First and foremost, I grieve for the lost humanity that surpasses even the loss of life.  When evil and lunacy sink to new depths, it calls for us to rise to new heights. Honoring the dead and wounded demands nothing less. Preserving the goodness that terror wishes to overwhelm is the least we can do.  Expanding it is the ultimate victory.

How can we expand the scope of our goodness?  It starts by changing attitudes that seem to be as American as apple pie to far too many people.  Sad to say, some people are so homophobic that their initial horror became flavored by ambivalence (or secret joy, God forbid) when the target was revealed to be a bar catering to the LGBT community.  Given the hatred expressed in political and social rhetoric these days, any reasonable person would have to acknowledge this extremely depressing fact.

This poison does much more harm than Sunday’s attack ever could.  It hardens hearts and artificially divides the one thing we share: our common humanity.  By emphasizing that “a gay bar” was victimized, the media adds to our division even as it reports an attack that could have happened at many other potential targets (theme parks, anyone?).  Instead, it implicitly presented a crime against humanity as something that happened to “them” instead of “us.”

One silver lining that could come out of this tragedy is the realization that our community will remain both vulnerable and dysfunctional until we do a lot better job of living up to its true meaning.  After all, you can’t have a United States if it doesn’t include US.

We must all be interconnected against terror of every form, and not just violent attacks.  This especially includes insensitive and uncaring policies that terrorize millions of vulnerable Americans because of their circumstances, not just their incomes.  Practically everyone is at risk.  For example, 70% of Americans will eventually need a caretaker.  However, there is no concerted effort to provide this service as the social program its urgent need demands.

“We take care of our own” must replace the reality of “You’re on your own” if eliminating terror is truly a top priority.  When artificial and arbitrary deprivation affect so many more of us, ISIS seems like a secondary concern even as we begin to heal. 

Just as in Orlando, there but for the Grace of God go us. 


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