It's a sad and illogical leap, yet we are hearing it in countless ways in the media. People are suggesting that somehow Christians helped fuel the hate crime of an Islamic terrorist against the gay community. Conservative blogger Matt Walsh lists just some of them:
- A column in the Huffington Post, published the morning of the attack, drew a direct line connecting religious freedom laws to “the dangers LGBT people live with everyday.”
- A post in the Independent declared that “what drove” a gay Muslim Democrat to murder his fellow homosexuals “is the same hate that drives” Republicans and conservatives.
- An editorial in the Globe and Mail accused conservative Republicans of perpetuating an ideology that’s “shockingly similar” to jihadism.
- The New York Times reports that leading gay activists are beginning to “wonder” whether fights over “transgender” bathrooms and religious liberty could have sparked the increase in anti-gay violence. An increase that they “sense” but cannot statistically prove, outside of the massacre in Orlando.
While this seems insane, Walsh worries that the fear-mongering will serve to shut Christians up--more than they already are. Walsh writes, "But what I really fear, even more than these inevitable consequences, is that sincere and devout Christians will become so beaten down by the accusations that they’ll begin to think there may be some truth to them. It’s hard for a human to remain confident in his beliefs when, everywhere he goes, the world is foisting guilt and shame upon him. It has a disorienting effect, and after a while he might start to believe that the guilt and shame is really his to bear."
Walsh believes that, despite what the media portrays, there are far too few Christians speaking up for their faith. "More often, for the average American Christian, our sin is not that we speak too harshly or too violently against evil, but that we do not speak against it at all. The media paints a picture of a country overrun by radical, fundamentalist Bible thumpers roaming the land, shouting, 'Repent, you sinners!' But most of us look around our half empty churches and scratch our heads wondering where we might find these mystical creatures. We know we’re much more likely to happen across a Christian shouting, 'There is no such thing as sin! Let’s party!' Or words to that effect."
Instead of shut up, we must speak up for God's love and truth, and renew our own faith that has been muddied by our culture of tolerance. Walsh says, "The crisis in western Christendom is not intolerance. It is indifference. That’s the illness we should be primarily focused on treating. But if you are one of the rare specimens who cares deeply for your faith, attests to its truth, lives by its tenets, and proclaims the Word in all its glory – even the parts that are politically incorrect and inconvenient – then feel no shame and make no apologies. You’re doing what you have to do and what you’re called to do."
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