To My Fellow Americans Who Are Muslim or LGBTQ, In the Wake of Orlando

Orlando shooting

“Dear Lord in Heaven…”

My head in my hands, I say it out loud. It is a prayer, not an expletive, though I say it forcefully. I am crying out to God, but the words won’t even come. How do I put this despair I feel into words? Thank God, He knows my heart and mind. He can read my thoughts and emotions and pull them from me when I can barely make sense of them myself.

And I’ll be honest, there’s a lot I can’t make sense of these days.

I was on a bit of a high earlier this week. I loved how the American People of the Internet collectively came together with all that outrage over the Brock Turner sentencing. WOW—I was totally on board with that. Finally, we united as one voice for a good purpose! It felt so good to know that everyone was standing up for women. And I pray that our corporate outrage put the fear of God and the electorate in any judge who wishes to treat rape as if it is no greater offense than stealing a candy bar from the corner store. I also pray the torment we read of in the rape survivor’s powerful letter will remind us always to teach, teach, teach our children well. The abolition of rape culture starts with parents who teach their kids to love and respect others. It is a responsibility we cannot afford to neglect.

But it is not just about respecting the opposite sex. It’s about respecting and loving those who are different than we are, those we disagree with, those who make us a little uncomfortable.

Why?

Because today I woke to the news that 50 people were slaughtered by a fellow American who decided his religion demanded he become a stateless, murderous mad man and gun down in cold blood those whose lifestyle he found to be disagreeable.

Listen to me.

I am not a Muslim. And I know most American Muslims are not the kind who would condone murder. So if you are an American Muslim today and you are scared of being hurt in a backlash, know that I stand with you. I stand against bigotry, discrimination, and violence.

I am a Christian, and though I cannot, as I understand the Word of God, say that I agree with the LGBTQ lifestyle, I can confidently say that each and every person in that club was a precious, precious, beautiful life created by God in His image, who deserved more time on this earth to live and love and do good. And so if you are a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer person in our country today and you are scared of being hurt, killed, bullied, or tormented today, please know that I stand with you. I stand against bigotry, discrimination, and violence.

Orlando. LGBTQ community. I weep with you. And I have no doubt that your Creator, to whom I’ve cried out loud, “DEAR LORD IN HEAVEN” because oh, how I wish He’d just come here and FIX IT, fix all of it, as only He can, I know He weeps with you too.

My fellow Christians, reach out to the Muslims you know. Tell them you do not lump them in with one who betrays his country for a god who says “kill”. Reach out to the LGBTQ people you know. Tell them that you’re not afraid to walk down the street with them, even if it means you’ll be in harm’s way.

And please, weep with those who weep. Don’t politicize or idealize or scream “I told you so” like so many loud voices are doing now. Weep, and love. Donate blood, and pray to the Savior that shed His for all of us, ALL of us, living here in this world that we cannot make sense of.


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Jenny Rapson
Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.