By now we all have heard of the horrific massacre of 50 patrons at The Pulse, a nightclub in Orlando which serves as a gathering place for local homosexuals, by Omar Mateen, an American-born Muslim who had sworn allegiance to ISIS, was reported to the FBI multiple times as a threat, and yet was stopped only by the police response after, it is reported, he himself called 911 to boast of his depravity and sing the praises of ISIS.
There is simply no way to discuss this awful event without being offensive to some, perhaps all. But if we're ever going to learn the lessons of history, we have to at least the victims the respect of facing the facts.
At this point, any leftist or media types may be wondering - wait a minute, a staunchly conservative organization suggesting respect for dead homosexuals? Wouldn't this be a "it's a shame they can't both lose" situation? For sure, plenty in the media are blaming Christians even though Mateen took the trouble to specifically credit ISIS which gleefully slaughters Christians.
But equating Christian displeasure around homosexuality, with Muslim murders of homosexuals, couldn't be a bigger lie - and the truth illustrates an important principle that served America well for two centuries but is now on life support.
From its inception, America has contained people with deeply unpopular views on fundamental beliefs. The Pilgrims famously fled persecution in England so they could worship as they saw fit; so did many others of many religions, including English Catholics and any number of Protestant sects.
The descendants of the Pilgrims didn't learn the lesson of their forbears, and persecuted nonconformists in their own right. Many Baptists were badly beaten or even killed; Roger Williams established the colony of Rhode Island specifically as a refuge for religious minorities.
By the time of the Revolution, the principle of religious liberty was not wholly accepted everywhere, but was supported by the majority of our Founders including the most famous ones. It took a while, but by America's centennial, most of the country would put up with most religious beliefs that weren't too wildly out of whack.
And here's the essential point: the various religions didn't like each other one whit better than they had in Europe. The difference was, they'd mutually agreed to put up with each other and knock off the Inquisitions. Over the years, freedom of religion became an ingrained part of American culture: if you claim to be an American, you're expected to tolerate just about any other view no matter how repugnant you personally may find it.
Where we've gone off the rails in the last fifty years is equating tolerance with affirmation. The Puritans weren't expected to like the Catholics, and of course they condemned them as papists and Mariolaters - but only with words. The various religions were free to do whatever they pleased, trading insults but not injuries.
Even the Mormons, originally attacked by lynch mobs, were accepted as members into this mutual detente. At the same time, this toleration was extended to differing political views, and eventually to personal lifestyles. There was a time when homosexuals were imprisoned for their private acts; almost nobody would propose this today, much less execution as is standard practice in Islamic countries.
Thus, for most of a century, there has been no serious, widespread sectarian violence in America - until the arrival of Muslims in two-digit numbers. Now, we can't even make it through an election without a depraved assault on innocent civilians.
The reason for this is as spectacularly obvious as the bodies they leave on the pavement: as a religion, Islam philosophically rejects the "live and let live, just argue peacefully" compromise that all other religions have accepted on coming to America. For this reason - Islam should not qualify as a religion under the meaning of the First Amendment, and never will until they have a thoroughgoing Reformation as did the Catholic Church five hundred years ago.
Which raises an increasingly relevant question: At what point do you realize that it's better to stop fighting with someone who dislikes you, so you can both defend yourself against someone who wants you dead?
Although our media mostly prefers not to report it, it's well known that the largest murderers of homosexuals are Muslim. Our media definitely won't report that the largest sectarian murderers of Christians are Muslim, but that too is true.
Yet when was the last time you heard of a devout Christian murdering a homosexual, or vice versa? Protest, yes; throw tomatoes perhaps, or even rocks. But assault with a deadly weapon? Never.
Let's consider probably the most incendiary, offensive, inflammatory group of anti-homosexual Christians out there, the denizens of Westboro "Baptist" "Church." Their leader, the Rev. Phelps, has come to the conclusion that, as his slogan pithily puts it, "God hates fags."
Not content with aggressively demonstrating against homosexuals, Rev. Phelps leads his church in pickets of military funerals, celebrating the deaths of our soldiers on the very tenuous grounds that military defeats are an appropriate punishment for an American culture so sick and depraved as to tolerate perverts. When the media reaches for an example of Christian "homophobia" that will turn the stomachs of almost everyone, it's Rev. Phelps' gang they reach for.
Yet they have never perpetrated any act of violence against anyone. They've been rude and offensive; they've been in-your-face; they've certainly been as politically incorrect as it's possible to be. But they have never harmed anyone - not a homosexual, not a soldier, not a family member, not the police. If you don't like them, all you have to do is ignore them. And they are the very worst Christianity offers the homosexual!
As the WBCers illustrate in an over-the-top way, Christianity rejects and repudiate the idea, contrary to millennia of human culture, that two men living together is the same thing as a husband and wife. Christians generally find the very concept of same-sex relationships nauseating - but that's as far as it ever goes.
And in the grand scheme of things, why is a marriage license the hill to die on for homosexuals when there are homosexuals literally dying every day at the hands of Muslims, not Christians? What good is a scrap of official paper portraying you as married, when you're clutching it in your cold, dead fingers?
Modern America is criss-crossed with political faultlines, and many of us spend altogether too much time glaring at each other across them. Many of these debates are important and relevant - but only a handful are deadly, and those are the ones we need to concentrate on right now, together.
When his country was on the brink of destruction and he was presented with the unappealing option of allying with the monstrous Stalin, Winston Churchill had the wisdom to understand which threat was greater and more existential:
If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.
What he meant was - sure, Stalin may be one nasty, evil dude, but he's not trying to kill me and Hitler is. So if Stalin is willing to help me take down Hitler today, I'll gladly shake hands and work together. I can worry about Stalin tomorrow, because if I don't have his help today, there won't be a tomorrow.
For fifty American citizens - yes, a particular type of American, members of a particular sect with its own rivalries and enemies, but first and foremost Americans - there won't be any more tomorrows. And still, our President refuses to name the killers despite their own best efforts to make the motivation crystal clear!
When will we realize that even such different and mutually-distasteful groups as Christians and homosexuals, still have far more in common with each other and more respect for each other than Islam does for any of us? If the enemy of our enemy is still our enemy, we'll all wind up dead.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.