The shooting in Orlando, Florida in the early morning hours on Sunday was a horrible tragedy. It was a horrific mass shooting that was both a terrorist shooting by someone who identified himself with Isis, and an act of domestic terrorism by someone born here who bought an assault rifle and decided to use it in an act of hate and violence. It was the act of a coward.
How do we view this act of violence?
A few have unfortunately already begun to drink from the cup of condemnation. They view it as “divine retribution for sins.” They have forgotten their First Love and have become like the Pharisees; grasping at law, yet compassionless for their brothers and sisters in the human race God created.
Some have latched onto and drink from the cup of politics. Instead of focusing on sympathy for the grieving families, and allowing time to mourn, they jump immediately on the bandwagon of gun control. While I may entirely agree with your position, now is not the time; now is the time for lamentation.
Others may choose to drink from the cup of hatred: all Muslims are alike. If Omar Mateen’s family had been banned from coming into this country, this never would have happened. We forget the Pilgrims came to this country to have religious freedom.
I prefer to drink from the cup of unity and compassion; I thirst right now for unity and compassion in our country and with my Christian brothers and sisters.
As President Obama said yesterday,
“This was an act of terror and an act of hate; this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American — regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation — is an attack on all of us and on the fundamental values of equality and dignity that define us as a country. And no act of hate or terror will ever change who we are or the values that make us Americans.
“Today marks the most deadly shooting in American history.
“In the coming hours and days, we’ll learn about the victims of this tragedy. Their names. Their faces. Who they were. The joy that they brought to families and to friends, and the difference that they made in this world. Say a prayer for them and say a prayer for their families—that God give them the strength to bear the unbearable. And that He give us all the strength to be there for them, and the strength and courage to change.
“In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another. We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.”
It should not matter this terrorist took out his hate upon people in a gay bar. It should matter that he took out his hate upon 103 human beings, 50 of whom died on American soil.
I pray with all my heart God plants a thirst in us for unity, grace and love. I pray as a nation we unite in compassion, we reach for dignity for all people He has created. I pray for those of us who are Christians, God please help us lay down our need to accuse and condemn, and pick up Jesus’ yoke of love and grace.
I pray with all my strength we see this as a horrible act of hatred, of terror, of one person’s twisted mind taking out his twisted logic on 103 people, 50 of whom are dead. Let us pray in grace, and be united in love.
15 thoughts on “From What Cup Will We Drink?”
I do have to say that I dislike when politician use these occurrences for political agendas, such as the presidents list of qualifications –
regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation
Is it not sufficient to simply say, Americans? Until we look upon all of us as simply Americans we will continue to see our differences instead of what we have in common.
I think the President did that because of that cup, Mike. He was attempting to unify. Unfortunately, it’s not sufficient to simply say Americans any more, particularly in this case because it was a hate crime.
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I think we need to agree to disagree here. I do not believe that dividing a people is a way to unite them. We’ve done this to the Native Americans, to the Chinese workers, to Catholics, to blacks. It creates animosity between the groups, instead of fostering feelings of brotherhood. Until we can see beyond race, ethnicity, religion, etc., we are just going to continue this attitude of “us vs them”.
I don’t think we’re disagreeing here. The fact is, a gay bar was hit; it was a hate crime. I think the President was simply naming it. To not name it would have been like having an elephant in the room.
Just my opinion. Again, I agree that we need to foster brotherhood and unity. And he did close with, “Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.”
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I do think we disagree on this, if there is an elephant in the room everyone knows it is there, to point it out is not necessary. I know how he closed, it is the rest that is important. I find him to be the most divisive president since Lincoln, probably since Jackson.
Well, I guess we do disagree then.
The idiom means it is an obvious truth so big it is impossible to overlook but that no one wants to address. It is the lack of addressing it that makes the entire gathering uncomfortable and anxious.
And I suppose since you’ve lumped Obama in with Lincoln, he’s in good company. 😉
Obama in with Lincoln, he’s in good company. 😉
Remember, it was because of Lincoln that the nation was thrown into a civil war, where thousands died. The opposition (Democrats) believed that they could not negotiate with him. This president has shown the same, there is no negotiation. I believe he has brought the country to the brink of a second civil war; his successor will either turn us around, or push us over the edge. This is a far more polarized nation than it was 12 years ago.
Susan, thank you for your reasoned response to this tragedy. When I first learned of it, I prayed for the victims and their families and then stopped looking at the news or reading about it. I’ll wait a week or so (if it stays in the news that long) and then look for the facts.
That is exactly where our prayers need to be right now, Don.
This was a hate crime to be sure, and the young man was an extremist who was a believer in Isis – but I saw an interview with his father, a Muslim, who was shocked and horrified by his son’s behavior, and said if he had known he would have contacted authorities. He even apologies to the families of the victims.
So very sad.
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I am blown away. I can’t say more right now. It wants time for me to find it out.
It’s one thing for me to read that Jesus calls me to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me. Here I immediately think of two groups both of which consider themselves my enemy and persecute my people. So, here is the perfect place to honor my Master, and live out the call of my Savior to love and pray. Yet, I confess that wasn’t my first response. Thank you for this reminder, this call for my confession and repentance. I am honored and humbled to be among people who did go there first. I’m also very appreciative that I get to learn from you. Thank you.
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And I am appreciative the Spirit has such a tight hold on me, Matt. I think I am blessed I wasn’t raised in a Christian home; I didn’t have a lot of negative beliefs or bad theology to overcome. I came to Jesus late in life, naked and vulnerable, wanting to learn from His words first.
Now, just fervently sending out prayers that our broken world would be healed; after all, He came to save all of creation, not just some. And we’re called to be light in the darkness. And last Sunday morning was very dark indeed.
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Amen Susan. I couldn’t agree with you more. Hate crimes (scapegoating) is one of the things Jesus came to undo on the cross. It was an angry mob who killed Jesus. Today, the scapegoats are Muslims, the LGBT community, and undocumented aliens. We first ostracize, then politicize, so we can rile up an angry mob. It’s all based in fear, not love. We so easily forget the teachings of Jesus and justify our retributive hatred and anger. Rather than making the country safe from actual criminals, we increase the violence and hatred. When will we ever learn!
I’m praying for the survivors and the families of those who were killed. Hopefully, they will be met with love and compassion from my fellow Christians and not our self-righteous vitriol. Blessings.
Praying the same; blessings to you as well, Mel.
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