North American Division President Daniel R. Jackson on Orlando Mass Shooting: "We Strongly Denounce the Hate"

Daniel R. Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, issued the following statement on June 12, 2016, in response to the mass shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida:

“The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America is heartbroken as we mourn the loss of innocent lives in the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers for the 50 people killed, the 53 wounded, their families, loved ones, and friends. We also pray for the community of Orlando and the heartache and sadness they are experiencing as a result of this tragedy.

“We strongly denounce the hate that led to this mass shooting. This type of senseless violence has no place in this country or in this world. It is appalling that these lives were tragically cut short because of hate. We pray that God’s love will comfort and console the victims’ loved ones whose lives have become a nightmare overnight.

“As Christians, we strongly believe that hate, for anyone, brother, sister, friend or enemy, comes not from God, but from the father of evil himself, the devil. We must condemn all expressions of hate, from speech to deadly violence. All of the women, children, and men in this world, regardless of whether they worship, live, or love like us, are children of God.

“We are assured that, in the end, love will win. We know that one day hate and evil will be no more. Until that day, we will continue to pray that communities in this world can live their lives without fear.”

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor. 13:13, NIV).

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Not a single mention of that fact that this was a hate crime against the LGBT community. Sad that the NAD cannot even acknowledge that in their statement.

Churches that condemn LGBTQ people as sick, sinful, perverted—even ones that silently ignore us—chip away at our humanity and make it easier for people to kill us. “Love the sinner, hate the sin,” won’t suffice.


Totally agree, Jonathan. Too many ‘Christians’ talk about LGBT with no understanding whatsoever.

This kind of lethal hatred is taught, often in the name of God. So sad that i’ve heard SDA pastors preach content that could actually fuel this kind of act.


There is NO HATE, according to Seventh day Adventist Leadership.
But there is NO LOVE.
There is NO WELCOMING offered.
There is NO INCLUSION provided.
Like Pilate we wish to wash our hands in Public with Public Announcements like these and others.
But we as Seventh day Adventists are no different, really. We exacerbate the problems with our Denominational and Doctrinal proclamations.
Does anyone remember what Seventh day Adventists did in California a few years ago. We sided with the Mormons as a Church.
However there were a number of brave Seventh day Adventists in our Universities who were Welcoming to GLBTIO, who did so with banners and words from a speaker’s platform.
And these Brave Persons suffered a lot of Verbal Abuse from many SDA forums and articles and “Christian” persons in the Church.
Remember Andrews University’s President and Staff. Refused to allow the sale of a few items for a Homeless Center at the “village market” as a fund raiser. But the LOVE that was extended by Adventists and others gave thousands of dollars, in place of the couple hundred that could have been made from the local “market” customers in one day.
WE WOULDNT do this. But by our actions and speech, we encourage others to do this.
And the deed was done.
Murder and Maiming done in OUR Name. Murder and Maiming in the Name of Christianity, in the Name of God.
There was no place in any Orlando Seventh day Adventist churches for GLBTIO persons to be fully Welcomed, have full Inclusion.

EDIT-- Ralph Thompson mentioned GUN CONTROL.
Ralph – there will ALWAYS be instuments that will kill people. Think — 1. bows and arrows. 2. Then we had improvements on the bow. 3. Gunpowder we obtained from the Chinese allowed for throwing an object further. 3b. The invention of TNT. 4. So guns were invented. 5. Now we have tanks. 6 Battleships. 7 Missals.
The ONLY way we can get rid of guns is to turn them into " plowshares and pruning hooks".
No government is going to do that.
+++ Have you ever heard – ONLY Criminals will have guns? In this case ONLY THE CRIMINAL had a gun.
Had guns been allowed in the Club, maybe only a very few would have affected by a bullet. The shooter would have been taken out early.

EDIT-- Kenn – You stated, "Pres Jackson is caught between a rock – the hardline fundamentalism of his employer [Pres. Wilson and others] – and a hard place loving the outcast victims [the Women Pastors, and the Women Conference President(s) who find their names MISSING in the book of Seventh day Adventist Employees World Wide.
There is ALSO NO LOVE for them either. Otherwise he would have seen to it that ALL the books would have been burned, and a NEW EDITION be issued by our publishing houses with their names in it.
THESE TWO Items, 1. The Naming of LGBTIO and 2. The Naming of our Women Conference Presidents, show just HOW WEAK he really is, even though he IS a NICE GUY. He is WEAK and FEARFUL to call conditions EVIL.

EDIT-- There are Seventh Gay Adventists. Ones that the various levels of Leadership would wish they would go away. Persons who love God. Wish to fellowship with God’s family in Sabbath, be allowed full participation with God’s family on Sabbath. But are denied except in a few groups in North America.
Something like this speech by the Leader of North America makes one wonder how serious he is.
HOW ABOUT the Living Dead. The ones refused entrance into SDAism while they are alive?


This statement no matter how eloquently stated is devoid of answering “Who”.

Without this written into the statement it can be generically applied to nearly any similar situation. I would have expected that they would have at least followed good journalistic standards.


Churches that condemn LGBTQ people as sick, sinful, perverted—even ones
that silently ignore us—chip away at our humanity and make it easier for
people to kill us.-Brian G. Murphy
"Every preacher, of every faith, who has ever preached against LGBTI
people, demeaned our relationships, denounced our “lifestyle”, slandered
us as pedophiles, called us “broken”,
insisted on the right to treat us as lesser beings, hear this. Your
fingers were on the trigger in Florida last night."
Doug Pollard
Don’t grieve with us. Repent of your hard hearts that dismiss us. Repent for the times you remove us from membership,Deny us the right to serve in church, Sack us from our jobs if we come out while employed by your organization. At the very least mention the fact that the victims of this massacre were Gays and Lesbians and Transgender.


This was not a ‘hate’ massacre, but ‘opportunistic’, supposing that there is a quantifiable minority that would support such a foul deed. Poor Pres. Jackson is caught between a rock - the hardline fundamentalism of his employer - and a hard place - loving the outcast victims.

Pray for Peace.


For those of us who are not members of the LGBT community, it is difficult to know just how much pain and rejection this community have suffered. Even though I have not been where you stand, I am as sorry as I can be for what we’ve collectively done to make your lives more difficult. To add to the numerous individual lives that have been lost over the years to hatred and prejudice, it is truly heart breaking to hear of the devastation that occurred in Orlando. The Adventist Church may not have openly preached hatred of this community but we, by our silence, by our placing the 27 things Adventist “believe” on our bulletins, of which one of them says “only one man and one woman”. How could we possibly be hurt by letting to men or two woman to be allowed to make a commitment to each other and to simply acknowledge this with a piece of paper showing that love? How could that possibly hurt your heterosexual marriage? Or, our unwillingness to carve out any place within our congregations for you. We, also, have had our hand on the trigger of this disgusting piece of filth that took all of those lived in Orlando last night. That creature did not arrive at his distorted point of thinking by himself, he was driven by the hate and prejudices of many other voices before he arrived at his hateful last few moments on this earth. The Christian community played a big part in that, just like the Muslim’s and others.
I have absolutely no reservation in saying to the LGBT community, that you are who you are because you were born into this world that way, and for anyone to tell you that God would condemn you for being who you are is an unthinkable condemnation of the God we all love and worship. So much of today’s Christianity is filled with hatred that is just boiling under the surface. It sickens me. My God loves you just as much as he loves me. William H. Macy once played a character in a wonderful movie where he said “You are wonderful because God didn’t make any junk”. I think that is very fitting at this moment.
I hope our church can get past the discrimination and yes, even the hatred that lies just below the surface, which reeks from the pews and stains the glass in the windows of our churches. And for the sake of all that is good and holy, please remove those 27 “Beliefs” from the back of our bulletins so that everyone God wants to come in, can come to the Lord without feeling condemned from the very moment they sit in our pews and open their bulletins. Until we do, there is no way that this church can be the one that goes through to the end. Jesus would never have turned away anyone from this community and neither should we. Remember, our only hope of salvation it through a gift from God, not because of ANY merit on our part.


With way more scientific data available regarding sexuality it’s hard to understand how anyone in modern society can still maintain such prejudices and behave hatefully towards a group of people.

Jesus doesn’t hate people, only Satan does.


I seem to be missing the point here… But if HATE against any human being is wrong - wether it be friend or enemy … than it is humanity that is being attacked. Would the deed be less atrocious, if it had been a girls’ school, a pathfinder club, an old people’s home, a military casino, an Asian cinema, a catholic church, a mosk and Adventist church or a synagogue?

Yes, I do understand that the LGBTQ community had and still has to suffer a lot - and I am sad and angry about that - for many reasons. And yet - my condolences go to the families of sons and daughters - no matter whether they were black, white, pink or rainbow coloured.


Every preacher, of every faith, who has ever preached against LGBTI people, demeaned our relationships, denounced our “lifestyle”, slandered us as pedophiles, called us “broken”, insisted on the right to treat us as lesser beings, hear this. Your fingers were on the trigger in Florida last night.


I guess Moses and Paul were complicit, too, right?

Your blanket charge against everyone who has preached homosexuality is wrong is way over the line. @webEd Calling everyone who believes that way a murderer is no different than what you accuse them of. Hate is hate no matter how you slice it.


I, too, am disappointed that Dan Jackson could not bring himself to properly identify the victims of this hate crime as LGBT persons, no doubt targeted specifically for that personal and collective characteristic. Such reluctance to even name LGBT persons is part of the delegitimization that has led to their marginalization within religious communities and allowed both subtle as well as overt forms of prejudice, fear and hatred to flourish. Even in death, the church refuses to recognize the full humanity of LGBT persons and presumes to excise that which it deems “unmentionable.” I ask: where is the tipping point for the church? When will we acknowledge the full spectrum of agression against LGBT persons and our complicity within it?



The church has stated that ~“we are all born either male or female” and ~“marriage can/should only be between one man and one woman”. As long as this is their stance, then everything they say on the subject is invalid because they are showing extreme incompetence.

Their approach is invalid for many subtle reasons, but the most glaring of them is that it is factually incorrect: Approximately 1% - 2% of the population is born and presents medically, either physically or genetically or both, as something other than the standard male or female gender.

Until the church’s currently simplistic approach accommodates all forms of human sexuality, and describes what it thinks God wants for that case, at least but not only those that are genetic or physically shown to exist, it is simply a non-starter.

Of course, their entire argument will break down if they try to do this. And, they’d be unable to successfully describe what God wants based on biblical sources, for this variety of individuals that do exist. If they try to modify their current incoherent approach to accommodate reality, it simply won’t work. They need to start over with something far less prescriptive that instead honors the intent and message of Jesus teachings, combined with modern medical and psychological knowledge, and is not wrapped up in prescriptive statements about who can do what based on statements and edicts of relatively ignorant priests from 2700 years ago.


I hope we don’t think it is appropriate to dismiss Elder Jackson’s comments without acknowledging them with gratitude. Although I also agree that he could have gone farther, let us appreciate that he said anything at all! Give him credit that perhaps he has said all he can say (especially given who his earthly “boss” is). Do you hear “Elder Wilson” saying anything about this? Do you notice that Elder Jackson seems to have (at least) spoken first?


A lot of mental gymnastics it would seem to completely ignore that the perpetrator is Moslem and to somehow shift the argument to being the fault of Adventists.


While to many this tragedy may appear to be a “hate” crime in all likelihood the shooter was acting out of devotion to his god and religion.

The problem some do not want to address is that society in general in the USA are enablers to this kind of violence because of the availability of weapons especially modern assault style firearms.

Some on these forums rail against the persistance of some to go by the OT and NT statements on homosexuality but is that any worse than those that
use wording from an 18th century constitution to justify possession of modern weapons of war.

When the US gun rights were drafted the usual weapon was a single shot musket that took time to reload and was cumbersome to handle and/or conceal.It is unlikely the framers of the Constitution ever visualised a gun that would fire many rounds per second.

If it is reasonable to ask the "church " to change its attitude towards the LBGT community is it not more reasonable to ask society to change its attitude towards firearms which makes the horrors of such killings possible and probable


Hate needs no “devil.” The devil is in the religious conviction that homosexuality is a sin.

Hate is chronic anger cultivated by cognitive structures such as in this particular case the religious conviction that homosexuality is a sin and therefore comes from the devil. Anger is a normal reaction whereas hate in general is pathological, nurtured and bred by men through biases. When hate is combined with the mental phenomenon commonly seen among religious denominations known as splitting, the practice of regarding people and situation as either good or bad and having no middle ground, the situation becomes dangerous and combustible. Splitting distorts reality because it feeds into the delusion that mortal men knows exactly what God means. This event turns mere men to gods who then exact punishment to those of the devil. Could this be what drove the killer to exact revenge at the Pulse nightclub? Is our church capable of breeding future killers?

Our thoughts are with the grieving families and pray for their peace, comfort and courage.


“Christians have just enough religion to make them hate but not enough religion to make them love” Jonathan Swift 1711.


Not “We strongly denounce the radical ideology that led to this mass shooting;” not “We strongly denounce ISIS and everything it stands for.”

Just condemning hate is very simplistic. He should have addressed the underlying cause. It is radical Islam which produces hate for anyone who disagrees with their version of Islam. But, as we have seen, our national leaders are afraid to call it what it is. I’m not convinced that Dan Jackson needed to say anything publicly. The kind of statement he made just echoes what our weak US president said, and some may see it as just mouthing platitudes.

The ideology behind ISIS would produce the same kind of attack on any other group that did not fit their version of perfect Islam. This time it was homosexuals; next time it could be a sporting event or a Christian church. All are infidels in the minds of the radical Islamist.

I find it hard to believe that this statement by Keith Paulusse was allowed to stand. More double standard?

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