Responses from Adventist LGBT Communities to Orlando Shooting

In response to today's shooting in Orlando, Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International released the following statement:

Today our hearts are broken hearing of the act of domestic terror on LGBTQ people at the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, earlier today. We are holding our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Orlando close in our hearts. We do not yet know if any Kinship members were affected.

Unfortunately, this is another chapter in a long history of violence against queer people in the United States. This senseless violence is almost unimaginable. It is especially heartbreaking that this attack happened during Pride Month. Pride is still relevant because it is a time for us as a community to remember our collective resistance against discrimination and violence. Pride is when we march for our dignity and equal rights, to increase our visibility, and to celebrate our sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride Month is a time for spiritual communities to celebrate a loving God who created LGBTQ people in God’s likeness and image, and to see ourselves as beloved children of God.

"Yesterday, Kinship Region 2 marched in the Capital Pride Parade in DC, never dreaming we'd awaken to such devastating news as the heartbreaking tragedy in Orlando, Florida. Doing our part to prevent violence of action or of word means standing against all manner of hate from society, from the pulpit and from families who would discard their sons or daughters for being LGBTQ. Our community and our allies and friends can make a difference against such hate, together" said SDA Kinship International President, Yolanda Elliott.

We pray for an end of violence against LGBTQ people. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of this tragedy. We mourn together.

Adventist organizer, writer and Executive Director of Faith in America Eliel Cruz sent the following statement from Faith in America:

“The massacre of 50 LGBT people, with an additional 53 wounded, should mark a state of emergency. LGBT people are being targeted—not just yesterday in Orlando, but every day. More often than not, these acts are fueled by anti-LGBT theology. This is why Faith in America fights against religious bigotry every day. Clearly, preaching hate can lead to horrifying consequences, far beyond what might have been intended. It has to stop.”

In response to being told to pray:

"How can you ask LGBT people to pray after our people have been massacred when most of the world's religions still preach anti-LGBT theology?" said Eliel Cruz, Executive Director of Faith in America. "And make no mistake, the threat does not solely come from individuals who have radicalized Islamic teachings to justify their hate. These deadly beliefs are also found in Christianity, Judaism, and other faith traditions. Faith in America will not stop working to end the immense harm they can cause, as was so frighteningly seen in Orlando last night."

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7500
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It is hard to find the words to describe all the emotions I am experiencing today. As a proud, openly gay man, this could have been my friends, my chosen family, or myself in that club this morning in Orlando. In addition to this being the worst mass shooting in American history, a clear hate crime, the North American Division makes a statement erasing the Queer community from the very tragedy. This is homophobia folks. Erasing our very existence. Even if you remain silent on LGBT issues, you are siding with the oppressor. Thank you to Spectrum for ensuring that the LGBT community wasn’t erased.

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My heart is breaking today with this news.

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It appears that conservative Adventists are consumed with same sex issues to the exclusion of heterosexual fornication, divorce, adultery and other sexual sins more prevalently mentioned in scripture, than the few random texts addressing homosexuality.

Sharia law states it is acceptable even desirable to kill gays. This was demonstrated by ISIS professionally edited videos showing gay men in the Middle Esst, being thrown off ten story buildings. Their trajectory and their bloody landings were all filmed in slow motion! These pictures had widespread publication in the very weeks that riots were occurring world wide over “cartoons” of the prophet Mohammed printed by a Paris newspaper.

Apparently these line drawings/cartoons were more offensive to Islamists than actual videos of gays being murdered.

Some Adventists rival the Islamists in their hate and homophobia.

Christ said that even looking with lust at a woman other than your wife, was committing adultery.

Similarly hatred of gays, or any group, if taken to its ultimate conclusion is akin to murder.

Our denomination has not been kind to gays/lesbians. Dr Renée. Drumm’s
doctoral dissertation, partly printed years ago by Spectrum, was a candid and shocking picture of how Adventist families, churches, and schools, have treated our LGBT offspring.

Shunning, shaming, ostracism, bullying, blaming, and the still prevalent unscientific accusation that gays/lesbians willfully chose their orientation was the modus operandi.

In the ensuing decades since her dissertation little has changed in Adventism.

Maybe it would be timely for Spectrum to re-issue Dr Drumm’s devasting document!

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June 10, 22 year old singer Christina Grimmie was shot in Orlando. She was known to be a Christian. Thus many assume it was a hate crime against Christians.

June 12, 50 people were shot and 53 wounded in a LGBTQ night club. Thus many assume it was a hate crime against the LGBTQ community.

In both cases the answer is probably “true”. And yet … in my view it is EXCLUSION to communicate these atrocious acts as acts against a particular group. It is INCLUSION to brand them as acts against humanity.

Yes, the LGBTQ community has every right to be outraged and sad - they lost good friends (and in the Orlando Kinship Chapter they are likely to have known some personally). But in all sadness and anger I wouldn’t want to single out the LGBTQ community (nor the African-American community a few months earlier in Charleston, nor the student community of Columbine, Erfurt, Winnenden…) for my sympathy. This act of hate is an act against humanity. And therefore it is not just about LGBTQs, but about you and me and …

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Andreas, I understand what you are saying here, but I think you are going to have to let those of us in the LGBTQ community mourn this as we see fit. This is an unimaginable act of hatred and horror, and personally, my anger over this is palpable. You will have to excuse us as we point our fingers back at organized religions that demean and dehumanize our community, our marriages and our very existence. This is what happens when you institutionalize intolerance, hate and bigotry. I certainly hope this comes as a learning moment for those that continue to do so, but given a very recent encounter I have personally had here, I sincerely doubt it will.

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Not to downplay the horror but is this really the worst mass killing in US history.It may be if the perpetrator is an individual but there have been many mass murders in the USA over the years some with over one hundred casualities.

And is it really a hate crime? If ones sacred literature teaches that the killing of homosexuals is not only allowed but also commendable and ones death during battle is a sure ticket to Paradise then can we reasonably expect anything different from a devout Muslim.

While we like to think of ourselves as more tolerant and loving than this our own society has a lot of innocent blood on our hands.The extra judicial killing of suspects by drones and the accompanying deaths of innocents is a grim reminder of how far we in the West are from the ideals of Jesus.

The shooting in Orlando is a tragedy but probably more have died in the USA from accidents and individual acts of violence.While we mourn the one we should not forget the others.

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if one takes the history of Islam, the recent pronouncements from Anerican Evangelicatal pulpits, and leading political want a be’s this is just the tip of the iceberg. Oh yes throw in the gun lobby. There is an essay on Agape love, we need it badly. Tom Z

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“We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.” Jonathan Swift 1711.

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Were not more Native Americans massacred when the USA was founded? That was the worst mass murder!

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Now you’ve gone to meddling. :wink: But you are correct. While some of these occurred before 1776, many occurred afterwards, and some were not in a war setting, but were outright massacres. Nothing we see today compares with the hatred exhibited toward Indians and Blacks during much of the history of this country.

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This is a very hard story for those of us in the LGBT community. On one hand a Muslim extremist intent on jihad, on the other, a gay security guard with weapons licenses who frequented the nightclub.

Reports are that he was gay, and all motivations remain up in the air. The only things we know for sure is that he killed a lot of people and he is dead.

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Jeremy

In times like this I don’t think your giving a lengthy dialog on homosexual expressions as being sinful even in committed relationships like marriage is helpful or appropriate. Your timing is off base.

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you could be right, tom…i and the poster i was responding to may not have picked up on the purpose or topic of this article…

I believe in God and his bible… and the HE says end is coming… please pray more, read more, and please… obey only that God said. Homosexual is no approved for Bible. Violence is not the answer.

I am glad to see the NAD has become more socially active. My fear is their announcements are in line with being politically correct safe positions.

I remind them that the Jesus they represent was not at all socially or politically correct. He opened his public ministry by expelling popular leaders, with a whip, alienating the rich and powerful. Who among them would be willing to donate funds or support for his ministry? Often he was on record saying, “Woe to Pharisees, Scribes, hypocrites, blind guides, fools, white washed tombs, serpents, brood of vipers…you do all your works to be seen by men…How can you escape the condemnation of hell.” (Matt 23)

I suggest the NAD issue public support for Yazidis Christians, victims of IS genocide and enslavement. Reaching out to them, “the least of these,” wherever found in refugee camps with sponsorships.

I suggest the NAD support non-violence for women in Islamic countries in face of the recent Pakistani Islamic council that has proposed a bill that allows husbands to “lightly beat” their wives as a form of discipline. The bill further states: “A husband should be allowed to lightly beat his wife if she defies his commands and refuses to dress up as per his desires; turns down demand of — without any religious excuse or does not take bath… The proposal also calls for a beating if a woman does not wear a hijab, if she interacts with strangers, speaks too loudly or gives others cash without her husband’s permission.”

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It is very well to raise our voices in support of LGBTs in Orlando but I think we should be raising our voices in defense of the innocent victims (men, women and children) of American foreign policy in the Syria and other countries.

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Yes, the innocent victims of American foreign policy in Syria and other countries are often forgotten or “erased” in regards to the tragedies they experience…so let’s be careful not to erase the experience of the Orlando victims as well.

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Aggressive persons or groups search for identified targets to project their hatred on and no community group is exempt. Personal attacks, demeaning words, religious exclusion and other forms of discrimination act as pointers toward these targets. If we can erase this discrimination from our society, then the targets cannot be so easily identified and there is a chance that the aggression may be diffused. Of course anger still demands an outlet, but we do not have to make it so easy for the aggressors.

As a response to the shooting, I have requested that my name be removed from the SDA church roll because of the church’s official policy against the LGBTQ community. I have also suggested that those who disagree with this policy to redirect their money to assist LGBT communities instead of handing it to a church organization that practices discrimination. The money can be put to positive use (professional counselling, personal support, assistance with lifestyle needs etc) instead of enriching a bloated Administration that knows no empathy. It is time to take a stand…either at an individual or collective level. Rene G.

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There are those of us straight and LGBTQ who mourn.

We mourn for the fear, bigotry, and hatred that drives the heinous acts of violence.
We mourn for the availability of cheap weapons of mass destruction.
We mourn for the divisive conservative political rhetoric that pits “us” against “them” when we are of one humanity.
We mourn at the degeneration of community and the social isolation that breeds "lone wolves."
We mourn the broken mental health systems.
We mourn the selfishness of our nation that tolerates despair.

At this time, and above all else we mourn for all of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

This is a hate crime ~not against humanity but against the LGBTQ community~ that rose out of broken communities and broken churches. We mourn with our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

ps. When we are done mourning. There will be time for outrage.

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