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Religious Tolerance logo

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

Part 7 of seven parts

Two local hospitals will not bill victims.
Arson attack on a Florida mosque.

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This topic is continued here from Part 6.

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2016-AUG-25: Orlando hospitals will not charge victims of the mass shooting:

According to reporter Abe Aboraya of NPR radio station WMFE, Orlando Health will not charge the 44 victims of the shooting that were treated at their Orlando Regional Medical Center. He said:

"Instead, the hospital will look at federal and state funds, victims' funds like the One Orlando fund, and private funds raised for victims. The hospital will bill insurance if a patient has it, but it will not go after a patient's copays The same goes for the nine patients who came to the hospital and died."

David Strong, the CEO of Orlando Health issued a statement saying that the shooting was a:

"... horrendous tragedy. During this very trying time, many organizations, individuals, and charities have reached out to Orlando Health to show their support. This is simply our way of paying that kindness forward."

Another local hospital, Florida Hospital, is also waiving charges for the twelve victims it treated. Aboraya said:

"But the hospital has gone a step further, saying it will not bill insurance either, and any continuing care patients need will also be free of charge."

Daryl Tol, CEO of Florida Hospital said:

"We hope this gesture can add to the heart and goodwill that defines Orlando."

Florida is one of the states that opted out of the Medicaid expansion that was an integral part of the Affordable Care Act. Since many of the victims were young, the rate of uninsured victims is probably high. 1

Unfortunately, there have been countless other victims of shootings in Orlando, in the rest of Florida, and the rest of the U.S. that were before, at the same or, after but unrelated to the tragedy at The Pulse nightclub. Many of them are impoverished by medical charges. As of 2009, In 58 other countries across the world, from Andorra to Venezuela, citizens are provided with universal health care. But the U.S. is not one of these. 2

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2016-AUG: Speculation about whether LGBT rights will influence the NOV election:

Stephanie Murphy (D), 37, is running for Congress in a district that contains most of Orlando. She visited The Pulse nightclub in Orlando. LGBT rights is one of the issues on which she is campaiging. Her policies are very different from her Republican opponent’s, which have historically been heavily opposed to equality. Some Democrats feel that this could influence the vote significantly in her favor.

She commented:

"This is a very winnable race. I think people will see that as a defining moment and say: ‘No more. My vote is going to be for human rights’." 6

There remains little clarity on Mateen's precise motivation for shooting patrons of The Pulse, but anti-LGBT, and/or anti-American hatred were certainly involved.

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2016-SEP-12: Apparent arson attack on the shooter's mosque:

An unidentified male set fire to the Fort Pierce Islamic Center. This is the mosque that Omar Mateen attended in Fort Pierce, FL. It happened just after midnight on the day after the 15th anniversary of the 911 attacks on New York, and Washington. It also ocurred on the beginning of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. 3


Wilfredo Ruiz, communications director for the Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, (CAIR) said:

"To firebomb a place barely an hour after parishioners are leaving a place is clearly meant to terrorize. This is a political hate message being sent. That's how the community feels. This small community is being targeted."

Georgia Parsons, 66, lives across the street from the mosque. Since the mass shooting in orlando, she has heard people driving past the mosque, yelling out threats She said:

"America was founded on religious freedom. Those people [at the Islamic Center] haven't done anything wrong. Just because that one crazy guy went to church there?" I just think it's sad that you have to fight hate with hate. It's ridiculous."

Hava L. Holzhauer, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League

"While the investigation into this incident is still underway, the congregation should know that it is not alone. Whenever a house of worship is desecrated, it results in a ripple effect of fear throughout the community." 3

Christopher Mele, writing for the New York Times, said:

"Officials of the St. Lucie County sheriff’s office said that Joseph M. Schreiber, 32, of Port St. Lucie, was arrested around 5 p.m. Wednesday as he was walking in Fort Pierce.

Mr. Schreiber had 'multiple anti-Islamic posts and comments' on his Facebook page, said Maj. David Thompson, the director of law enforcement at the sheriff’s office. Mr. Schreiber also wrote about the Sept. 11 attacks, but officials did not elaborate further on a possible motive for the fire. ..."

"Mr. Schreiber faces a charge of second-degree arson but a hate crime designation will raise the charge to first-degree arson, Major Thompson said.

The authorities did not directly address whether others were involved in the arson, saying only that the investigation was still in its early stages." 5

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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. Camila Domonoske, "Orlando Hospitals Say They Won't Bill Victims Of Pulse Nightclub Shooting," The Two Way at NPR, 2016-AUG-25, at:
  2. A world map showing which countries have universal health care can be seen at:
  3. Mike Clary & Adam Sacasa "Arsonist being sought after fire at Fort Pierce mosque where Pulse nightclub killer prayed, investigators say," Sun Sentinel, 2016-SEP-12, at:
  4. Lindsey Beaver, "Fire at Orlando gunman’s mosque was ‘set intentionally,’ authorities say," The Washington Post, 2016-SEP-12, at:
  5. Christopher Mele, "Arrest Made in Arson at Mosque That Orlando Nightclub Gunman Attended," New York Times, 2016-SEP-14, at:
  6. Frank Bruni, "The Big Gay Sway," New York Times, 2016-SEP-03, at:

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-SEP-11
Latest update: 2016-SEP-19
Author: B.A. Robinson

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