Last Sunday a Muslim terrorist killed more than four dozen innocent people in Orlando, Florida and injured 54 others. Rightfully, many ELCA leaders respond to the attack with sorrow and prayers, but some of what they said should infuriate you.
ELCA pastor Heidi Neumark writes the following:
ELCA pastor Ángel Marrero blames Christians and Jews in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post saying, “this isn’t simply ‘extremist Islam’, as some would like to paint it. This comes out of centuries of many religious traditions systematically demonizing and dehumanizing LGBTQ individuals. This hatred isn’t out of nowhere. It is in parts of Islam, yes, but it is within parts of Christianity and Judaism, as well.
Facing such a reality, I feel I must apologize for the complicity and silence of the Church. I am sorry for the pain our sinful indifference and self-righteousness has caused, and continues to cause, throughout the world." (see here)
Bishop Jim Hazelwood of the ELCA's New England Synod wrote a letter in response to the massacre going into great detail of his desire for gun control. He also writes about his concern for "our Muslim brothers and sisters." (see here) He then jumps the shark with this accusation:
Much like the liberal media many ELCA leaders are:
1. calling for stricter gun control in America and
2. can't seem to understand the connection almost all the terrorism happening in the world has with the religion of Islam.
Bishop David B. Zellmer of the ELCA's South Dakota Synod said, “There is no place among us for words and actions that disparage the Islamic faith…This act of terror and actions like it are carried out by people who have taken a world religion and perverted it to their own evil purposes – not unlike others have done with Christianity in past centuries.” (see here)
Bishop Robert G. Schaefer of the ELCA's Florida-Bahamas Synod writes, “There are deeper issues here. Church, it’s time to be clear about honoring and speaking up for...reasonable gun control in this country.” (see here)
The ELCA's Southwest California Synod sent out an email saying, "I would also invite you to rechannel whatever anger and frustration you might be feeling into positive action. Such violence effects everyone, and motivations include terrorism, hatred of various groups, and mental health issues, all of which are often interrelated. But along with our task force, I am devoted to putting a stop to this carnage by the advocacy of stricter, common sense gun laws.
If you feel called to share in this endeavor, we recommend that you get involved with a movement (such as Everytown for Gun Safety, Women Against Gun Violence, The Brady Campaign, or our own joint task force). Meanwhile, know that the SWCA Synod Gun Violence Prevention Task Force will be reconvening this week with a renewed commitment to end the kind of tragedy we saw in Orlando so that we all might live in safety and in peace." (see here)
Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Elizabeth A. Eaton tweeted this:
ELCA Bishop Timothy Smith of the North Carolina Synod posted this on his Facebook page (be sure to read his comments at the end):
The ELCA's Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod (SEPA) shared a prayer on their Facebook page that included this:
"We pray for renewed action and perseverance in reforming our American gun laws, especially the sale of automatic weapons." (see here)
Dr. Samuel Torvend, Professor of Religion at the ELCA's Pacific Lutheran University writes, "The massacre of innocents in Orlando prompts us to pray for those who grieve, to resist homophobia and Islamophobia, and to work diligently for an end to the easy purchase of deadly weapons." - Quote posted on PLU's Facebook page. (see here)
Bishop Patricia Lull of the ELCA's Saint Paul Area Synod comments "I invite your prayers for the family and friends of those killed or injured, for the Muslim community, which repudiates this act of hatred and violence, and for all who work to curtail gun violence. We also pray for colleagues in the Florida-Bahamas Synod, ELCA, who are offering pastoral care to those involved in this tragedy. (see here)
My, my. The opportunists are out in full force.