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Jun 13 2016

You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

Sunday morning this country and the world woke up to the news of the worst mass shooting in American history. A lone gunman snuffed out the lives of 49 young men and women of the LGBT community, injured 53, some of who may also die, as they celebrated Latin night in a gay night club in Orlando, Florida.

Hatred by any other name is still hate regardless of its roots. While the news media, pundits and politicians focus on the Orlando shooter’s links to fundamental Islam, his trips to Saudi Arabia, the point they miss is this was a crime of hatred of our freedom to be how we are. The shooter’s religion is not relevant, his narrow-minded fundamentalist hatred for the LGBT community is. The gunman’s own father told the press that his son was incensed when he saw two young men kissing in public. And who taught him to hate an act that had no impact on him or his life? His father, even though the man denies it, he put the seed in his son’s mind.

The only purpose of the focus on this young man’s religion is to foment more fear, more hatred and more guns. .

Orlando mass shooting: Bigotry is bigotry, no matter what religion you use to justify it
Amanda Marcotte, Salon

 

Waking this morning to the news that there had been a mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub called Pulse — an attack that killed 50 people and left another 53 wounded, some critically — you can sense conservative pundits getting ready to pounce. Once the name of the shooter, Omar Mateen, was released, their mouths were watering. Once it was revealed that Mateen called 911 and pledged his loyalty to ISIS, they were ready to shill their narrative. [..]

What does this line of attack even mean? After all, whenever Democrats do things like stand up for the rights of LGBT people to get married, live free of discrimination, or even use the bathroom in peace, they get lambasted by right wingers for this supposed “political correctness”. Are we meant to believe that Mateen shot up a gay bar as a show of politically correct solidarity with the rights of LGBT Americans? Can these right wing bloviaters even hear themselves anymore?

Liberals do not deny that the Islamic fundamentalism preached by groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda regards homosexuality as an abomination and opposes the rights of gay people to live freely and to marry. But guess what! So do the Christian fundamentalists in our own country, the very same ones who are always telling us how oppressed they are by “political correctness” and how they are being denied their “religious freedom” when they are expected to treat LGBT Americans equally.

The common thread here, again and again, is religious fundamentalism, whether your call it “Christian” or “Muslim.” LGBT people have been the favorite punching bag of the Christian right in this country for years. Whenever the Christian right needs to rally the troops, they start running around, hair on fire, screaming about how the queers are out to get your children. [..]

But while there is absolutely zero evidence that allowing LGBT people their basic rights has done any damage whatsoever to straight people, there is a substantial amount of reason to believe that this constant drumbeat of bigoted rhetoric coming from the religious right makes the world less safe for LGBT folks. [..]

Homophobia, misogyny, toxic masculinity, and religious fundamentalism are all tied together in a noxious knot that feminists call “patriarchy”, and it’s a cancer that crosses cultural and national and even religious lines.

It’s the root cause of those anti-gay hate crimes, of that disgusting Stanford rapist’s entitlement (and of rape generally), of the thousands of women who lose their lives to domestic violence, of all manner of oppression, from child marriage to abortion bans to anti-sodomy laws.

We do not fight this evil by blaming liberalism. We fight it by embracing liberalism, and the values of equality, religious liberty, acceptance, and sexual freedom. We strive for an end of all religions teaching that homosexuality is a sin or that women are inferior to men. We demand an end to all hate, whether it goes under the name of “Christianity” or “Islam” or whatever other word you want to give it. Only then will people be free to live their lives without fear of bigotry-based violence.

The deaths of all these young, vibrant people hurts us all and is all too familiar in this country.

 

As John said, we outnumber them. You may niot be able to donate blood but you can help the survivors and their families. A Go-Fund-Me page has been set up to support them

 

Funds raised on this page will be going directly to the victims and families affected by the horrific shooting at Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. Equality Florida is working with local organizations – who are also helping to raise funds – to ensure the money is distributed properly. Thank you for the support!

You can also visit http://www.eqfl.org/news/pulse to get more information on vigils, counseling, and blood drives happening across the state. We’re also posting updates on Equality Florida’s Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/equalityfl