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Christians must stand against hatred

To the editor:

After Sunday’s tragic attack at a gay nightclub called Pulse in Orlando, Fla., when a lone gunman entered the nightclub and opened fire, killing 49 people and injuring more than 50 others, I wonder what it will take for us to see the danger of hate crimes perpetrated on the basis of race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

Homophobia has claimed many lives throughout the years. This was simply the most brutal of those acts.

From the gruesome murder of Matthew Shephard in October 1998 in Laramie, Wyo., to the executions of those in the LGBT community in some countries, the horrors these people face are very real.

Homophobia can vary from verbal acts to violent physical acts such as the incident in Orlando.

Christians must speak up, show love and respect and give hope to those involved in this tragedy. We can no longer be silent about the danger of homophobia in America.

What will it take for us as Christians to wake up and truly fulfill the phrase that we so much abuse, “Love the sinner, hate the sin”? Will it take another tragedy to realize that homophobia is a problem that needs the same attention as racism?

Most of us probably know someone or has a family member who is LGBT affiliated. What would we do if they were in a situation similar to Orlando or in a situation similar to that of Matthew Shepard?

If you get a chance, read Luke 10: 25-37. Would we act as the priest and the Levite described by Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan — crossing the road to avoid the person perceived to have been from the wrong place — or would we do like the Good Samaritan and help him?

The choice is ours. #prayfororlando #orlandostrong #christiansagainsthate.

Kenya Smith

Suffolk