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Requiem for Orlando

August 21, 2016

With mingled emotions of horror, sadness, and thoughts of “not again,” as I followed the unfolding news reports of the hate driven massacre at Pulse I kept wondering what it will take to get us to understand that God is not a God of hate. Instead God is a God of love whose constant effort has been and is to teach us to love one another. God is the God of all humanity no matter our differences in skin color, nationality, language, culture, beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender.

Speaking to us through such things as the parable of the Tower of Babble found in the Book of Genesis Chapter 11, God has told us that God wants us – wants humanity – to be spread all across the world and to be different from each other in all those respects. Yet at the same time God still wants us to be part of a greater humanity of love.

As you will recall, in that story there was a time when all mankind shared one language and purpose exemplified by an arrogant effort to build a tower that reached the skies. But humanity was not yet ready for that so God intentionally fragmented us into differing languages, groups, and by extension, different beliefs and cultural development. God created a world of babble.

Obviously God didn’t want us to all be exactly alike speaking in just one language and conforming to just one way of thinking. Rather what God apparently wants is for our differences to challenge the whole of human kind to come to grips with what is right and wrong, to make us think in new ways, and to explore new ideas all leading to humanity’s growth and evolution. But despite this fact God’s overriding message since we went our different ways has been and is to love one another, all humanity, not just one narrow group or limited belief system.

Our challenge today is to choose to learn that lesson. And even as we do what must be done to confront and defend against hate and bigotry, still find ways to love or at least, for starters, tolerate instead of blindly exchanging an eye for an eye in never ending cycles of violence and death with select groups or individuals we can identify as being different from us.

We need to realize that we are different from each other precisely because God made us that way. In doing so God is challenging us to grow as human beings to the point and level that we can choose to accept all that makes us different and yet still function together as a whole humanity building a tower of human growth that reaches toward God and God’s goals for all of us based on God’s love and our love for each other.