed, in the aftermath of this atrocity, as the greatest of “good guys” — have, ultimately, worked to keep LGBT people right where they are. From such organizations, LGBT people receive no encouragement to seek the healing, wholeness and peace that can only come from the Creator. They are told that any change is neither possible nor desirable, and only get encouraged to “be who they are” and to keep on doing what they’ve been doing. Any motion toward taking a different path will be met with the most vicious opposition.

Many — like some gay men I’ve known — will die early as a result of staying on the same path. But by God’s grace, others will have what the Pulse victims no longer have: the chance to get back what’s been taken from them.



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David Mann is a Christian who lives in Florida.
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  • This column makes an unfortunate assumption: that all gay men and women are “lost” and without hope of redemption.

    Every person, without exception, is capable of moral blindness and is often unable to see their own faults. Mother Teresa, for all of her faith and charity, was also somewhat hypocritical in her approach to suffering: the poor she served received no pain medication and lived in squalor while she was attended to by the finest hospitals in the world when her own life and health were threatened. John Calvin persecuted other Christians in Geneva. I can’t count how many scandals have impacted Christian pastors over the years because of infidelity or plagiarism or abuse.

    We all judge actions, but who is saved or not is really not up to us.

    • DCM7

      “This column makes an unfortunate assumption: that all gay men and women are ‘lost’ and without hope of redemption.”

      This column doesn’t assume that at all. It merely assumes that anyone — whatever their sin — needs to repent of it and get right with God. It certainly doesn’t imply that anyone is without hope of redemption.

      I understand your point, though. I’m just not sure how the article would be worded differently to allow for it.

    • Thisoldspouse

      First, you need to define “gay,” without the careless glossing over that term. What do you mean by “gay?”