Are Christians “complicit” in Orlando?

I just read Jen Hatmaker’s viral Facebook post in which she says Christians are “complicit” in the hate that led to the Orlando shooting. Among other things, she writes:

Anti-LGBTQ sentiment has paved a long runway to hate crimes. When the gay community is denied civil liberties and respect and dignity, when we make gay jokes, when we say ‘that’s so gay’, when we turn our noses up or down, when we qualify every solitary statement of love with a caveat of disapproval, when we consistently disavow everything about the LGBTQ community, we create a culture ripe for hate. We are complicit.

We cannot with any integrity honor in death those we failed to honor in life.

Can you see why the Christian outpouring of compassion toward Orlando feels so disingenuous?

She goes on, and I’ll let you read it for yourself.

I can hardly improve on David French’s response to Hatmaker and to others who have implicated Christians in what happened in Orlando. It just seems like an elementary point. A man kills 49 people. He calls 911 during the attack to make sure that everyone knows he’s a jihadist. And now this is somehow the fault of Christians? This isn’t just absurd. It is poison. It is a testament to how great the animus is against the last hold-outs to the sexual revolution—Christians.

What I have witnessed over the last several days is Christians trying to figure out appropriate ways in which to express their grief and horror at what happened in Orlando. We really want our neighbors to know that we weep with them and that our dismay is not diminished in any way by our differences otherwise. And yet that genuine concern has been met with angry disdain and accusation. 

Is Orlando going to be our very own “Reichstag fire“? Lord, have mercy. I hope not, but the initial signs are not very encouraging. We remember how Nero got away with blaming Christians for the fire that nearly destroyed Rome. This feels eerily similar. No matter what happens, Christians are going to need each other for the long struggle ahead because there will be no shortage of accusers of the brethren. May none of them be from among our own ranks.

There is a hard truth that every Christian must come to terms with. No amount of virtue-signaling or apologizing will deliver you from the reproaches of Christ.  The sexual revolutionaries will smoke you out on this issue. You will either accept their terms or you will be in the same pickle as the rest of us. There’s no middle way. 

The key thing to remember is that if you you are a disciple of the most high king, you will bear his reproach in some measure–unless you aren’t really his disciple. The world will not make its peace with him or us this side of glory. But we will love them nevertheless just like he showed us.


  • Ian Shaw

    What did the late Justice Scalia call it- “hostes humani generis” right?

    Christians have absolutely nothing to do with this tragedy. End of story. This individual made a choice, plain and simple.

    • Sam Jenkins

      Nobody said “Christians” here. It’s religion, in general, that has to do with this tragedy. The fact that Christians rise up and think they are right in all of this, is what’s really wrong. You only contribute to more hatred.

      • Ian Shaw

        Name other prominent religions in this country that are anti-LGBTQ. We’ll wait…

        You can have an opinion and not hate someone. You’re proving Hatmaker’s point by calling disagreement or non-approval “hatred”.

      • Luke Strain

        “Can you see why the Christian outpouring of compassion toward Orlando feels so disingenuous?” That is a quote from the post he is referencing, so she certainly said Christians.

        Also, how do we think we are “right in all this?” Are you referencing the tragedy in Orlando? What do we think we are right about? If you are referencing us being right in our claim that we are not complicit, then we certainly should be able to defend ourselves from claims that we are partly to blame for a mass murder.

  • Brian Holland

    Excellent points, and it’s awful that we can’t even mourn together as a country right now because we are so deeply divided. The lengths that people go through to delude themselves is astonishing. This is what happens when two victim groups(gays and Muslims) of the left come in conflict, it has to be the fault of the inanimate objects (guns) or people that oppose that radical gay agenda (conservative Christians). The fact is that Islamists and gay activists share a common enemy in Christians, and conservatives that uphold the values that founded this country, and have been willing to work together until this point on college campuses etc. It seems that many of them would much rather slander Christians than lose that coalition.

    • Kathy Baldock

      Correction — Here’s a tip — when starting an letter of mourning, do not lead with “Dear Sexual Revolutionaries.”

  • Christiane Smith

    Hi BRIAN,
    I am concerned about your statement, this:
    ” The fact is that Islamists and gay activists share a common enemy in Christians . . . ”

    I must disagree unless you want to exclude Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, Anglicans, and mainline Christian Protestants from your definition of ‘Christians’. But even then, I don’t see evangelical people being anyone’s ‘enemy’ in that way. This is my own opinion. Most of the evangelical people I know personally are people of good will towards others, even when there are important differences of religion and of political opinions. The word ‘enemy’ doesn’t seem an appropriate adjective to use for ‘Christians’, no. We disagree.

    • Christiane Smith

      I do wonder how many Christian people think of themselves as ‘enemies’ of ‘the others’. That is something that may actually bring real harm to the witness of the Church. I don’t mean to sound harsh, here, but our use of language DOES matter.
      Language is a very powerful thing. It needs to be used with respect for what it can convey and what it sometimes fails to convey. I think the Jewish people have a whole theology about this, and it is worth learning from, so that when we speak ‘as Christians’ we remember to Whom we are pointing and we honor Him with the words of our heads AND our hearts which we have offered to be conformed to His Heart.

      Denny asks something on this post. I don’t have an answer for him. I don’t have any answers other than we as Christians NEED Our Lord’s leading and His example when He looked out with merciful compassion on those that were lost and weary and without a shepherd. If we depart from His example, we fail Him. I believe this to be sadly true.

  • Joshua Yates

    While reading I had a provoking thought: will the world blame themselves and groups who spoke of their hatred for Christians when we see another church shooting or execution of a mass of believers?

    • Brian Holland

      We already know the answer to that because there was a guy who tried to shoot up the offices of FRC based on the Southern Poverty Law Center slanderously designating them a hate group. I have met Tony Perkins, and there is not a hateful bone in his body. If it weren’t for a quick thinking head of security it would have been a blood bath. And yet the media refused to cover the story, or talk about whether or not the “hate group” rating (being lumped in with the KKK and the New Black Panther Party) was fair. We have a news media in this country that is totally corrupt and dishonest, and that’s a big reason why we are in the mess that we’re in.

  • Sam Jenkins

    Please, just do us all a favor and stop embarrassing yourself. You look more like a hypocrite every day. Why do you condemn homosexuals and transgenders constantly – and then, when you get a finger pointed at you and the Southern Baptists, you try to look innocent, like you care for this tragedy?

    Last I heard, the Bible you believe in condones this sort of action. You constantly say these people are a threat to your society and world. As you continuously preach against those who don’t live God’s word the way it should be, you now feel you should express your love for them…so, what is it you believe? Honestly, you are part of the reason so many people leave religion. You say it shouldn’t be changed, but then change your beliefs based on what is convenient and makes your church look good. It’s pretty gross.

    • Gus Nelson

      Sam: Perhaps you would be willing to read Michael Brown’s column at Townhall. com? The link is below. He explains the Christian position about as well as anyone I’ve read.

  • Rob Marcello

    Denny, did you have to “try” to think of an “appropriate” way to respond to Paris? San Bernardino? Brussels? Or any other travesty of human life? Or did you just naturally mourn with victim’s families, rightfully cry out for justice, and offer unqualified prayers without even the hint that you might have a difference of conviction with the victim? Why is this any different? Support is nice, but support that is qualified stings.

    Note: I am not commenting on if Jen was right or not. I am simply saying that your comments regarding the wonderful responses you have seen, may not be so wonderful to those who are hurting–even if they come from good intentions.

  • Ken Abbott

    “Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them–do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.'” [Luke 13:1-5, NIV]

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