At the root of the massacre in Orlando is religion. We struggle to admit that because we seem not to know that our holy texts provide theological justification for such violence. Recognizing this is especially difficult because we’ve largely created 21st century versions of our faiths; versions which omit sacred texts unpalatable to our 2016 tastes. It is a faith in which Muslims preach the virtues of Islam but pretend the Quran doesn’t specify crucifixion as one of the only punishments permitted for enemies of Islam (Quran 5:33). It is a faith, for Christians, which highlights the liberating power of the gospel while ignoring Torah’s imperative to execute gays (Leviticus 20:13) or Paul’s command that women be silent, not have authority over men or teach (1 Timothy 2:11-12).
After dipping below 4% in 2000 and 2001, unemployment in Ohio was over 6% in 2003. There was a little election in 2004, an election in which one would think the people of Ohio would want the candidates to talk extensively about the economy. That never really happened, however. George W. Bush carried Ohio that year in large part because people came out in droves to vote on Issue 1- a ballot initiative banning gay marriage. This is an old playbook conservatives have embraced for years: use social issues to distract people from broader, economic concerns, never having to speak to them. Apparently, Democrats are running the same play these days.