The Blood on our Hands
A couple years ago, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my newly emboldened beliefs about the Church’s policies and political advocacy against LGBTQ rights. She implored that the Bible, and therefore God, preached against homosexuality “all over the place!” Despite there being only six references to homosexuality in the entire Bible (as opposed to the thousands of references to social justice and protecting the marginalized), this is what she wholeheartedly believed.
She isn’t alone. Members of our church and many others have used those six verses to spread hatred and bigotry in the name of our God. Those six verses fueled Prop 8 in California. They fueled Obergefell vs. Hodges. They fueled the 100+ anti-LGBTQ bills that have been passed or are currently in the process of being considered in 22 states.
And then events like The Pulse happen and we act surprised. How could all of this hatred and scare-mongering actually lead to the
We are quick to blame someone else because it’s easier that way. It’s easier to believe it’s terrorism or ISIS or something that we aren’t connected to. It’s easier to believe the dozens of anti-LGBTQ laws that have been proposed in the last six months have nothing to do with it. It’s easier to believe that our conversations about “religious freedom” and “safe bathrooms” have nothing to do with it. It’s easier to believe that we wouldn’t ever do something so heinous.
And yet we point to Leviticus to prove that God disproves of homosexuality. That God certainly wouldn’t want LGBTQ persons to enjoy the same rights as the rest of us, that God doesn’t want us to “accept their lifestyle,” that God wants us to “stand firm” against “immorality.”
Perhaps we were not holding the gun but we certainly would keep them from their families for eternity.
Perhaps we were not holding the gun but we turn a blind eye as our LGBTQ Mormon youth hold guns to their own heads after their silent desperation can be borne no longer.
Perhaps we were not holding the gun but we fail to recognize that we are advocating for our “religious freedom” based on verses that advocate the killing of LGBTQ persons.
Today we send out our thoughts and prayers to those affected. We mourn. My hope and prayer is that tomorrow we won’t be back out there trying to keep them second-class citizens. Maybe, just maybe, the blood of the fallen innocent will speak to our hearts and change our social consciousness as we take notice of the blood on our own hands.