Hate is hate. It doesn’t matter what the source of the hate is or the justification of the hate; it is what it is. Predictably, some cowards elect to hide behind gestures of love when acting out their hatred towards others. In the case of Republican Congress members, they hid behind a prayer.
According to Roll Call, nearly two weeks before a mass shooting occurred at the Pulse Orlando in Florida, House Republicans asked the Good Lord to smite every gay man and woman. Making matters even more cringe-worthy, they did this before voting to block a bill which contained a pro-LGBT amendment.
From Roll Call:
House Republicans at a conference meeting heard a Bible verse that calls for death for homosexuals shortly before the chamber voted Thursday morning to reject a spending bill that included an amendment barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Whether the freshman member who gave the prayer intended to condemn members of the LGBT community has left Republicans and Democrats deeply divided…Georgia Rep. Rick W. Allen led the opening prayer by reading from Romans 1:18-32, and Revelations 22:18-19.”
The Romans quote includes these passages:
” And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.”
“Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
Let’s consider for a moment that someone within the United States Congress thought reading this was in good taste. They thought it was perfectly acceptable to pray and read these passages before making legislative decisions that would impact gay Americans.
This is our government at work. It’s not a conservative Christian church on Sunday morning, but you wouldn’t know it sometimes. The separation of church and state exists for a reason: To respect the religious freedoms of all Americans. The separation also helps protect Americans from the waves of religious fervor that can lead to suffering and murder. The United States government isn’t meant to act under the authority of any specific god or gods. When Americans are made unsafe and are disenfranchised by the government acting on behalf of subjective religious beliefs, then our government has failed its people.
— Gabriel Arana (@gabrielarana) June 12, 2016
It’s also worth noting the profound hypocrisy this reveals when it comes to Republicans. These people decry Islam as evil, pearl-clutch at the notion of “Sharia Law,” and want everyone to believe Muslim refugees are ISIS sympathizers in disguise. All this while ignoring that the vast majority of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world are sensible peace-loving individuals.
Yep, for every non-Muslim American, there are about four Muslims in the world. I’m sure if all Muslims everywhere wanted to band together and kill Americans, it would have happened quite some time ago. If they did nothing but pray to Allah for the death of Americans, they would be no better or worse than the Republican representatives in Congress, wouldn’t they?
Hate in the name of one religion isn’t somehow nobler than hate in the name of another. Had the gunman killed those 50 innocent people in the name of Christ, it would have been as distasteful as killing them in the name of Allah. Either way, it would be a heartbreaking incident worthy of the strongest condemnations possible.
As I said, hate is hate.
H/T to Andrew Kaczynski; photo by Chip Somodevilla/Monika Graff/Getty Images