Michael Maiello's picture

    Florida Shootings -- Stop Missing the Point

    My liberal Twitter and Facebook feeds are all abuzz with anger at the NRA over the terrorist attack in Orlando. That's fine.  There are plenty of reasons to be angry at the NRA.  Our lack of reasonable gun control is a problem. I'm with you.  But let's not miss the point here.

    A man shot at hundreds of people, killing more than twenty and wounding more than forty, because he was angry that he saw two men kissing in public.  The man reportedly has connections to Islamic extremists.  Gun or not, his motive was to export his intolerance, specifically his hatred of homosexuality.

    Our problem, as a culture, is that we tolerate religious intolerance.  We tolerate it from Christians and Jews and Muslims. We tolerate it when we exempt Catholic employers from complying with the Affordable Care Act, we tolerate it when we allow orthodox Jews in Brooklyn to demand separate male and female bathing hours at public pools and we tolerate it when we allow Muslims to practice the illiberal aspects of their religion in our pluralistic society.

    The problem here is not guns.  The problem is religious extremism religion.

    We should not make our laws (even our gun laws) to accommodate religious extremists.

    We need to stop tolerating intolerance. That, not the NRA is the real issue at hand.



    During Slavery, religious institutions actually divided over the moral issue of Slavery. Both the Methodist and Baptist Churches split over the issue of Slavery. It is time for current institutional churches to come to grips over the issue of homophobia.

    The rules guiding the Methodist Church were revised in 1992. These rules prohibit actively supporting or funding activities involving homosexuals.


    Homosexuals cannot serve officially as ordained United Methodist ministers.

    "The problem here is not guns the problem is religion" There, fixed it for you.

    Good point.  Corrected.

    I would rogue that it is both.  Far-right religion,  the paranoid fear and hatred that is part and parcel of the screams shouted from the leaders of the meeting places justifies the shooting//killing.  The gun laws facilitate the process.

    Removing one (the latter) is possible legislatively.  The other must occur through enlightenment. 

    Increasing intolerance to the intolerant, without restricting the right to the purchase and possession of weapons of mass murder, will do nothing to stop the unforeseeable deadly sprees of intolerant/mentally deranged/suicidal/enraged/hateful/murderous/racist perpetrators of mass shootings.

    Access to freely available and highly lethal weapons is the one thing necessary and common to them all.

    But we shouldn't be making laws to control the crazies, should we?  Seems like a bad basis for policy.  Let's stop the crazies instead.

    Orwell conceived of a society dependent on mind control, and even in his novel, 1984, it didn't work.

    Who determines who is nuts? The Ministry of Love?

    From his father's statement I dont get that the father was intolerant but that it was the son's problem, perhaps as some suggest a closeted homosexual, and certainly an anger problem in beating his wife who was rescued  not a tenet of Islam. Not every action by a Muslim is a condemnation of Islam. People who want to be loopy will find their justification and are different than those bred in an intolerant environment. Manson found his inspiration in the White Album, Jim Jones perhaps science fiction, Pol Pot's was a Marxist atheis, David Koresh's was what? It also feels kinda retro like the guy who drove into a crowd of gays 40 years ago. Not over gay marriage or some new development - just 2 guys kissing. That's not the typical focus of Islamist extremism, even with outcries against western decadence.

    Maybe we'll get more info tochange my feelings.

    We need to stop tolerating intolerance.


    That, not the NRA is the real issue at hand.

    Mmm, not sure about that. There are many examples of Americans tolerating intolerance, I just don't think this is one of them. No one (almost no one) tolerates murdering gay people in this country. And no matter how tolerant we become as a nation, we will never completely eliminate deranged extremists who want to kill people.

    No one (almost no one) tolerates murdering gay people in this country.

    Yes, of course.  But we do give undue space to religious-based objections to other people's sexual lives. People get a bit of a pass for their religion-based intolerances.

    Oh my, I just hafta break my lengthy hiatus to say: who brainwashed Maiello while I was gone?!

    He has turned into a E.U. style cultural policeman? Doncha believe in first amendment hate speech as a safety valve anymore?  Freedom of religion? With rule of law to punish those who take hate speech into action or try to insert religion into gummint? (The latter the goal of ISIS sympathizers, BTW.)

    Personal note: nice to see who is participating on the comment thread here and that there is no TPMCafe-style horse-race meltdown going on because there's a presidential race.  No doubt due partly to Wolraich's moderating skills. No I don't wanna talk about why I was away. Yes, I had to give up being a news junkie for a couple years.

    Welcome back. I really missed your participation. Hope all is well.

    I'm just glad you're OK, I hope.  Forgive me for never being able to escape the fact that behind every avatar is a person (or a bot but you know what I mean).  

    Welcome back, AA! Maybe you can whip Maiello back into shape. He's pretty far gone.

    PS We've had our share of horse-race meltdowns, but it's cooling off I think

    With all due respect to my fellow Daggers, the discourse is pleased to announce its immanent elevation. Happy (and relieved).

    Welcome back, AA.  Maybe I have become cranky somewhere between Hebdo and this.  I'll get over it. Consider it a more emotive response.

    I just caught this at TPM;


    Then it hit me.

    I mean there must be Trumpeters who are happy that radical Islamists are killing gay folks.

    Then we all catch T-Rump blaming Obama for the terrorism.


    Of course my President is not born of this country and is secretly a Muslim.

    And of course, my President is secretly working with Jihadists.

    I still believe that the KKK, the organization that backs T-Rump, must love the idea of Jihadists killing gays?

    We cannot do anything about religion. We really cannot.

    But we could do something about military weapons available to any psycho who decides that God or Allah or aliens are telling him that his enemies must be destroyed?

    This is a really strange year.

    If the latest reports about this murderer are accurate all this hand wringing about tolerance, homophobia, religion and the IS may be misplaced. This tragedy appears to have been gay on gay violence with this guy actively seeking gay partners and visiting this club before.


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