I originally began working on this piece last week as a post pointing out the folly of tribalism, wherein people allow their thing to define them: music genre, political affiliation, sexuality, race, sports team, whatever. The piece went on to describe people who are so committed to their thing, they refuse to see inherent problems within, all the while pointing fingers at the other side of the aisle.
Then this morning the attack on the gay nightclub in Orlando happened.
No words can express how sorry I am for those who have been killed, hurt, or terrorized in this wretched act of violence and hatred.
But I am writing because of what I fear will no doubt happen. The tribes will form. Fingers will point. The Left and the Right will battle. Twitter, Facebook and all the social media sites will be flooded with messages.
The wrong ones.
Messages of hope and support will be drowned out by messages of hate as people will make this tragedy about themselves. There will be roars of “BAN ALL GUNS!!” and the natural “GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE”. This will then be countered again as both sides of the spectrum will drag out articles on gun violence vs. gun defense.
Rational thoughts to an irrational act will be gone, and blind reaction will rule.
I only beg...BEG, people to hold your loved ones close. Assure them they are OK. And together, make the world a better place. Teach tolerance to your children. Practice acceptance among your circle of friends. Unlearn hate for those different than you.
To the people on the Progressive Left: Guns are an easy vehicle to kill people. Without a doubt. But the lack of guns did not stop the Oklahoma Bombing in 1995, the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013, and the terrorists who took over the planes in 9/11 did not have guns. Hatred finds a way, no matter what.
To the people on the Religious Right: If you still ascribe to the belief that homosexuals need to die, then you are more like the terrorists you claim to hate than you’d like to admit. For Islam and Christianity are only separated by the Sons of Abraham. Please, remember Mathew 5:9. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
We need more middle ground peace makers in this country and world. People who tell those who ascribe to tribalism that they are wrong. That one side never has all the answers. People who tolerate, foster cooperation, trust and love in order to elevate one another vice huddle in their sociopolitical caves of self-righteousness.
We, as humans, have the capacity for such greatness. But too, the capacity for atrocity. We have to remain vigilant against those who would harm while fostering hope and love.
So, for those who died, were hurt and were targeted: Once again, I am so very sorry. I never knew any of you, but you did not deserve what happened.
No one does.