District Attorney Tracey Cline said Friday 27-year-old Peter Lucas Moses shot 5-year-old Jadon Higganbothan because he thought the boy was gay. (LINK)
This story is appalling because it’s a five year old. It’s appalling because Moses also shot a 28 year old woman, suspecting she would go to the police. It’s appalling because the child’s mother and Moses’ brother and sister also appear to be accessories. The facts are horrifying.
The implications are much worse. All the participants were members of a religious sect known as the Black Hebrews. They believe they are direct descendants of the ancient tribes of Israel. Their beliefs are based on the Bible.
Yes… I know… they’re not part of the “mainstream,” and their beliefs are not sanctioned by the “official” religious powers that be — at least in America. But good American Christians should not sit too smugly in condemnation of such “obvious” perversion of the “true will of God.” There are plenty of American religious leaders whose comments skirt the edge of inciting violence against gays, much closer to home:
“Blaming “homophobia” for any bad thing that happens to homosexuals is to hide under the bed of self-delusion. It denies the homosexual’s need for God’s grace and mercy, and tricks him or her into persisting in rebellion. It ignores the medical problems that this behavior naturally incurs; and it denies the wider societal problems – the decline of the family, the loss of faith in God and in the future, and the erosion of democratic institutions.” (LINK)
That’s Atlanta’s own Rev. D. L. Foster. He’s a more “mainstream” Christian. Does that sound to you like the good reverend is offering a “loophole” for people who wish to harm gays? Perhaps he is, and perhaps he is not, but he certainly isn’t going out of his way to condemn such violence. And he’s explicitly telling us that gays are a problem for society.
Then there’s the now-infamous Bishop Eddie Long, who is planning on expanding his Atlanta area mega-church in spite of the fact that he’s pretty much been exposed as a homosexual himself — after years of preaching anti-gay hate from the pulpit and running “pray the gay away” camps for vulnerable teen boys (some of which he apparently victimized.) Hate can be directed inwards as well as outwards.