Politics & Policy

The Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity

LGBT flags at a vigil in San Diego, Calif. (Mike Blake/Reuters)
Somehow, Omar Mateen’s massacre has put American Christians on the defensive.

We are now fully through the looking glass. A Muslim man walked into a gay nightclub and gunned down 49 men and women, most of them gay or lesbian. He paused in the middle of his massacre to call 911 and a local television station, making clear that he wanted the world to know he had pledged allegiance to ISIS. There are no dog whistles here. This is a textbook example of jihadism in action, plain and simple.

Yet somehow, Omar Mateen’s massacre has put American Christians on the defensive.

Yesterday, Anderson Cooper grilled Florida attorney general Pam Bondi, accusing her of hypocrisy for expressions of support for slain Floridians. Why was she hypocritical? Because she opposed same-sex marriage:

Today, the New York Times editorialized about the domestic threat to LGBT Americans and declared that they were “casualties of a society where hate has deep roots.” The “society” the Times condemned wasn’t the ISIS caliphate — it was America, and specifically states such as Texas and North Carolina that are fighting federal edicts that demand that men should have access to women’s restrooms. The Times couldn’t bring itself to condemn Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but it attacked North Carolina governor Pat McCrory and Texas governor Greg Abbott.

Even well-meaning Christians are adopting the secular-progressive line. In a viral Facebook post, popular writer and speaker Jen Hatmaker declared, “We cannot with any integrity honor in death those we failed to honor in life.” She then proceeded to offer a standard leftist broadside against Evangelicals, arguing that Christian “anti-LGBTQ sentiment has paved a long runway to hate crimes.”

The principles, such as they exist, seem to be this: If you oppose same-sex marriage or mixed-gender bathrooms, then you not only can’t legitimately grieve the loss of gay lives, you’re partially responsible for the massacre in Orlando. Conservative efforts to protect religious freedom and freedom of association from unprecedented infringement will kill people. Never mind that all the actual evidence in the case points to Islamic motivations extrapolated from well-known and widely shared interpretations of Shariah law, somehow those darn Baptists are to blame.

RELATED: What If the Orlando Murderer Had Been a Christian?

Does this mean that Barack Obama would have been complicit in the massacre if it had happened four years ago, before he publicly changed his stance on same-sex marriage? What about Hillary Clinton? She opposed gay marriage until 2013. Her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act. The Orlando shooter lived for years under Democratic administrations that opposed same-sex marriage. I guess Bill Clinton shares some blame as well.

Some on the left simply refuse to believe what terrorists say about themselves and about their intentions.

I don’t have the words adequate to express my contempt for this view. Does any living, sentient being believe that if a Christian had launched this attack, these same liberals wouldn’t blame his religious beliefs? The so-called “reality-based community” ignores the actual evidence in the attack — Mateen’s own loudly declared jihadist beliefs — in an attempt to shame a community whose primary “sin” is opposing the sexual revolution.

But there is something even more sinister at work than garden-variety anti-Christian bigotry, aided and abetted by gullible believers such as Hatmaker: Americans are being purposefully and intentionally distracted from our true enemies. Once again, the jihadist threat is being minimized.

RELATED: The Orlando Debate Is Beyond Partisan — It’s Dangerously Polarizing

Some on the left simply refuse to believe what terrorists say about themselves and about their intentions. Osama bin Laden couldn’t have really attacked the World Trade Center in part out of a desire to avenge Christians’ 15th-century conquest of Muslim Spain. Iranian leaders don’t really mean “death to America.” Muslim nations that mandate the death penalty or other draconian criminal punishments for homosexuality don’t truly express the will of their people.

#related#The result is bigotry running two ways — an unreasoning, irrational hatred of American Christians and a comprehensive denial of Muslim moral agency. American Christians are responsible for things they don’t believe. Sharia-observant Muslims, by contrast, aren’t responsible for the things they do believe.

And make no mistake, said Muslims don’t care a whit what the New York Times, Anderson Cooper, Jen Hatmaker, or any other anti-Evangelical terror apologist has to say. To them, one American life taken is as good as any other. They will attack again, maybe at another gay bar, or another office Christmas party, or a coffee house, or a sporting event, or a church. And when they do, there will surely be some Americans who excuse their actions out of eagerness to blame other Americans, instead.

— David French is an attorney, and a staff writer at National Review.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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