Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today, offered this reflection on Sunday morning’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 50 people dead:
We at Christianity Today are deeply grieved by the shooting in Orlando that killed 50 people. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to friends and family of the victims. In this case, the attack was targeted at one group, and so our prayers go up for gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities who now live with a heightened sense of fear. We are glad to hear of so many Christians, from many theological persuasions, reaching out to comfort them in their grief.
That’s very kind of him to say… though I’ll admit it’s hard to take him seriously since Galli is the same guy who said this almost exactly a year ago, referring to evangelical Christians who go against the Bible to fight for LGBT equality:
We’ll be sad, but we won’t panic or despair. Neither will we feel compelled to condemn the converts and distance ourselves from them. But to be sure, they will be enlisting in a cause that we believe is ultimately destructive to society, to the church, and to relations between men and women.
There’s the evangelical mindset for you: civil rights for LGBT people are “ultimately destructive to society,” but we’re really, really sorry you have to live in fear.
As if there’s no connection between religious bigotry and the people who act on it.
I’m gonna bet Galli doesn’t see that connection at all. He has to ignore it. Otherwise, his head might start to hurt.
Don’t worry, though. He has a “unique solution” to this problem: Prayer:
We share this with other religionists, of course, but we practice it in our own way. We don’t often see its effect, but Jesus has promised that prayer in his name makes a difference. It’s times like these that it can be hard to pray, but it’s vital we take Jesus at his word on this matter.
Galli spends literally four words talking about the need for “social service as citizens” and multiple paragraphs talking about the need for prayer.
Prayer won’t change anything.
Gun safety measures will help.
Pushing people away from religious beliefs will help.
Treating LGBT people with the respect they deserve so that their existence isn’t seen as a problem will help.
Talking to Jesus will do jack shit. But I’m glad it’ll help Galli sleep better at night since none of his other suggestions have done anything meaningful for the LGBT community.
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