“Never let a good tragedy go to waste.” – Rahm Emmanuel

By now, everyone has heard of the Orlando attack, where Omar Mateen murdered 49 people in a gay nightclub before he himself was killed. The aftermath of this terror attack has been something of an interesting Rorschach Test, where everybody who has some kind of strong opinion on a given social/political issue has projected their own concerns onto the incident, and are using it to call for the implementation of this or that social agenda or to demonize this or that social group. Witness the flurry of articles, social media posts and debates that focus in on (depending on one’s concerns) the state of LGBT rights in North America, the importance of gun control/gun rights in preventing further deaths, and/or the role of Islamic radicalism in terror attacks against the West.

What has been disappointing—though not the least bit surprising—about the recent events has been the willingness of many of those commenting on them to completely ignore the facts about what actually happened in order to further a specific narrative about society. Nowhere is this more clearly seen than among the various internet-based “social justice warriors” that pounce upon this tragedy. Before anyone even knew exactly why the shooter did what he did, they were already blaming the attacks on perceived bigotry and homophobia that is being spread by conservative Christians. This is exemplified by one particular Facebook post that has been making its rounds throughout social media, which states:

You weren’t the gunman, but you didn’t want to see gay people kissing in public. You weren’t the gunman, but you don’t like gay characters on TV. You weren’t the gunman, but you think gay people are sinful and need saving.

You weren’t the gunman, but you were upset when gay people gained the right to marry. You weren’t the gunman, but you use slurs for gay people. You weren’t the gunman, but you would vote against legal protections for gay people.

You weren’t the gunman, but you’re the culture that built him. You’re the bullets in his gun.

The problem with this statement is the fact that at no point does it at all touch base with reality. There are many facts that militate against this interpretation of the event, of which I will name the two most important ones:

Fact #1: Omar Mateen was neither a Christian nor a conservative. The shooter was a Muslim man of Afghan descent. Furthermore, he was not even a particularly religious Muslim. Various investigations into his life indicate that he himself was gay, and had frequented the very nightclub he shot up in the past. But then, he made a 180 degree turn and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State just shortly before the shooting. How does one reconcile these two apparently contradictory sets of facts with one another? There are many theories that one could posit. Perhaps he didn’t really mean his last minute pledge of allegiance and did it out of spite against those who’ve rejected him. Or perhaps he was sincere, and we have a case of what some social commentators have dubbed “Sudden Jihad Sydrome.” Either way, it is not at all clear that Christian opposition of homosexuality had anything to do with his motives.

Fact #2: The response of the Christian community has been overwhelmingly one of compassion. Sure, one can always point to a Steven Anderson as an example of how some radical Christians are praising the shooter. But why point to the exceptions rather than the rule? Why not mention the fact that Chik-Fil-A opened on a Sunday for the first time in its history to make chicken sandwiches to donate to blood donors helping the victims? How about mentioning Russell Moore’s plea for mutual understanding and sharing of grief between the Christian and LGBT communities? This is the critical element that is missing in the “Social Justice” narrative: The actual words and actions of the very Christians they seek to lay the blame on for this terror attack.

It can be extremely frustrating for Christians to be blamed for what happened in the face of all the facts. But then again, we live in a society where Cultural Marxism (as opposed to Biblical Christianity) determines how to properly interpret all facts and events. As Dr. Scott Masson has pointed out in his lecture “Repressive Tolerance and Cultural Marxism,” this ideology sees Christianity as the root of all social injustice in the world, and must therefore be stigmatised and marginalized in the name of “tolerance.” Its main dogma—its theory of “privileged classes”—artificially sorts everyone into various gradations of either privilege or oppression/victimhood. Warren J. Blumenfeld (one of the promoters of this ideology in academia), has written about how various religious groups can be classified under hierarchies of privilege. Protestants are more privileged than Catholics, and both are more privileged than non-Christian groups such as Jews, Muslims, and people of no religion. Furthermore, since race also factors into this theory of privilege, predominantly white Protestant denominations are more privileged than predominantly non-white denominations.[1] And of course, in recent years, sexual orientation has figured prominently in this theory of privilege, with heterosexuals being vastly more privileged than LGBT people of all stripes.

Because all facts are filtered through this filter of “privilege,” narratives must always be structured in a way that those with the most privilege are the chief oppressors. Thus, even though both Christianity and Islam declare homosexuality to be a sin, Cultural Marxists will almost always focus on Christian homophobia to the exclusion of Muslim homophobia (the exceptions to this rule are usually liberal Muslims or ex-Muslims, who are generally more attuned to the problems occurring within Muslim societies). The aftermath of the Orlando attack is perhaps one of the most extreme examples of this cognitive dissonance to date. Here, social justice warriors operating according to the rubric of “privileged/oppressed classes” take what is, according to all facts and evidence, an act of Islamic homophobia, and attributing it to Christians!

This brings us back to one of the most important insights of the late Reformed Christian philosopher Cornelius Van Til. Van Til pointed out that despite our pretensions to the contrary, none of us ever approaches facts and evidence with an unbiased mind. In other words, neutrality is a myth. All of us operate according to a worldview, which we use to arrange the evidence into one coherent narrative. The problem with this is that only one worldview can be universally true (and we who are Christians do believe that this one true universal worldview is the Biblical one), and every other worldview must of necessity ignore certain facts about reality or twist them beyond any reasonable interpretation of them. Cultural Marxism is one such worldview, and the Orlando terror attack proves that this worldview is incapable of explaining reality as it really is. Saint Paul said it best about such false worldviews when he said, “claiming to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22, ESV).

Having said this, I would like to briefly touch upon the question of what the proper Christian response to the Orlando massacre should be. Perhaps the best response to date has been that of Michael L. Brown, entitled “A Christian Message to LGBT Americans in the Wake of the Orlando Shooting.” I encourage everyone to read this article and mirror its words to everyone they know who is LGBT or an “ally” of that movement. I will conclude with his words:

Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). He said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). And he said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

But he also said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). And “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (Mark 8:34-35).

It is Jesus that you need.

[1] Warren J. Blumenfield, “Christian Privilege and the Promotion of ‘Secular’ and not-so ‘Secular’ Mainline Christianity in Public Schooling and in the Larger Society,” Equity and Excellence in Education 39 (3): 195–210.

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