As I drifted up to consciousness earlier today, my radio delivered the news report about a mass casualty event at a gay club in Florida early this morning. At least fifty lives were lost and another fifty sent to the hospital when a gunman opened fire at the height of the club’s evening.
As the story unfolds, the media scrambles to apply labels to it all: Race, gender and sexual identities, religious or political affiliation, we’ll know all these things about all the participants of the event. They think – they tell us – all these labels will help us understand, guide us in what to believe and feel and think about what has transpired.
But the only thing to understand here is that one human being imposed his will on a great crowd of other human beings and changed their lives in ways incomprehensible (though sadly no longer unfamiliar to our bullet-riddled society). That alone should be enough to hang our sorrow upon. That alone should be enough to fuel our desire and courage to see the world changed to prevent us from having Sunday mornings like this.
All those labels they’re applying, the categories that seperate one from another, those divisions are what cause days like these. They will tell us that today we mourn for Orlando, for the gays, for dead Americans (hashtag neverforget hashtag jesuisorlando hashtag theyhatesowehate hashtag thoughtsnprayers), but our tears are for all humanity.