domestic terrorism/tragedy: florida nightclub shooting

Nevin73 wrote:

I'm in agreement with not censoring religious beliefs but now that "closely held religious beliefs" is a legal test in the courts, I do believe that people using that legal shield should have their actions compared to what those religious beliefs says.

I think if someone has agreed to serve "the public" in some manner or another, then they have agreed to serve *all* of the public and cannot be allowed to discriminate despite personal religious beliefs. If they can't tolerate part of the public they have agreed to serve, then they have the freedom to find a new line of work more agreeable to them.

bekkilyn wrote:

Absolutely not. First, not everyone is in agreement that the Christian bible actually says these hateful things, as not only are there translation issues, but there is also historical context to take into account. Not to mention that there's that pesky U.S. Constitution again (for those of us living in the U.S.) that allows freedom of religion.

Now if you mean that a religion's hateful teachings should be separate from government policy and decisions, then I'm in full agreement there.

But to censor people's personal religious beliefs? No.

Yeah, having a religion's teachings (hateful or no) separate from government policy is a given, so that's not what I was advocating. And I agree that there are Biblical translation issues, as well as disagreement over what the bible actually says (though, in my experience, these disagreements over whether the bible is condemning all homosexual relationships or just promiscuous ones are new, and I view them as an attempt for people to be able to maintain their beliefs while setting aside the parts they just don't like).

All that aside, I think that if it could be proven that Biblical condemnation against homosexuality is resulting in physical harm to people (let alone emotional trauma, which is far more common and, IMO, just as significant), then I think the government should have grounds to act against it. There are limits to freedom of speech today, so why can't we have similar limits on freedom of religion? And going back to the parallels with Lou's argument, even if you have religious people who are angered by this, I'd argue their anger is outweighed by the actual harm being done to people because of these beliefs.

So you really are proposing the actual thought police? Truly?

Okay, then, I definitely disagree with you. Completely.

My argument is about people who are taking action to make others follow their beliefs and the end result of such an action if it were successful. It's not about the belief in and of itself. Biblical condemnation of anything is harmless if it isn't being actively used.

LouZiffer wrote:

My argument is about people who are taking action to make others follow their beliefs and the end result of such an action if it were successful. It's not about the belief in and of itself.

Yep, I'm fine with your argument. Forcing others into following one's own religious beliefs against their will is religious slavery, not religious freedom.

Mormech wrote:

All that aside, I think that if it could be proven that Biblical condemnation against homosexuality is resulting in physical harm to people (let alone emotional trauma, which is far more common and, IMO, just as significant), then I think the government should have grounds to act against it. There are limits to freedom of speech today, so why can't we have similar limits on freedom of religion?

The Obama Administration is apparently bought in and doing what it can to help:

The transcript also shows Mateen spoke to the dispatcher in Arabic and that he pledged allegiance to an organization and an individual during the call, but the transcript does not include those names.
CNN has previously reported that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS during a 911 call from the gay and Latino nightclub, according to a U.S. official.

Norman, I'd love to hear what evidence you've seen that Mateen was more than a crazy dude with a gun that used his heritage to excuse his psychotic behavior. Because the right wing seems so much less ready to use the the religion of Christian crackpots for political means.

Mormech wrote:

(though, in my experience, these disagreements over whether the bible is condemning all homosexual relationships or just promiscuous ones are new, and I view them as an attempt for people to be able to maintain their beliefs while setting aside the parts they just don't like).

The Rabbis of antiquity say hello.

NormanTheIntern wrote:
Mormech wrote:

All that aside, I think that if it could be proven that Biblical condemnation against homosexuality is resulting in physical harm to people (let alone emotional trauma, which is far more common and, IMO, just as significant), then I think the government should have grounds to act against it. There are limits to freedom of speech today, so why can't we have similar limits on freedom of religion?

The Obama Administration is apparently bought in and doing what it can to help:

The transcript also shows Mateen spoke to the dispatcher in Arabic and that he pledged allegiance to an organization and an individual during the call, but the transcript does not include those names.
CNN has previously reported that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS during a 911 call from the gay and Latino nightclub, according to a U.S. official.

Hey, I can selectively quote that article too:

CNN wrote:

He also claimed he had explosives in a vehicle outside the club and an explosive vest similar to those used by the Paris attackers, and warned of similar attacks in the days to come.

Authorities found no explosives, and so far have found no credible threats of additional violence, Hopper said.

...

As for what motivated Mateen, Hopper said that authorities have no evidence that a foreign terrorist group directed his violent plot. Instead, they said, it appears he was radicalized domestically.
Investigators have conducted more than 500 interviews trying to determine his precise motive for the shootings, Hopper said.

EDIT: To clarify: the "radicalized domestically" portion of that piece is a little wonky (and something that CNN's Michael Pearson should probably think about reworking); my takeaway from this, based in conjunction with other reportage, is that the FBI concluded that Mateen's actions were not part of a broader plot, terrorist or religious or otherwise.

Nope, Mateen just another crackpot with a gun, enabled by the NRA and the Republican Party, who would rather push for a round up of American Muslims than admit letting anyone with a pulse have an assault rifle.

Garden Ninja wrote:
Mormech wrote:

(though, in my experience, these disagreements over whether the bible is condemning all homosexual relationships or just promiscuous ones are new, and I view them as an attempt for people to be able to maintain their beliefs while setting aside the parts they just don't like).

The Rabbis of antiquity say hello.

Yeah, it's amazing how broad and often accepting Abrahamic religions* have been of things that in the past ~40 years became "we have always been at war with [thing]."

*Just putting it this way because I recognize I'm not as familiar with other traditions.

Huh. I thought only Muslims celebrated terrorist attacks. Or so I've heard.

It's been a while since I was a (partly) practising Catholic but I am sure there was nothing in the books of Matthew Mark Luke or John that talks about praying for fellow man's demise.

Perhaps rather than censoring religion, make it mandatory for pulpit speakers to pass theological college which winnows out people who cannot interpret what they read.

See, the problem with saying poisonous religious beliefs are harmless is that you get congregation leaders espousing hate speech and the flock support it passively or spread the word of hate. Freedom of religion being abused like that means people like that get away with hate speech. Moreover it is telling that you don't have religious figures publicly condemning such radicalism within their own flocks.

No one is claiming that poisonous religious beliefs are harmless, but even hate speech is protected by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. (Provided that it's not an actual threat.) It's not an abuse of freedom of religion. What *would* be an abuse is *government* dictating what people must believe and say. An Englishwoman by the name of Evelyn Beatrice Hall said it well when she stated in The Friends of Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

Also, not every religion is based on writing or scriptures, or even uses a pulpit, or even has a theological seminary anywhere that they could attend even if they wanted to do so. A lot of Wiccans would be pretty disappointed, as only one example.

I looked but I couldn't find it - is there another thread for this tragedy somewhere that isn't constantly embroiled in endless P&C bullsh*t? I kinda just wanted support from and to support the community, but everything here is ugly and looking for where to pick the best fight on the issues, and it's frankly making me a little sick.

Mike, I apologize. Of course you are right.

I grew up in Orlando, and I have a lot of friends in the community there. I found out only a couple of days ago that I (indirectly) know someone who was there, the daughter of someone I knew in high school. Fortunately, she (and her friends) made it out.

If there is anything positive to discuss, my mother was at the vigil yesterday, where over 30,000 people showed up to give their support.

NSMike wrote:

I looked but I couldn't find it - is there another thread for this tragedy somewhere that isn't constantly embroiled in endless P&C bullsh*t? I kinda just wanted support from and to support the community, but everything here is ugly and looking for where to pick the best fight on the issues, and it's frankly making me a little sick.

Maybe start one in Everything Else?

I'm thinking this is the best place for this:

Vi Hart gives her thoughts on both the nightclub shooting and the other Orlando shooting of youtuber, Christina Grimmie, that happened the same weekend. Includes some of her own experiences from being online.

yeah I probably should have started this one in everything else :/

That Vi Hart video. :'(

Man Who Says He Was Orlando Shooter’s Lover Calls Attack Act Of ‘Revenge’

A man who said he had a sexual relationship with Orlando shooter Omar Mateen believes Mateen’s murderous rampage at the Pulse LGBT nightclub was prompted by struggles with his sexual identity.

The man, who went by the name “Miguel” to protect his identity, told Univision in an interview out Tuesday that Mateen harbored resentment towards Puerto Rican LGBT men over his sexual relationships with them.

“Miguel,” who said he first met Mateen on gay dating app Grindr, told Univision that he thinks the attack was primarily an act of “revenge” rather than terrorism. He said he believed Mateen was upset by Puerto Rican men who had rejected him and outraged to learn that one Puerto Rican man he slept with was HIV positive.

Pretty solid nail in the coffin of the 'fundamentalist terrorist' explanation, IMO.

Tanglebones wrote:

Pretty solid nail in the coffin of the 'fundamentalist terrorist' explanation, IMO.

*checks Mateen's skin color*

STILL A TERRORIST, YOU TERRORIST CODDLER.

If you can't say "Islamic Extremism" then you should just step down from posting on the internet! /s

Tanglebones wrote:

Man Who Says He Was Orlando Shooter’s Lover Calls Attack Act Of ‘Revenge’

A man who said he had a sexual relationship with Orlando shooter Omar Mateen believes Mateen’s murderous rampage at the Pulse LGBT nightclub was prompted by struggles with his sexual identity.

The man, who went by the name “Miguel” to protect his identity, told Univision in an interview out Tuesday that Mateen harbored resentment towards Puerto Rican LGBT men over his sexual relationships with them.

“Miguel,” who said he first met Mateen on gay dating app Grindr, told Univision that he thinks the attack was primarily an act of “revenge” rather than terrorism. He said he believed Mateen was upset by Puerto Rican men who had rejected him and outraged to learn that one Puerto Rican man he slept with was HIV positive.

Pretty solid nail in the coffin of the 'fundamentalist terrorist' explanation, IMO.

OK, I'll bite: how does an uncorroborated report that he was in a gay relationship put a "nail in the coffin?"

If you assume this guy to be telling the truth (which I'm reluctant to do at this stage, but who knows) that leaves several unknowns. Namely, you still don't know why Mateen came to be so self-loathing, what elements of society or religion influenced him, who he associated with on the Internet, or how his political leanings evolved.

He could be both a self-loathing gay American and also a fundamentalist terrorist sympathetic to ISIS. Humans are complex.

I'm not talking about great forces which shaped his childhood here, I'm talking about immediate motivations for the shooting. If he was angry about being rejected, and also had internalized homophobia, that would do much to explain why he pledged allegiance to three unrelated terrorist organizations. He was lashing out in pain. As far as corroboration, the specifics may not yet have been corroborated, but I believe a number of people have come forth and said that Mateen was on Grindr and a couple of other gay hookup apps, as well as being a semi-regular at Pulse.

He could be both a self-loathing gay American and also a fundamentalist terrorist sympathetic to ISIS. Humans are complex.

True, but being a fundamentalist terrorist with emotional or logistical ties to ISIS would usually come with knowing that they're at war with another terrorist group... who Mateen also pledged support to... It'd be like Big Boss claiming he was attacking something in Afghanistan for NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

gore wrote:

He could be both a self-loathing gay American and also a fundamentalist terrorist sympathetic to ISIS.

And al Qaeda and Hezbollah.

At least, according to Omar himself.

Demosthenes wrote:
He could be both a self-loathing gay American and also a fundamentalist terrorist sympathetic to ISIS. Humans are complex.

True, but being a fundamentalist terrorist with emotional or logistical ties to ISIS would usually come with knowing that they're at war with another terrorist group... who Mateen also pledged support to... It'd be like Big Boss claiming he was attacking something in Afghanistan for NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

Kojima just got an idea for a new MGS game.

He didn't leave a martyrs video or make statements on ISIS chat boards or the like. He was opportunistic with that, which is why he just hit buttons that showed up in the American press without understanding them.