Milt Hankins Columnist With a View

Milt Hankins
Columnist With a View

The horror unleashed in the morning hours of Sunday, June 12, 2016, in an Orlando gay nightclub presents a real conundrum for some fundamentalist/conservative Christians.

How is that, you say? Here are my questions:  Will these Christians be incensed by the actions of this radical Muslim, homophobic killer? Or will they be secretly pleased that the country is “rid” of 49 gays and gay sympathizers?

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From what I read and understand, there would be a certain delight within some religious groups to learn about such a reign of mayhem in a gay nightclub. That is, that “those sinners might be suddenly thrown before a holy and righteous God (or, into judgment, if you please) for their abominations.”

You think not? That, perhaps, I have slipped beyond the boundaries of propriety? That it might somehow please me to point out the depths to which some of thse so-called Christians (with whom I consistently disagree) will sink in their abhorrence of LGBTs?

Think again. According to an article by Jan Hayden titled, “Sacramento Baptist Preacher Praises Orlano Shooter,” published by the Daily Kos on Tuesday, June 14, 2016, “Sacramento Baptist preacher Roger Jimenez is ducking cameras and news crews in California after he shared his Sunday sermon on YouTube. In the vile, hate-riddled sermon, the Verity Baptist Church preacher said, ‘Are you sad that 50 pedophiles were killed today? Um no, I think that’s great! I think that helps society. I think Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight.'”

According to the YouTube video, Jimenez went on to say, “I wish the government would sound them all up, put them up against a firing wall, put a firing squad in front of them and blow their brains out!”

tribalism-1201697_1280Ordinarily, I would not have believed this report. But, I watched the video and read the article, Jimenez convinced me that, indeed, the massacre at The Pulse presented a sticky situation to many “believers” who are, first of all, wrongly convinced that all homosexuals are pedophiles; and secondly, a “supposed” clergyman who believes that here in America it would be acceptable for the government to round up any group of people anathema to him and his followers, “put them up against a firing wall…and blow their brains out!”

I suspect that all of us are aware of the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas. This group of so-called “Christians” has picketed the funerals of gays, Jews, famous people and, especially, military personnel, holding signs which read “God Hates Fags!” As a matter of fact their website is godhatesfags.com.

Unfortunately, there is a strong tendency to lump people who are not like “us” into malignant, oppositional categories. They are not us; they are “them” people. Assuredly, bigotry is not new to the church, but it seems more vociferous and venomous nowadays.

If you want to be “real” Christian, I’d say you might begin by getting out of churches like those I have mentioned above, and if your pastor wants to know why you are leaving, tell him!