8pm last night, 90 degrees out. Let it be known: I hate summer.
In short, I don’t believe that violence is the proverbial answer to anything. I don’t think that there is ever a good reason for one human being to cause harm to an innocent fellow human being.
Having said that, there are times when violence is justified. I once witnessed a man assaulting a friend and proceeded to chase him down the street, fists flying. I think that is okay, because what he did was not okay. If I saw a man slap his wife/girlfriend, I can’t say I wouldn’t react in the same manner. So, while I believe violence is not a good idea, I do believe that, occasionally, in certain situations, people need to get roughed up. The same goes for physical discipline of children. Overall, I believe spanking is an unnecessary and barbaric practice. However, there are occasions when it is justified to resort to this – and not because the parent is angry, annoyed, or stressed. However, I have seen children who are not yet pubescent threaten their parents. If one of those parents decided to physically discipline their child, I would have looked the other way. Listen, if I called my mother a “bitch” as a 12 year old, I would hope that she’d have slapped me across the face, because that is not acceptable behavior.
It may not be 100% solid, and I don’t expect anyone to agree with my point of view. But there it is. Overall, violence is wrong… unless you fucking deserve it.
The other night, a friend of mine was upset that something bad had gone down at his favorite nightclub. A few hours later, the media was all over the story about what happened at Pulse, when a lone gunman opened fire on innocent people, killing over 50 of them. My response was anger. At the time, I made the assumption that a lone man opening fire on a room full of LGBT people was a white, Christian man and reacted accordingly. Since my reaction, more information about the shooter was released, but I chose not to amend my original statement. The reason is this: It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether the person did it because he twisted the message of the Bible or of the Qur’an or of their personal disgust. The fact is, a person’s hateful beliefs made it “okay” in their mind to murder half a hundred people who were doing nothing but dancing and socializing in what should have been a safe place for them to do so. I don’t care if anyone is butthurt because I unfairly targeted their religion. I happen to be a Christian, myself, and I will be the first to say that there are some pretty bigoted Christians who gladly take part in bullying, injuring, or killing of those they are prejudiced against – and some who will gleefully hold up signs saying that it was God’s will – using the Bible as a shield for their feelings. If you cross out “Christianity” and “Bible” and put in any religion and its textbook, it’s the same thing. There is no difference. So if anyone is offended about what I said Sunday morning, I urge you to think about exactly what it is you’re offended about. Why is it okay to bash Muslims but not Christians? That isn’t the point.
The only thing I regret is that I focused too much on the shooter himself, vs the bigger picture. It isn’t about guns (though that is a huge part of it), it isn’t about race, it isn’t about religion – it’s the fact that people can still be driven to outrageous acts of violence based on personal prejudice. These kinds of events should make us want to understand and accept each other more so that we don’t have to bury more innocent people, not point the finger at each other, or worse – decide that it’s someone else’s fault and deny that every single blessed one of us isn’t part of the problem.