June 13, 2016
It's happened again: American blood spilled on American soil by a radical Islamic gunman in what is the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11.
The victims, shot down at an Orlando nightclub, were apparently targeted because of their sexual identity. Regardless of our country's profound differences on policies, lifestyles, religious beliefs, or anything else, we must make clear that no American -- not one -- should fear being attacked by a terrorist for any reason.
Unfortunately, the attacks on U.S. soil have only grown in this administration's refusal to call them what they are -- Islamic terrorism. The gunman, a homegrown extremist who reportedly pledged his allegiance to ISIS before his bloody rampage, left little doubt about his motivation -- a motivation the president still refuses to confront. Almost eight years into his now fatal agenda of political correctness, President Obama couldn't even bring himself to say the words "radical Islam" in the speech following the attack. It was a stunning omission, one that left viewers' mouths ajar. Donald Trump, who is both revered and reviled for his tough talk on Muslims, argued the president should resign in disgrace. "People cannot... believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words 'radical Islamic terrorism.' There's something going on. It's inconceivable. There's something going on."
Even to people who identify as LGBT, long considered this administration's closest allies, this was astounding. One by one, gay activists and groups criticized Democrats for letting their fear of Muslims get in the way of holding terrorists accountable. Regardless of what you may think of Donald Trump, said one, "he's also the only person saying anything about putting the brakes on Islamic extremism, and in light of what happened in Orlando, suddenly that is the only issue that really matters when it comes to the health, well-being and safety of the queer community." Others like Phoenix LGBT tweeted: "We wanted you to be the first to know, after this horrific attack, we're officially endorsing Trump. Enough is enough."
As Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) challenged, it's time for the Left to stop pandering to America's enemies and unite with Republicans against the killing done in the name of Islam.
"For all the Democrats who are loud champions of the gay and lesbian community whenever there is a culture battle waging, now is the opportunity to speak out against an ideology that calls for the murder of gays and lesbians... This is wrong, it is evil, and we must all stand against it. Every human being has a right to live according to his or her faith and conscience, and nobody has a right to murder someone who doesn't share their faith or sexual orientation. If you're a Democratic politician and you really want to stand for LGBT, show real courage and stand up against the vicious ideology that has targeted our fellow Americans for murder."
Perhaps the saddest irony of all is that this is a conflict of the president's own making. By coddling and promoting Islam, the Obama administration has created an environment where people who identify as gay, lesbian, or transgendered are increasingly vulnerable. "If I were a member of the LGBT community," Leon Wolf wrote on RedState, "I would be watching the Left with an extremely jaundiced eye from this day forward. While Democrats are certainly willing to fundraise and pontificate off LGBT issues, what they are not willing to do is acknowledge that the Religion of Peace is by far the biggest cause of violence against the LGBT community worldwide and is almost exclusively responsible or fatal violence against the LGBT community in the modern world."
What a stark contrast to Christianity, which believes that everyone is made in the image of God and has intrinsic value, regardless of the choices they make. And yet Christianity is the faith Obama won't tolerate -- a religion that teaches people not to confront sin with violence but to love people into the kingdom by speaking truth. Now, after two terms of marginalizing Christianity and celebrating Islam, this is the result. A nation weakened by "tolerance" and broken by grief.
But 36 hours later, it isn't Islamic extremists but Christians the Left holds responsible. Members of the ACLU pointed fingers -- not at the man reportedly yelling "Allah hu Akbar!" as he killed in the name of his Islamic religion -- but Christian conservatives. "You know what is gross -- your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created this anti-queer climate," one seethed. Others put the blame on a more predictable scapegoat: guns. But even if liberals continue exploiting these tragedies to accomplish their anti-faith, anti-freedom goals, we must have the honesty to step back and examine the real issues. The government can't make us safer until it recognizes that the problem isn't the instruments of violence -- but the environment of it. The reality is, someone who wants to inflict harm will find a way. Stronger gun laws wouldn't have stopped the explosion at the Brussels airport any more than it would have defused the suicide vests of the Paris bombers. We have to deal with the underlying issue, which is an ideology that's incompatible with American liberty. An ideology, tragically, that this administration has empowered through its public policy and private diplomacy.
As FRC's Lt. General Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) pointed out, it's outrageous that this shooter was taken off the FBI's watch list -- but not surprising. In the name of "tolerance," law enforcement officials at every level have been hampered in tracking potential terrorists. "There is tremendous pressure to show Muslims favor and to treat them differently than others, based on information that I am getting from my contacts [in the intelligence community]. The Jihadists have us right where they want us. We are going all out now to pander to the enemy and to appease the same people who are here to destroy us."
Under the leadership of Barack Obama, our nation is coming apart -- not from external threats but internal. This latest attack should be seen as an urgent call to Bible-believing Christians to pray for America and for the individuals and families who are suffering in Orlando. It should also be a challenge to greater cultural engagement. We must elect leaders who will defend this country from those who want to destroy it.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.