Justice, reason, and respect demand that we do not hastily react to the horrific events that happened in Orlando, Florida, during the morning hours of June 12, 2016. But we cannot wait for news reports and official investigations to express our outrage and concern. At the present moment, over fifty people have been killed and fifty more injured in a senseless shooting. The target of these vicious attacks is the LGBTQ Community which is often threatened, condemned, and marginalized.
Our hearts go out to the people of Orlando who have prided themselves on being a welcoming community. The Interfaith Peace Project stands proudly in solidarity with the LGBTQ Community and pledges to continue to do all in our power to continue fostering understanding, acceptance, and respect. We urge people of faith to reexamine their understanding of sexual orientation insuring that their teachings and practices do not endanger the lives of very real people. The time has come once again to end the prejudice, fear, and hateful rhetoric that often occur when speaking about people who belong to so-called sexual minorities.
We call upon political leaders and governmental officials not to reduce this tragedy to political opportunism. We caution everyone about labeling religious people, immigrants, and other minorities with names and slogans that enable unscrupulous people to react with hatred, scorn, and violence.
For now we mourn and pray to God that this violence ends. Together we must work for what is right and just.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
with The Board of Directors