By Irene Starkehaus -
In the aftermath of the Orlando Massacre committed by Omar Mateen in the early hours of June 12, 2016, it might behoove us to take the advice of John Kass (Chicago Tribune) and step away from the spin cycle just long enough to gain perspective before allowing ourselves to react. To paraphrase Kass, an emotional reaction is exactly what the enemies of liberty want. Don't give way to hotheaded and snarky retorts. They help no one but those on the wrong side of history.
The shock that the whole nation is experiencing right now is profound and rightly so. The evil that occurred at The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando utterly blisters the mind for a need to respond, and there's small hope of finding an angle to this event's reporting that isn't meant to demoralize and offend. Taking the time to center yourself before deciding what your response should be may not curtail these offenses, but it might bring forth a bit of clarity where chaos might otherwise prevail.
Would that religious and political leaders might take heed of Kass's advice before advocating for further controls over basic human rights and liberties. The world would be a better place without political opportunism. We can only hope that they mean no real harm and are just reacting out of a sense of helplessness or ignorance.
Nevertheless, the untimely and provocative call for new laws that only serve to control the lawful is unfortunate. With the political manipulation of an evil act in mind, here are some questions that you might want to ask before allowing yourself to respond to such reactions. In the spirit of honesty, I offer you those questions along with my own conclusions while respectfully understanding that my answers may differ from yours.
Does the shooting at the Pulse Nightclub require any level of surprise from conservatives?
Yes – Any person who believes in the integrity of our shared humanity and culture will always be surprised that another human being can behave so evilly. Knowing that evil exists does not inoculate a sane and basically decent person from recoiling in horror from an act of wickedness.
And No – Radical jihadists have been telling Americans that they are planning evil since Iranian students broke international law and overthrew the American Embassy during the Carter Administration.
The first rule of survival is a simple one. When someone tells you that he intends to end you, believe him.
Does the shooting in Orlando require conservatives to reject any blame for Mateen's heinous acts of terror?
Yes – As a means of survival, conservatives should righteously reject any attempt on the part of jihadists and cultural progressives to assign blame to them. It is appropriate at this time to reaffirm the following principles with regard to morality:
The belief that gay marriage is in fact impossible by definition is not an example of homophobia.
The belief that biological men should not be allowed to urinate in the women's room is not an example of a thought crime.
A belief that lifestyles frequently adopted by members of the LGBTQ community are inherently dangerous and self-destructive is not an endorsement of violence against members of these groups.
An advocacy for the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is not synonymous with a consent to murder. The right to defend oneself from attackers is a basic human right of self-preservation. The Founders eternalized the Second Amendment within the Bill of Rights so that there would be no question about their intentions with regard to the right to life.
The support for traditional Judeo-Christian values is in no way similar to the jihadist support of Sharia, and the comparison should not be left unanswered. To generalize that all theists are universal in beliefs and actions is to willfully disregard and offend for the purpose of marginalizing Judaism and Christianity and to further the cause of secularization. Jews and Christians should not be required to neuter their traditions and teachings to mollify humanists as a way of distancing themselves from Islamic terrorists.
Does the mass murder in Orlando demand that conservatives must bargain away basic human rights to ensure that such events will never again take place?
No – it is a safe bet that such events will again occur because Islamic terrorists have promised that they will. Further, those who promote gun control have no incentive for enforcing the laws already on the books. Active jihadism benefits governmental overreach tremendously as a means to an end.
As previously stated, the first rule of survival: When a person tells you that he intends to end you, believe him.
The second rule of survival: When a person tells you he doesn't mean to end you, but only if you'll compromise your right of self-defense as an act of good faith, do not under any circumstances believe him.
Does the shooting in Orlando require us to allocate part of the blame to conservatives for the evil that Omar Mateen committed?
Yes – but only in the sense that conservatives failed to adequately advocate on behalf of Judeo-Christian values, so that citizens would choose righteousness over violence. We should cease being cowed by the PC police who actively instill relativism and materialism in the hearts and minds of Americans.
And No – Conservatives are absolutely not responsible for the evil actions of Omar Mateen. Mateen lifted the gun in the name of ISIS and pulled the trigger of his own volition. He is responsible for his sin. May God have mercy on his soul, but God and God alone will have the final judgment on this matter. Failure on the part of Mateen and all jihadists to repent and seek forgiveness for evil against mankind will not be overlooked simply because jihadist felt entitled to be angry. Thou shall not murder is an objective command within all three faith traditions. It's just that simple.
Should conservatives be angry about the evil of Islamic terrorism, the defamation of conservatism by the progressive Left and a cultural defeat being chased by ambivalence and moral relativism?
No – Anger is the most wasteful and useless of emotions. Anger is unproductive and promotes faulty logic that concludes in a hunger for retribution. This is a time for reflection, honesty and courage because the era demands virtuous behavior that is above reproach.
Should conservatives feel depressed about what appears to be the overthrow by Islamic extremism and progressive relativism of virtue and liberty?
No – Depression is nearly as counterproductive as anger. As mentioned last week in Is there a new beginning for Reagan Republicans, failure is merely the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. The Orlando Massacre was a failure of monumental proportions in that we are not teaching the profound importance of building a virtuous citizenry that looks to protect freedom for posterity. We can turn the loss into a teachable moment if we act to improve and remedy those shortcomings.
Should conservatives accept the inevitability of the cultural degradation that led to the slaughter of unsuspecting American noncombatants this last Sunday?
As a free people, it is our moral obligation to fight against the criminal actions of evil minded people that conquer through acts of terror. Promoters for Judeo Christian values might certainly look at the behaviors that are prevalent in LGBTQ communities and advocate for a return to traditional values for the health and longevity of our culture.
The faithful are called both to evangelize in favor of a constitution that secures our right to practice or not practice religion and to also promote the faith that anchors the Bill of Rights in objective, immutable terms as a human interpretation of God's law.
The mortal sin of Islamic terrorism and, by extension, Omar Mateen is that in opening fire on noncombatants as was done in Orlando and many other places over the last decades, they commit an act of grave evil and that evil is twofold.
The first and paramount sin committed in the name of terror is against God and his commandments. Let's be clear so that we don't forget the reason for our Bill of Rights. Thou shall not murder does not contain a caveat "unless you're having a bad day" or "unless you think your victim deserves it" or "unless your sociopathic inclinations have robbed you of any conscience that would spark within you an ounce of humanity." God doesn't ask our opinion or welcome our conditions regarding life and liberty. It's very simple. Don't murder. Period.
The second sin committed in the name of terror is one against the whole of humanity. Like it or not, we are sinners one and all. Moral certitude notwithstanding, we are all in need of reconciliation with our Creator, and the murder of the attendees of the Pulse Nightclub have been monstrously robbed of the opportunity for that reconciliation in the most profoundly expressible terms.
I'll say it once more because repeating truth confounds moral relativism. Murderous acts in the name of Islamic terror are evil.
I've offered seven questions that should be asked to ensure a measured response suffused in temperance and I have offered my conclusions to them as well. So how would you answer these questions?