Recently Read: Misattributing Evil

img_1083-700x475by Mark Tooley

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcano of the California-Pacific Conference responded to the Orlando gay nightclub mass murders by a reported pro-ISIS Islamist with the suggestion that her denomination’s traditional marriage teaching is to blame:

As I have prayed for the victims of this latest shooting, for the shooter and his family, for the people of Orlando, and for us, I have been struck by a concern that has penetrated my heart. Is it possible that we United Methodists with such a negative attitude and position against LGBTQI persons contribute to such a crime? When we say that those who are of a homosexual gender identity are living lives that are incompatible with Christian teaching, that they are not to be included in our ordained leadership, and that they are not important enough for us to invest resources of the Church in advocating for their well-being, in essence when we say that our LGBTQI brothers and sisters are not worthy of the fullness of life that Christ offers us all, are we not contributing to the kind of thinking that promotes doing harm to these our brothers and sisters, our children, the sacred children of God?
United Methodism’s definition of marriage as the union of man and woman is unexceptionably the official and historic stance of about 99% of organized Christianity, including Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and nearly every Protestant tradition except a handful of shrinking denominations in northwestern Europe and North America.

The Orlando killer, Omar Mateen, was the son of a pro-Taliban Afghan immigrant. It’s unlikely he ever heard of United Methodism. To the extent that he had any views about Christianity they were almost certainly hostile. Since he professed support for ISIS he likely supported ISIS persecution and murder of Christians. ISIS practices traditional Islamic law, which requires death for homosexuals. Several Islamic regimes stipulate death penalties for homosexuals, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. Bishop Carcano in her blog about Orlando never mentions the killer or his ISIS or Islamist connection. She only faults the United Methodist Church.

There is a myopic vein of Western multiculturalism popular within liberal Protestantism that assumes the world is safe and beautiful but for the crimes of Western Civilization and Christianity. There are indeed many crimes attributable to denizens of both, but neither invented nor has a monopoly on crime, which has always been endemic to the human experience. This vein of multiculturalism is typically incapable of admitting sins within other cultures and religions, preferring to see them only as victims.

Read the rest here.


Recently Read

Recently Read

Recently Read posts are stories the editors of The United Methodist Reporter have found interesting from other sites and wanted to share with our readers. The editors do not necessarily endorse the opinions shared in these stories, and referral here should not imply endorsement of that content.

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The United Methodist Reporter wants to encourage lively conversation about The United Methodist Church and our articles in the belief that Christian conversation (what Wesley would call conferencing) is a means of grace. While we support passionate debate, we cannot allow language that demeans or demonizes others, and we reserve the right to delete any comment we believe to be harmful or inappropriate. We encourage all to remember that we are all broken and in need of Christ's grace, and that we all see through the glass darkly until that time we when reach full perfection in love. May your speech here be tempered with love, and reflection of the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. After all, "There is no law against things like this." (Galatians 5:22-23)
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Mike ThomasbthomasWes Andrewsjimmie shelby Recent comment authors
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Wes Andrews
Wes Andrews

Is this progressive thinking: don’t blame the person who really did the evil act…. blame someone who thinks differently than you? So the evil, self-identified “terrorist” who planned the event, purchased the guns and pulled the trigger is not really to blame. It is the people in the UMC who trust Scripture. We are to blame, just simply because we will not endorse same-sex marriage or LGBTQI folk for ordination. This is quite a toxic approach to dialog, to being UNITED Methodists: demonizing and blaming those who disagree with you with the murder of 49 innocent, precious and irreplaceable human… Read more »

jimmie shelby
jimmie shelby

Discussion of all that happened in Orlando within the confines of the umc are virtually impossible. The denomination follows in lock-step what the federal government. Each is seeking with all its might to change the course of this country as well as the history that has made this country so great and unique. No matter what Jesus told the woman caught in the act of adultery that her sins were forgiven and to go and sin no more–no matter what Paul said to the folks in Corinth in the early chapters of First Corinthians–no matter what the Angel told Lot… Read more »


Well written considered response to a supposition not founded in fact but only a very predictable bias that seeks to advance a left-wing liberal social/political agenda.

Mike Thomas

Classic straw man argument by Mr. Tooley. He takes the most extreme argument he can find by a progressive bishop and totally misconstrues it – Saying that the church’s anti-gay policies may have contributed to an overall negative environment that may have influenced the killer is a far cry from saying that the church caused the killing or is to blame as Tooley asserts.
He then proceeds to knock the freshly constructed straw man argument over and claims this shows that his anti-gay views are justified. Voila!

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