An interesting thing about the Orlando shooting is how some people are seeing it as an excuse to become violently xenophobic. It reminds me of 9/11. I remember how before 9/11 the comedian Dennis Miller was actually mildly interesting and funny, but 9/11 changed him. He became far more caustic and full of fear and hatred.
I have begun to see this trend regarding the Orlando shooting. Some people are using the shooting as an excuse to attack Islam. They lay the hatred and homophobia of the shooter at the feet of Islam. They say that is where he got that hatred from. Ergo it is his Muslim faith that motivated the attack. His time on ISIL websites and claim in his call before the attack claiming that he was doing this for ISIS are clearly further proof. The logic is this: he was a Muslim, he claimed to be performing this action in the name of Islam, therefore it is his religion that is to blame for his actions. If you accept that logic at face value and think that it is justified to attack an entire religion for this than I have another case to discuss with you.
This past November a self-proclaimed Christian, who described himself as a deeply religious Christian, attacked a Planned Parenthood center in my hometown. He murdered several people and wounded others. And might have killed even more if he was more competent. This shooter had spent a lot of time on websites that discussed how Planned Parenthood was evil. And he spent a lot of time telling people that their actions would condemn them to Hell.
If I apply the same logic that is being used to condemn Islam because of the actions of the Orlando shooter than I must also condemn Christianity for the actions of the Planned Parenthood shooter. That is simple logic.
Or, as an alternative, we could look at these shooters as individuals; angry, hateful individuals who do not represent anyone or anything but themselves. Instead of transferring the blame to something larger we simply accept that some people are terrible, with twisted ideologies and have left the accepted practices of society behind them. They may be sociopaths, or delusional, or some combination.
If we stop playing the blame game and instead focus on the actions of the individuals we might then turn to a more productive approach. If we instead looked for ways to make certain that people have more ways to get help when they have mental or emotional issues. If we eliminate the stigma of receiving mental health help that might help us all.
If we move beyond the blaming of groups and addressed other practical issues. Like how do we make it harder for individuals to obtain weapons that improve their ability to rapidly kill large groups of people? And how can we do this without turning the nation into a police state? Because those questions are far more practical and helpful than asking if a religion or culture is inherently evil. That gets us nowhere and encourages fear, bigotry, and blind hatred. And that is not an American Value.