Written by John Stonestreet and Timothy D. Padgett |
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
In a turn that Orwell warned us about, dissent is considered danger, words are violence, opinions are hate, and yesterday’s truths are today’s terror. Tragedies and crises become crass opportunities to promote a viewpoint. We need not prove our ideological enemy is guilty of a crime, only that they’re on the wrong side of history.
On Thanksgiving Day, the entrance to the Focus on the Family offices was vandalized. The perpetrators, referring to the recent mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs, spray-painted “Blood is on your hands!” and “Five lives taken!” Additionally, they left a sign that quoted 2 Corinthians 11:14-15, implying that the organization did the devil’s work.
Two days earlier, an opinion piece in The New York Times also blamed Focus on the Family for the murders: “When I heard the news about the shooting at Club Q, an L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub in Colorado Springs, I couldn’t help but think of the rhetoric spewed by those like James Dobson.” Many other news reports, articles, opinion pieces, and tweets explicitly connected the shooting to Focus on the Family, other evangelical organizations, churches, and even the military bases of Colorado Springs.
The group who claimed responsibility for the vandalism never used the phrase “stochastic terrorism,” but their reasoning relied on it. Much of the media coverage, in fact, did employ this phrase that is now increasingly being used to direct blame. In this case, anyone who advocated against same-sex marriage, opposed LGBTQ advocacy in schools and libraries, or suggested that sexual orientation and gender confusion are not immutable identities is guilty of “hate speech” and complicit in this act of terrorism.
The shooter has no known connection with Focus on the Family. No one at Focus on the Family participated in or praised the violence. The man who did the killing appears to have been a member of the extended LGBTQ community and, like many other mass shooters, grew up alienated from his father in a terribly broken family. None of that matters to those who’ve already determined who the guilty parties are.