CHR Comment: The shooting in Orlando at a homosexual club is causing some religious leaders to reflect on the potential influence of religion in such mass murder events. The two examples I have linked below are (1) a blog post by Bishop Robert Lynch of the St. Petersburg Diocese and (2) an interview with Megachurch Pastor Joel Hunter. The bishop wrote:
“Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets…and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people.”
Both leaders express some sense of guilt about this horrifying event. As human beings we all have a gut reaction, that sickening feeling when we see something wrong, know it is wrong, and wish something could be changed. Hunter’s comments were introspective, worried that his preaching and teaching might unintendedly lead to harm. The bishop’s comments linked the horrible event directly to “religion, including our own [Christianity], which targets . . . and often breeds contempt.”
I do not recall ever meeting a fellow Christian who said that mass murder was an acceptable or even a considered response toward homosexuality. On the contrary, Christianity very clearly teaches that we should not murder. That commandment is repeated throughout the New Testament. I do not see that religion itself is to blame in this case. Sin, anger, and hatred are to blame—the very things that genuine religion would help us overcome. We need not less religion. We need true religion more than ever (James 1:26–27).