I hate the rhetoric. I hate seeing conservative news sources saying things like “President refuses to call Orlando shooting ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism'”. I also hate seeing liberal news sources try to skirt around the fact that the man was indeed a Muslim terrorist.
Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a well-rounded view of this. I want to offer a few points that are important for the conversation. To frame this:
Last night, June 12th, a man called 9-1-1 and pledged allegiance to ISIS. He then went to a gay night club in Orlando and shot and killed 50 individuals and wounded 53. Not only is this the worst mass shooting in American history, but the worst act of terrorism since 9/11. It is also a moment that will probably go down in the history of violence against homosexuals.
- “Radical” is a form of Islam – There is a great fear among Islamic sympathizers that America will brand Islam as a religion of violence. A great deal of coverage includes people condemning the generalization of Islam. I’d like to provide a few points that will hopefully clear this up
- News sources are using the phrase “Radical” for a reason. It is not an attempt to brand all Muslims as violent extremists. It is an attempt to classify the minority of Muslims who are violent extremists. It is the very reason we no longer say “Islamic Terrorism”, and are now inserting the word “Radical” in front of it. Not all Muslims are Radical, but all forms of Radical Islamic Terrorism do call themselves Muslim.
- We have finally seen an Imam condemn the violence of ISIS in the public eye. And it is beautiful. I know a lot of Muslims have condemned ISIS in the past, but it has been far from being in the public arena. Now it is.
- There is a good reason that the President may not be using the phrase “Radical Islamic Terrorism”. There is always a concern of giving ISIS too much credit because all it does is strengthen their message. I believe it is possible that Obama is using the ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’ method here. He is not mentioning ISIS, lest they get more news coverage. I just think Obama needs to use a bigger stick.
- Gun Control and the AR-15 – The AR-15 was NOT the weapon of choice in the Orlando shooting, even though everything I saw immediately following the shooting claimed it was. The shooter actually used a Sig Sauer MCX Carbine. But I want to be clear: unless the shooter went through immense difficulty (including smuggling firearms), it was not an automatic weapon. You can call it an Assault Rifle all you want; I pray to God that none of our soldiers are equipped with either of these weapons while in the field because they wouldn’t serve their purpose like an automatic weapon would. This weapon is only as dangerous as a handgun due to its semi-automatic nature and the limited magazine capacity.
- “Politicizing” the event – Prepare yourself, a lot of Conservatives are going to say that the left is politicizing the event by calling for more stringent laws against guns. Additionally, the Liberals are going to say that the right is politicizing the event by calling for war against ISIS/prevention of Muslim immigration. Just remember, you cannot call for war against ISIS/immigration regulation and blame the left for politicizing. Everyone will politicize this, no matter what happens.
- Christians Responding – I’ve never been more proud to be a Christian. I don’t see a lot of Christians responding; but when I do, I primarily see them decrying this act of terrorism without even mentioning that this was a gay bar. There are exceptions where the Christian may say “I don’t care if they were gay, we still need to stand in solidarity”; and also rare exceptions where so-called ‘Christians’ are saying “they got what they deserved”. But fortunately, the majority just see them all as a people group rather than classifying them by their lifestyle choices.
- Pro-Life Issue – This is a pro-life issue. If we want to say we are pro-life in the womb, then we better say we are pro-life thereafter. Being against the senseless killing of any human being falls under this jurisdiction.
- How to Pray – Of course, I ask Christians to pray for the families, pray for their loved ones. But also pray for the hospitals. Today a lot of people who were wounded are undergoing surgeries in what I am certain is a very understaffed hospital- they need God to heal them, and the surgeons need God’s wisdom.
I hope this provides a little more perspective. In my effort to be balanced and courteous I will always try to keep any hard-line opinions out of it. My heart breaks for these people and I won’t stop praying for their families.