Yesterday morning, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick posted a tweet that seemed incredibly insensitive given that it came just hours after the Orlando gay nightclub massacre.
Given Patrick’s past statements against LGBT rights, it wasn’t obvious if this was a case of a badly pre-scheduled post or a slam on homosexuality.
The tweet was eventually removed and Patrick soon issued this statement explaining what happened. But the statement may have been worse than the tweet he deleted.
As noted to the media earlier, the post from Galatians, that received many hateful comments, was put on the schedule Thursday. Our scripture was not posted in reaction to the shooting.
The verse has nothing to do with God’s judgement on any one person or a specific group of people. If some chose to read into it what they wanted they either have never read Galatians Chapter 6 or have misread it.
Some wanted the post pulled down and others did not. Let me be clear, I didn’t pull down the FB post & tweet because God’s word is wrong. His word is never wrong. Taking down his word would be like tearing a page from the Bible because we didn’t like what God was telling us. I took it down to stop the hateful comments and the misinformation being spread of God’s message to all of us — straight or gay.
The hateful comments today following my post of a simple scripture verse, totally unrelated to the terrible killings last night, that were directed at me and God’s word, is another example of that hate. I pray these divisions will end.
If some insist on hate speech as a response, that is their decision, not mine. The enemy is ISIS, not each other. We must come together to fight them. ISIS believes in the killing of gays. America does not and Christians do not. Let’s focus on the real enemy.
It was a completely tone-deaf response to a completely tone-deaf tweet, even if that tweet was the result of bad timing.
Where to begin?
It takes a Christian like Patrick, someone who constantly believes he’s being persecuted, to take the deaths of 50 people and write about all the “hate” directed his way. As if he’s the real victim here. That “hate” came in the form of criticism against his foolish, bigoted theology. No atheist ever walks into a church with an automatic weapon because Richard Dawkins told him to.
Patrick also posted the first 10 verses of Galatians 6 to offer more context to the lines he tweeted. But should that even matter? He didn’t think any of that context was important yesterday morning; the lines stood on their own only until people began interpreting them at face value. If Patrick doesn’t like that, he should stop quoting lines from the Bible, period.
It’s not our fault for being able to read English.
And if the only problem was the misinterpretation, why did Patrick delete the tweet? By his own account, he did nothing wrong. His actions go against his own explanation.
Finally, Patrick said that “The enemy is ISIS, not each other.” But he’s wrong about that. ISIS may be killing gay people, but plenty of Americans (mostly Christians) will do everything in their power to make the lives of LGBT Americans a living hell. When you’re arguing they don’t deserve marriage equality, or the ability to adopt kids, or that their homosexuality can be “cured,” you’re also dehumanizing them. Saying that you’re better than ISIS because you don’t pull the trigger (or push people off buildings) isn’t exactly a compliment.
The underlying problem here is that some people treat LGBT individuals as beneath them because of what a holy book says. The solution is convincing people to stop taking those books seriously — and, of course, regulating the means by which they act out on what they believe to be God’s will.
Dan Patrick may not be as bad as ISIS, but you won’t see his name praised during your local gay pride parade. He’s a monster who believes there’s something wrong with LGBT people. If he could undo all the progress we’ve made over the past decade regarding gay rights, he would do it.
Maybe his tweet’s timing was unintentional, but he very deliberately chose that verse because he thinks it represents biblical wisdom.