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Vox A huge international study of gun control finds strong evidence that it actually works

Shooting in Orlando who to blame?

The latest rampage of mass killing touches many of our political hot buttons. The assailant using automatic rifle (gun nuts may correct to semi-automatic) and 9 mm pistol to kill 49 and wounding even more. The massacre brings back the gun debate. The shooter was a Muslim, so now we have the war on terror, the culture clash of Islam and the falsely labeled Christian America. We also have the silly debate over labels. The attack took place at a gay nightclub in Orlando FL, therefore brings the LGBT debate to the forefront.  Most of the victims were Hispanic, yes even a little racial division can be brought into this horror. Orlando usually more associated with Disney World and fun in many people’s minds than anything else. The event hit the news on a Sunday. On my way to the shower my wife sleepily asked if I had heard about the shooting in FL. I asked, you mean the singer ? No she replied, there is a new mass shooting over twenty dead.  I said no. This one occurred while I slept and I hadn’t turned on radio, TV, computer, or phone.  I rushed to our church as I was running late; I needed to make the coffee, insert the slides, and then warm up with the band. My mind was on other things. Even though I could fit the stereotype of a news junkie I usually turn away from events like this. The wall to wall of reporting without facts, overflow of idle speculation to fill between commercial breaks, and the inaccuracies of early leads is not for me.

On Tuesday morning this incident still dominates the news cycle, but now the facts are set.


The Second Amendment Hoax How the NRA and conservatives have perverted the meaning of the right to bear arms. Slate Dahlia Lithwick

It touches so many emotional aspects of our society and hits so many blindly held political agendas.  This is indeed a Rorschach opportunity everyone can come to it riding his or her preferred hobbyhorse (I mean unthinking programmed response to an emotive issue). Trump instantly called it Islamic terrorism; I think the label Islamic terrorism is acceptable to the Right Wing. Maybe to appease conservatives I need to call it the Ultimate Struggle of Jihadi Terrorist Zombies with Death Rays; who are sent, welcomed, or benignly ignored by Obamer. Others see it as some surreal Gay Pride event to unite society in rainbow unity. The Fundamentalists see another reason to follow through on Christian conservative proposals to send the Gays to a special island prison letting Gayness die out. The NRA cult sees it as a reason to demand we have more guns and blame Obama. The gun control groups call for regulation; they are weary of outrage, numb from the lack of legislative responses. In this event even the offering of prayers is mocked as cold comfort. Yes you would think for the price of an AR-15 the shooter could have bought tickets to Disney World and had a much better time, but his demons lead him on another path.

Every group tries to dominate with their preferred narrative. Media pundits accept the power of the narrative therefore people quickly put forth their world view. In crafting your preferred narrative the motivation of the shooter is a key in creating hot button fantasy. Suggesting remedies to prevent future tragedies are often mocked and portrayed as politicizing the tragedy. Pundits quickly jump all over the shooter’s biography. They then hope as actual facts emerge, the facts don’t undermine their verbal spouts of nonsense. It appears that on this Tuesday morning the cause of this shooting fails to be a good media argument for anyone’s hot button issue. The shooter may fail to match any of narratives the pundits were trying to spin. Yes, you NRA nuts can argue for more guns.  If all the drag queens had just been dually practicing concealed carry, then the hail of bullets spewing from three or four hundred guns surely would have solved the problem. Gun control advocates will claim universal background checks could have prevented this shooter from getting the AR-15. All the issues have a right to be a part of the debate. The attention, debates, and expressions of outrage will follow their course, and will end in government dysfunction as we have come to expect. Nothing will be done to prevent future gun deaths, therefore I turn to the human element. In this case the demons driving the shooter himself.


The key to this act may have sprung from self-hate. The shooter an American of Islamic faith with a troubled history of radical connections, a broken marriage of violent acts, but not that different from other Americans of Christian background. He was still able to be a security officer pass cursory background checks. His history reveals he may have been Gay, whatever that means.  I as any pundit will turn to speculation. The shooter apparently had desires for same sex relationships. I often have joked there were no Gay people when I grew up. It was too hidden, too repressed, too taboo for anyone to have to acknowledge or notice that not everyone was heterosexual.  I grew up allowed by my straight privilege, like my white privilege simply to ignore many civil rights issues. I have come to understand issues of sexuality are not entirely issues of choice. There is an inherent DNA aspect of people’s nature that drives their sexuality. Your nature may be one way, and it may place you at odds with your religion or culture. If one’s deeply held religion demands you be someone else, then the strain, stress, and inner demons will manifest in one’s self. All fundamental religions could cause this condition. This shooter is another wreck on the shoals of conflicting demands and repressed desires. Our society and culture lacked avenues to allow him to find acceptance. With adequate mental health services he may have been able to accept himself. Our world needs more paths of tolerance so that his religion and culture could also allow him to be himself.

The hobbyhorse hot button demands will continue, made hobbyhorses by our government's dysfunction. Congress should allow data collections of gun purchases and shootings, but will not. People will: continue to scream about Muslims and immigrants, blame our foreign policies, demand LGBT pride and rights, and seek bans of assualt weapons. Take any tact that allows you to be self-righteous and assured of your correctness. I think all those have little to do with this shooter. If you want to understand the root cause of this incident it is intolerance. Our religions of rigidity lack love. As a Christian I can only address my tradition, but I think Islam and Judaism also should examine intolerance. I ask quite sincerely and humbly please examine your fundamentalism. Is demanding death to sinners an act of love? Isn’t judgment to be left in the Father’s hands? This tragedy is a result of our lack of tolerance and love in society, more directly a lack of love and tolerance in our religions. Now I would encourage you to engage in sincere private prayer, public demonstrations of your righteousness are not needed. My faith demands that I seek God’s truth and reach out to the world in love. It is the highest command of Jesus, where does that allow the hate, intolerance, and scorn I have seen demonstrated by those who profess Christianity. Our government is frozen in partisan divide controlled by the powerful interests and will do nothing.  It is time for people of sincere faith to change hearts, whether their own or others. I claim a right to address my faith, my church, my conference, and my denomination.  I must leave other people's religions to those who are a part of them. I hope my fellow Christians will pray, engage their minds, and use their hands to reach out in love and end intolerance. It may not end our dysfunction, but it could heal many souls in the world.


Rueben Morgan -- Still


Yes Leviticus

Kill the Gays because of Leviticus 20 v13 then also kill the adulterers Leviticus 20 v10 - and do not forget the fortune tellers v27 could mediums and fortune tellers possibly mean cable news pundits?

Should we go into the rules for sacrifices and offerings, accidentally touching the unclean? How about shrimp, do you go to Red Lobster? Maybe you will say but Jesus is the New Covenant. I say yes, yes, yes he is.

Above all commandments, rules, and traditions Jesus said two are supreme. The two are to seek God and to love one another. Yes seek truth, love God's creation, reachout in the Spirit with love, then be slow to cast the first stone.

Other religions and cultures you are on your own. We are miserably failing to understand the core message in our own Christian message. We are failing to give equal protection and standing before the law to our own citizens in the United States.

I am no advocate for the LGBT community. I find the dynamic changes in our soceity a little unsettling. I do know all Americans deserve inherent civil rights, and must be given equal protection in law.

We speak of the Spirit, our connection to God's love, of forgivenness, and being whole. I think most in our Christianity seek God and find their own prejudices. We reach out in love to others who are like ourselves. We are falling far short of loving all others and rejoicing in love for all God's creation.

I will be Still now, rest in God Spirit through this storm, I pray everyone will find peace.

OK a little purpose, find a little loving purpose to do some good in this world, end the hatefulness.


Great Tribute Memorial

If you want to cry laugh and be offended there is this from Samamntha Bee



Closer to Free version of Still at the May 15, 2016 Service Elmwood United Methodist Church -- Song starts at 42:10

- with a false start by Steve, they forgave me did not scratch me from the race


Members Steve Johnson & Laura Stewart were absent - Vic Ewalt filling in on keyboard

Russ Clark, Micheal Sweeney, Becky Caulkins, Leann Lovingood, Lois Hill, and Steve Davis (White Sox cap)


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