Following the immediate shock and grief of the terror and tragedy of Orlando, the media discussion has turned to the causes. "How — and why — would someone carry out such a heinous act?" writes Kyle Roberts, PhD., Associate Professor of Public Theology and Church and Economic Life at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, on Patheos.
"Should we attribute this evil to mental/emotional instability, to militant religious fanaticism, to extreme homophobia, or simply to an unleashing of raw unabashed hatred? And what role does the ridiculous laxity in gun regulations (ease of access) play in how we assign culpability?
"The question that’s received the most attention so far is whether the Orlando terror was mainly about religion (militant Islam, ISIS) or mainly about hate/homophobia.
"The answer is surely: Yes. This is about religion and about hate. It’s about hate using religion. It’s about religion using hate.
"Hate is one of the most powerful human emotions we have. It can destroy us from the inside out.
"Religion is one of the most powerful cultural phenomena we have. It can inspire us, it can embolden us to work for justice and for the good of others. It can also destroy us from the inside out. It can make use of hate, to draw lines between people. It can make use of hate to spawn violence and destruction.
"Augustine, in On Christian Doctrine, his tract on the interpretation of the Bible, wrote about the primacy of love in the Christian religion. The end goal of interpretation of Scripture is the same as the end goal of Christianity, he wrote: the love of God and the love of neighbor (which means all people)."
Love is the goal. Do what you can today to ensure that love triumphs over hate.