No, We Cannot Weep Together.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Zack Ford at Think Progress has an excellent article about the religious response and reaction to Orlando. I’m just going to include the last bit here:

Seek First To Understand

The LGBT community will not heal quickly from the Orlando shooting, and will be scarred for quite some time thereafter. Moore concluded his piece saying, “We can remind ourselves and our neighbors that this is not the way it is supposed to be.” If people who share Moore’s beliefs reach out to their LGBT neighbors now or in the future, they should consider that what they want us to feel might not be the same as what we actually hear.

If you want us to feel love, then do not tell us our sexuality is wrong or that the only way to be right is to be celibate. What we hear is actually that we are unworthy of love.

If you want us to feel equal, then do not try to justify refusing us jobs, housing, or goods and services in the name of your religious beliefs. What we hear is that we deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.

If you want us to feel community, then do not tell us that you cannot condone our marriages. What we hear is that our families are not welcome to share a neighborhood with yours.

If you want us to feel dignity, then do not tell us that we cannot be transgender or try to tell us what bathrooms we can or cannot use. What we hear is that you aren’t actually interested or invested in understanding who we are or supporting our wellness.

If you want us to feel safe, then do not accuse us of politicizing this tragedy by broaching the issue of new gun violence prevention measures. What we hear is that we should just ignore the one thing that has ever been proven to reduce gun violence and permanently accept the fear that this shooting has instilled in us.

And if you want us to feel hope, do not encourage us to demonize Islam or pass the blame onto terrorism. What we hear is that the only way to heal as victims is to victimize others — that the only way to respond to intolerance is with more intolerance.

There may come a day when we can weep together. In the meantime, sympathy without affirmation rings hollow; it is unworthy of our gratitude.

That not only needed to be said, it should be put up, proclamation style, everywhere. Particularly on church doors. The full article is here.


  1. rq says

    That was one of the major turn-offs from religion for me, the idea that oh, you’re hurting, let me hurt with you! They call it sympathy and it masquerades as compassion, but it’s a very devious way of taking away the individuality of those actually suffering, and is neither true sympathy nor true compassion. Because once anyone can weep with you, then basically we’re all the same anyway, so stop crying and get over it, I already have!
    The full article was really good. I’m glad I read that.

  2. says


    Because once anyone can weep with you, then basically we’re all the same anyway, so stop crying and get over it, I already have!

    In a nutshell. After that, you get hit with “you need to change, so you don’t get hurt again”. No thanks.

  3. says

    Pierce, oh, I read about that on Raw Story, the claims that she was a ‘crisis actor’ or some such shit. Assholes, religious or not, just can’t wait to come crawling out of the woodwork.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    The comparison that seems closest to me: Omar Mateen is the gay Elliott Rodger.

  5. says

    I don’t know that Mateen was gay, and I don’t know that it matters all that much. Seems to me what does matter is the constant froth of bigotry and hatred being whipped up by U.S. society, and while some of that is religious based, a lot of it isn’t. When you foster such an atmosphere, no one should be surprised when someone finally acts on it.

    If Mateen was gay, or was uncertain about his sexuality, I feel for just how much he must have longed to be free, and how much self loathing he must have suffered from, for the fragility that made him take the only way out he could see. There are no winners here.

  6. says



    Yeah. I think if I see ‘radical Islam’ or ‘Islamic homophobia’* one more time today, I’m going to blow a gasket.
    *As opposed to what? The kinder, gentler, secular homophobia? The more acceptable rabid Christian homophobia?

  7. Siobhan says

    From PZ’s thread:

    “An American shot up a gay night club.”


    “Okay, but 103 American Queers--”


    I can’t even.

  8. says


    I can’t even.

    You and me both. Fuck, I’m just in pieces, and every time I’m online, it just gets worse. Everyone is so damn busy trying to deny they might have possibly been complicit in what happened, that they are all trying to slice up queerphobia into factions. “Well, I’m not Islamic homophobic, so…” “Well, I’m certainly not Xian homophobic, so…” “I’m not homophobic, some of my friends are gay!” and on and on and on.

    Then you have the “Islam! Muslim! Islam!” all the time idiots. As if everyone else isn’t every bit as bad. It’s queerphobia. Full stop. I don’t give one shit about the ideology behind it, take your pick. It all comes down to the same thing: oh, it gives me the ickies! By the way, here’s my justification for said ickies: “……”. Ugh.

    Every damn day, I think I’m going to start feeling less fragile, less frightened, less angry, less tear-filled. Every damn day, that’s not happening.

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