A Response to Dr. Russell Moore in the Aftermath of the Orlando Massacre

No Dr. Russell Moore. Straight White Male Theologians don’t get to call the shots here.  You don’t get to dictate the rules of how people mourn. You don’t get to tell people they can’t lament in voicing their complaint against the conservative evangelical community that has dominated the oppression of LGBTQ people in our country. You can’t hide behind your religious posturing to deflect criticism from yourself and others.

I need to lament and this takes the form of complaining to God and neighbor. When injustice happens, people get pissed. That is part of our biblical heritage that the evangelical community has lost. And when you don’t allow lament and mourning to go hand in hand, the anger against injustice is lessened and people that perpetuate the violence can easily hide. Homophobia perpetuated the Orlando massacre. When people tell people that they are disgusting, they become part of the system that is the problem. That is how we got here. To not call attention to that is to mourn without repentance. What’s the sense of weeping together when there is no repentance? The bullets that flew were preceded by the bullets of words.

And your words are another example of how the conservative evangelical empire continues to try to silence the voices of those in the margins under the guise of religious spirituality. Lament doesn’t look nice. It doesn’t seek to protect the feelings of people. It cries out against violence and yearns for justice. Lament must be unleashed, unedited, unrestrained.

If you want to call people to mourning, the kind that God listens to, call them to acknowledge their sin. Call them towards repentance. This is the kind of mourning we need. Because if loving God and neighbor is the greatest commandment, then to not love is the most immoral thing we have done. We have sinned against our LGBTQ neighbors.
—From A Southern Baptist Pastor in Exile160612082538-08-orlando-shooting-0612-large-169

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