Monday, June 13, 2016

Massacre in Orlando

I am deeply distressed about the massacre of fellow humans in Orlando, Florida on June 12. The fact that the lives of innocent people were gunned down simply for being gay is horrifying.

I find myself in deep mourning.

I mourn the loss of life. I mourn the bitter grieving that families and friends have been thrust into.

I mourn that hatred could so control an individual.

I mourn a society that can foster such discrimination.

All of Canadian society should be weeping.  It is a sad event for the human family. 

But I also find myself weeping for my own people in particular - my family of faith.

I mourn the hateful discrimination of the LGBTQ community in our own families’ experience – and how this massacre reminds them of this.

I mourn the increased terror some of our youth will experience – already too terrified to acknowledge their sexual orientation. 

I mourn the way God will be misrepresented. No one should feel placed outside of God’s mercy and passionate love.

I don't want fear and misunderstanding to begin with feelings of hostility. God is not honoured in violence. Righteousness is not portrayed through violence.

I pray for something different. I pray that my family of faith will be something different. This is my hope.

But today I am in mourning.

There is reason to weep whenever hatred is given expression.


  1. Dear Willard,

    This has been the most thoughtful and comforting response that I have read from a denominational leader.

    Thank you for your sensitivity, thank you for the confessional tone, thank you for acknowledging that lgbtq discrimination exists within the Mennonite Church, and especially thank you for your particular attention to the vulnerability and struggles of youth.

    Your honest grief and care-full articulation of that grief is a source of hope and possibility. I hope that the future brings an opportunity to meet face to face.

    Courage and strength,

    Carol Wise
    Executive Director
    Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests

  2. Carol
    Thank you for your comments. Conversation is always welcome!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Sorry - I got posted as "unknown", so I deleted the comment! But this is Lynell, with my thanks for your post. See you in Saskatoon.

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