In the early morning hours on a Sunday, June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and began shooting as many people as he could. He killed 49 people and wounded 53 more before being shot himself. It is being called the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Some say this is an act of terrorism because Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS just prior to the shooting, but I think it was the vainglorious words of a crazed gunman hoping to make his madness seem noble in some sense.
Mateen crossed the FBI’s radar screen a couple of times, so the FBI is being blamed for not intervening. But the FBI, despite its investigative abilities, is completely incapable of diagnosing the mental state of a suspect, or predicting what that suspect will do.
The smoke from this tragedy has barely cleared and we are already arguing about who should or should not be able to purchase guns and what types of guns. It seems we are too quickly losing sight of the loss of human life.
But I suppose the most surprising development throughout this tragedy is that Christians are being blamed for creating an atmosphere of hate towards the LGBT community that made such an act in some sense acceptable. What kind of hysteria interprets a difference of opinion as a death wish, or uses a tragedy to press a political agenda?
We know that Bible-believing Christians fundamentally disagree with the LGBT community over the nature of their lifestyle, and the rhetoric has, at times, been acrimonious on both sides. This is regrettable. But while believers cannot condone what the Bible condemns, neither can we condone the senseless sin of murder.
For some time the Cathy family and the Chick-Fil-A restaurants they started have been the target of LGBT activists calling them homophobic and gay haters because they support traditional family values and biblical marriage. The LGBT community actively boycotts Chick-Fil-A restaurants calling their chicken sandwiches “hate chicken.”
In keeping with their family values Chick-Fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays to give their employees the opportunity to rest and spend time with their families, or attend worship services if they wish.
But this Sunday was different. As the tragedy unfolded at the Pulse nightclub the staff of several local Chick-fil-A’s went into work and began preparing meals to feed those who were standing in long lines to donate blood in the emergency situation.
They also supplied emergency personnel and volunteers with meals throughout the ordeal. They did so without asking a dime for the food, or a pat on the back for their service. The only statement issued was to say there are exceptions to their policy of being closed on Sundays when the community is in need.
“If your enemy is hungry, give him something to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,” Proverbs 25:21. That’s what Chick-Fil-A did without hate or fanfare. It’s what Christians do.