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Religious Tolerance logo

Religiously-inspired violence.
2016-JUN: The Orlando, FL mass
murder at The Pulse LGBT nightclub:

Part 6 of six parts

What was Mateen's motivation? (Cont'd)
FBI discounts sexual orientation.
Catholic World Report concludes jihadism
was the main motivation.

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This topic is continued here from Part 5.

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2016-JUN-23 update: The FBI was unable to find hard evidence that Mateen had gay lovers:

Rumors had spread that Mateen had frequented the Pulse nightclub, used gay dating apps, and had gay lovers. Some regular visitors to the nightclub had said that Mateen frequented the LGBT club or that Mateen had contacted them on the gay dating apps Grindr, Jack’d and/or Adam4Adam. Some commentators had speculated that the shooter was motivated by conflict over his sexual orientation.

, writing for the Los Angeles Times, said:

"... federal agents have culled Mateen's electronic devices, including a laptop computer and cell phone, as well as electronic communications of those who made the claims, law enforcement officials said.

So far, they have found no photographs, no text messages, no smart phone apps, no gay pornography and no cell-tower location data to suggest that Mateen — who was twice married to women and had a young son — conducted a secret gay life, the officials said." 1

On the other hand, they have been unable to find any direct links between Mateen and the Islamic State to which he swore loyalty in a phone call to 911 during the nightclub attack.

The FBI study adds weight to the theory that Mateen may have been a self-radicalized terrorist whose main motivation was religious hatred against the people and government of the U.S. He may have chosen the Pulse nightclub simply because it offered hundreds of potential victims.

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William Kilpatrick, writing for The Catholic World Report, promotes the belief that jihadism was Mateen's main motivation:

He offers the following observations:

"He threatened to kill a sheriff’s deputy and his family, he stalked a colleague, made inflammatory remarks to other colleagues, and tried to buy body armor and bulk ammunition at a gun shop. And there were other significant signs. Mateen, whose Afghan immigrant father is a supporter of the Taliban, spoke of becoming a martyr, and he recently made a pilgrimage to Mecca. He occasionally attended an Orlando mosque where an imam had recently condoned the death penalty for homosexuals. And at his hometown mosque, he associated with a young man who went off to Syria and killed dozens of people by driving a truck bomb into a restaurant. ..."

"One sign of radicalization is increased religiosity, and this appears to have been the case with Omar Mateen. According to a friend, Mateen became steadily more religious after his divorce [from his first wife]. His imam mentioned that he had prayed for several hours in the mosque just two days prior to the attack. ..."

"Just as the administration purged the FBI training materials of accurate information about jihad, it now seeks to purge the rest of us of knowledge critical to our survival. Although each new terrorist attack promises to—finally—wake up Americans, our politically correct President with much assist from the PC media always manages to put them back to sleep. " 2,3

Advocating the death penalty for same-gender sexual behavior may appear shocking to some people. Such activity has not been considered a criminal offense in the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court declared a law in Texas to be unconstitutional in 2004. It hasn't been punishable by the death penalty since colonial times. But there are ten countries that currently have laws on their books calling for the death penalty: Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. All are predominately Muslim. However, the law has not been applied in Mauritania and the United Arab Emirates in recent years.

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A member of the clergy puts the Orlando mass shooting in perspective:

Rev. Denise Anderson is Teaching Elder and a pastor of Unity Presbyterian Church in Temple Hills, MD. She is also a newly elected co-moderator of the Presbyterian Church USA. On the day of the Orlando shooting, she wrote an essay titled: "You Are the Man! Or Why the Church Should Feel Convicted Right Now." 5 She holds "the Church" responsible for much of the pain, rejection, homelessness, suicide, etc. suffered by the LGBT community. She wrote:

"Forty percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT, most of whom were kicked out of their homes by families who refused to accept them, leaving them vulnerable to addiction, crime, and human trafficking. Somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of LGBT youth have attempted suicide. Much of this can be attributed to religious teaching. A pastor who counseled parents to turn their backs on their gay son, or submit their lesbian daughter to conversion therapy. Flippant comments about “sissies” thrown carelessly about from the pulpit, without regard for who they may pierce. Relegation of gay men to the choir loft (entertain us!), but kept from the Trustee board. Scapegoating same-sex couples as the purveyors of moral erosion. That’s our doing. That’s our assault weapon.

Church, we are the man!

This particular gunman took out fifty people in one night. How many LGBT sisters and brothers have we — the Church — gradually and systemically killed over a longer period of time? He and we have been in the same business. We’re simply not as efficient as he was."

Webmaster's comment on religious beliefs about homosexuality [bias alert]:

Her full article is well worth reading! 5

In defense of religious groups, the most liberal and progressive religious faith groups in the U.S. have taken the lead in normalizing their beliefs about the LGBT community, by accepting the findings of scientific studies into sexual orientation and human sexuality. Examples are the Episcopal Church (USA), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Unitarian Universalist Association, the United Church of Christ, members of the Wiccan religion and other neopagan faiths. Conservative denominations have generally retained anti-LGBT historical beliefs. Many groups base their beliefs on different interpretations of brief passages in the Bible. Two that are particularly significant are:

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:
    • Many conservatives interpret this passages as teaching that sexually active homosexuals will go to Hell, not Heaven, at death. However, if they are truly saved, then persons they will become heterosexual.

    • Many religious liberals interpret the same passage as implying that male child molesters and the children they molest will go to Hell, not Heaven, at death. The Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible, and James Moffatt translation use the word "catamites," or the phrase "boy prostitutes" to describe one group of individuals that Paul believed will go to Hell because of their behavior on Earth. Catamites and boy prostitutes were often boys or male youth who was kept as a sexual partner/slave by an adult male.

    The verse is considered profoundly immoral by by many because it transfers punishment from the guilty adult perpetrator to the innocent child victim. This type of transfer is seen many passages throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Many religious liberals believe that these passages are immoral and should be ignored because they feel that the message they carry are clearly opposed to the will of God.

  • Jude 1:7:
    • Many conservatives interpret this passage similarly to 1 Corinthians 6: Sexually active homosexuals will go to Hell, not Heaven, at death.

    • Most religious liberals interpret the same passage as implying that people who engage in bestiality by having sex with other species -- angels in this case -- will go to Hell, not Heaven, at death.

  • More information on biblical passages about sexual orientation and their interpretation.

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This topic continues in Part 7.

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. , "FBI investigators say they have found no evidence that Orlando shooter had gay lovers," Los Angeles Times, 2016-JUN-23, at:
  2. William Kilpatrick, "Warning Signs in Orlando," The Catholic World Report, 2016-JUN-20, at:
  3. book cover William Kilpatrick, "Christianity, Islam, and Atheism," Ignatius Press (2015). Available in hardcover, paperback, and Kindle formats. Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars by customers. Read reviews or order this book safely from online book store.
  4. , "Here are the 10 countries where homosexuality may be punished by death," the Washington Post, 2016-JUN-13, at:
  5. Rev. T. Denise Anderson, "You Are the Man! Or Why the Church Should Feel Convicted Right Now," Soula Scritpura, 2016-JUN-12, at:
  6. Camila Domonoske, "Orlando Hospitals Say They Won't Bill Victims Of Pulse Nightclub Shooting," The Two Way at NPR, 2016-AUG-25, at:
  7. A world map showing which countries have universal health care can be seen at:

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-JUN-29
Latest update: 2016-SEP-12
Author: B.A. Robinson

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