It is no secret that many on the right feel that homosexual and transgender advocates are challenging traditional belief systems and promoting a moral relativism that is detrimental to our society. However, while we are adversaries in this culture war, we are all human. Our common bond is that we all inhabit this Earth, we all have moments of laughter, of joy, of sorrow and that at the end of the day, we are all human beings.
We all, regardless of sexual orientation or political leanings, should vehemently reject the kind of violence seen in Orlando. Homosexual, straight, Christian, Muslim- we must all reject this extremism and take note of those that do not.
Though I cannot speak for the entirety of conservatism in America, I know many, many people who are praying for the victims and the families of the victims and shaking their heads in absolute disgust.
However, in a sickening display of how divided we have become as a culture and as a nation, the aftermath of this heinous terrorist attack has brought out the worst in Americans.
It has prompted division at a time when unity is required.
It has prompted calls for further infringements upon the Second Amendment at a time when the tool used to wreak havoc should be the farthest thing from our minds.
It has prompted a call for increased tolerance (a noble idea), but at a time when increased vigilance should be the resounding message.
It has prompted people in both the U.S. and in other nations to stand in solidarity not with the U.S., but with the homosexual community.
This was an attack on America. Let’s remember that.
We are gleaning the wrong messages from this attack. In the aftermath of this horror, the internet was abuzz with pictures from around the world of people standing in solidarity with the homosexual community. Rainbow colors adorned the Space Needle and the World Trade Center here in the U.S. Rainbow flags fly in South Korea, in Thailand, and countless other countries. Australia illuminated several bridges and buildings in rainbow colors.
It is all very nice gestures and I don’t disagree with the outpouring of support. But where’s the red, white and blue?
In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attack, for example, the Space Needle proudly waved the French flag. The rainbow flag flies high atop the needle now- a nice thought that serves as a reminder of just how divided we have become as a nation.
Put another way: why are we so divided that there is a “Gay America” and then simply “the rest of us”?
The internet’s trends indicate the depth of the problem. “#GaysBreakThe Internet” is trending along with “#LoveWins” and “LoveisLove.” These are divisive notions that presume that the attack in Orlando is not an attack on us all, but an attack on homosexuals.
While the rage was undebatably pointed toward the patrons of a homosexual club, the terrorist also scouted several other places to enact his vengeance against the Western world, including Disney World.
This was an attack on America that occurred at a homosexual club; it was not a hate crime that happened to take place in America.
To be clear: it is no coincidence that the ISIS attack occurred at a homosexual club. The Muslim world holds a remarkably intolerant view of homosexuality. While Christians in America are working to curb homosexual definitions of marriage through dialogue and legal actions, homosexuals in the Muslim world face beheading and being thrown off of buildings in retaliation for their sexual orientation.
Still, too much of the left is hyper-focused on battling conservatism while simultaneously embracing the Islamic world. If the left were truly interested in issues affecting homosexuals, if they were truly interested in advancing tolerance and women’s rights, they would be committed to battling radical Islam instead of berating conservatives who see the implicit danger of importing millions into the Western world.
President Obama and other liberals have stuck to their predictable script. They have offered sympathies and then promptly pivoted to blaming the firearm and the Second Amendment.
All of them, however, conspicuously neglect to mention that a single firearm in the hands of a club patron might have been able to stop the carnage early on.
ISIS’ attacks will only get worse if we do not band together. This time it was a homosexual club. Next time, it could be a church or synagogue. It could be a business office or, since they still remain unarmed, it could be another military recruiting station.
We cannot afford to divide ourselves along lines of racial, gender or sexual orientation. We must all be Americans and understand the dangers posed by radical Islam and commit ourselves to “all of us” versus those who commit violence in the name of Allah.
Hashtags are not enough. If we wish to do good in this world and make a difference, we must first band together and drop the division.
We must not confuse hashtags and trite sentiments with real advocacy and use this opportunity to shine a light on what radical Islam really is.
We must be willing to support politicians and leaders who are taking this threat seriously.
And above all else, we must be united as Americans and remind the world that this was not an attack on a sexual orientation, but an attack on the Western world.