Let’s see now, a young Muslim male shoots up a bar full of gay people while shouting Allahu Akbar and pledging allegiance to ISIS. And this motivates the Catholic Bishop of St. Petersburg (Florida) to blog: “It is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians, and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, the hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence.”
God, give me strength. I guess Bishop Robert Lynch was referring to all the times Catholics have shot up bars full of gay people. Oh. Oops, wait a minute… Or perhaps when Methodists… Hmm, that doesn’t work either.
The bishop went on to say, “Without knowing who perpetrated the Pulse mass murders, when I saw the Imam come forward at a press conference yesterday morning, I knew that somewhere in the story there would be a search to find religious roots.”
Gee, Bishop, this search shouldn’t have taken anyone too long. A guy kills people while yelling Allahu Akbar, so a religious connection shouldn’t be that hard to establish. Nor should the identity of the specific religion involved be a mystery. It would take some seriously nuanced thinking not to spot it right off. And Brother Lynch has a hill to climb connecting this horrific event to Catholic (or Methodist or Baptist or…) thinking, which I’m sure Sunday’s wing-nut was not even familiar with.
The bishop went on to whoop up more gun control laws and to suggest that it’s un-American to subject Muslims to background checks before allowing them to immigrate to America, regardless of the fact that it is well established that a fraction of these will have mass murder on their minds. It’s the moral-equivalency, we’re-all-to-blame, shower-evil-with-love-and-it-will-cease-being-evil argument. Very soft-headed, and not at all helpful at this very dangerous time.
I’ve never read the job description of a Catholic bishop. I’d be shocked though if it didn’t include the ability to recognize, locate, and oppose Evil. Bishop Lynch’s most recent remarks lead me to fear that this is a skill he has lost, or perhaps never had. He is nearing retirement age. Good thing. I hope God blesses him in a comfortable retirement. And soon.