Editorial: Spirit of ’76 (A Coward Strikes Again)

By Lavender June 23, 2016

Categories: Causes, Our Affairs

Spirit-of-76-CoverThe tragedy in Orlando, Fla. is a lesson in history and a painful one at that. This coward struck at our community attacking harmless, defenseless, innocuous, average Americans, members of a community who did no harm to him or his. The wanton taking of life because of his intolerance is such a barbaric act as to strike our community to its heart. To average, thinking people it is incomprehensible. To non-average, thinking people it was expected for a long time.

Much has been said as to why this was “allowed to occur.” Contrary to those running for president who wish to take political advantage in this time of tragedy, this is not an issue of access to guns, nor it is an issue about immigration. This cowardly attack is solely an issue of religion.

When this country was founded, we were a group of 13 colonies all of whom had different religions. Our ability to form a single country was reached by a compromise on religion. In a historic event, we decided that there would not be a single religion for this country. We decided that the United States of America would have no state religion, unlike our European ancestors. Our founding fathers believed that we should attract the best and the brightest and those seeking freedom to worship as they wished. In fact, the First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In the United States of America, you have the right to worship as you wish, free from any interference from the state. This is sacrosanct in who we are and what we believe in. It is an idea essential to a modern democracy. However, as much as you are free to worship as you wish, you are not allowed to impose your religious views on others. This is the respect we show to all of our neighbors and fellow citizens.

For example, as a Muslim cab driver holding a public license, you do not have the right to refuse to take a person home from the airport because they are carrying a bottle of alcohol. That is the imposition of your religious views on someone else’s life. You do not have that right in this country. You have the right to worship in the mosque of your choice. That is what the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution is all about: respect for others.

This coward who thought that he had the right to impose his religious views on the rest of us was frustrated because he did not think in terms of living his modern life in the 21st century. He was stuck in the 12th century. However, he did not have the right to impose that on the rest of us. He did not have the right to kill us because we think differently. He needed to tolerate others, and himself. He needed to get over it, and get a life; not take one.

13 Responses to Editorial: Spirit of ’76 (A Coward Strikes Again)

  1. Davey Wilkes says:

    This is a deeply racist article, and a disturbingly offensive cover image. As a white queer person, I understand that my liberation is intimately connected to fighting white supremacy and colonial thinking, and if it wasn’t, it would still be the right thing to do. Please print a retraction and apology. This issue does not represent the LGBTQ community.

  2. Becky Smith says:

    This editorial – which I assume is endorsed by your staff and publisher – is hate speech accompanied by a disturbingly offensive cover image. I reject the erasure of queer Muslims. I reject the targeting of the Muslim community. I reject the erasure of the reality that the majority of lives lost at Pulse were people of color, Latinx specifically. I reject the glorification of brute violence against Native people and stealing land. I reject the media source that just legitimized Islamophobic hate speech as an editorial.

    Please print a retraction and apology. This issue does not represent the LGBTQ community.

  3. Scott N says:

    The editorial does not say that the Muslim religion had anything to do with the shooting, and it is not about race. It says that some idiot shot people in the name of religion. There is a difference. Idiots have been using religion since religions existed; all religions. The article is about idiots imposing their religions on others, not about any particular religion. Read what it says, not what you think it says.
    To say that it is hate speech or racist is a lack of reading comprehension.

  4. Shirah says:

    “When this country was founded, we were a group of 13 colonies all of whom had different religions. Our ability to form a single country was reached by a compromise on religion.” No. Different forms of Xtianity does not constitute different religions, contrary to what the founding fathers may have thought. Have you never dealt with blue laws? Is there the possibility that you will be fired or passed up for promotions because you take time of work for religious observance? Are there Xmas trees or Easter decorations in the government buildings closest to you? If you need to be a bigot that badly, you could at least put in a little more effort. Not only are you painting Islam as some backward religion, you are erasing and belittling the struggles that other minority religions face in the US.

  5. John Medeiros says:

    Bullshit. Not only am I astounded by how this author got inside the head of a dead man — when no one else has been able to — and assess the assailant’s reasons for killing members of our community, but I’m also offended that Lavender would print such speculative dribble. Shame on you, Lavender. This does NOT represent the values of our community. At a time when Islamophobia is at its peak, this “editorial” has no place at the table. And if this weren’t enough, the very first letter printed under this editorial is from a “Pierre Tardif.” Mr. Tardif – who spouts similar hatred in his letter – happens to be the Vice President of Lavender. Coincidence? I think not.

  6. Kimberly Malone says:

    Shame on you, Lavender. This article is racist, hate speech. I am highly disappointed you would publish something of this nature that alienates our LGBTQIA+ Muslim brothers and sisters from the rest of our community. This article does not represent me and my LGBTQ community. As one of your readers, I demand you retract this and print an apology.

    To the editor: Do not bash the murderer because of his religion or national origin. You certainly do not need to tolerate him or his hatred of us. Hate him – but hate him for killing us. Don’t hate him for his up-bringing. You say the murderer needed to tolerate, well we all need to MORE than tolerate one another. You need to get over that he was a Muslim from Afghanistan. Be mad that he is a homophobe not that he praised Allah. This is not about religion and it certainty is not about race.

  7. Jon. Odell says:

    The editor should go to Obama’s press conference last week and listen to why he said he does not use the term “radical Islam” and then rewrite your piece that does not vilify an entire religion.

  8. Joshua Newville says:

    This editorial is a disaster. No, really, this is some next-level simplemindedness.

    I won’t repeat the many thoughtful sentiments that have been posted here and elsewhere that thoroughly explain why it is nothing more than thinly-velied xenophobia, but here are a few more issues.

    1. Asserting that religion was the sole cause of the Orlando attack ignores a complex, nuanced set of circumstances that are both known and unknown. The editorial board’s simultaneous ignorance and arrogance is astounding. And, it (ironically) reeks of political motivation.

    2. Was this written by professional writers? Was it edited by professional editors? From the subheading to the last sentence, it’s absolutely riddled with syntax errors.

    3. Lavender muddles the very thing it arrogantly lectures its readers about. The First Amendment does not impose prohibitions on private persons. Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, it imposes limitations on government. Nothing about the First Amendment prohibits a cab driver from refusing to transport a person carrying a bottle of alcohol, whether or not that cab driver is a government employee. While it is true that various state laws prohibit private vendors from discriminating on the basis of religion, the taxi example still fails because the cab driver refusing to transport the potential passenger is not doing so based on the passenger’s religion.

    4. The fact that the VP of Lavender wrote the “letter to the editor” that’s listed directly below this piece makes me seriously question the ethics of this whole operation.

  9. Joshua Newville says:

    Oh. And, “wonton” taking of life – as you originally had it published? Come ON.

  10. Joshua Newville says:

    Finally, I just compared the print version to the version you have published here on this site and realized that you’ve been updating it as comments have come in. Do you have no editorial integrity at all? What a mess.

  11. Ben Roscoe says:

    If it were better written, I would think this was sarcasm. But alas, it’s just another prime example of why Lavender is considered irrelevant. Even free, it’s too expensive. Let’s hope the Big Hate Newsletter and this dribble comes to an end soon.

  12. Matthew says:

    Bravo, Lavender, for saying what needed to be said.

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