We at Christianity Today are deeply grieved by the shooting in Orlando that killed 49 people. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to friends and family of the victims. In this case, the attack was targeted at one group, and so our prayers go up for gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities who now live with a heightened sense of fear. We are glad to hear of so many Christians, from many theological persuasions, reaching out to comfort them in their grief.
This weekend’s murders unfortunately remind us of the LGBT community’s place among the many groups who have been singled out for mass killing by hateful people. Just five examples since 2000:
African Americans: The most recent attack we are remembering just this week: On June 17, 2015, nine people were murdered at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Sikhs: On August, 5, 2012, six people were killed and three injured at a Wisconsin Sikh temple.
Christians: On December 9, 2007, two people were killed at a Youth With A Mission training center in Arvada, Colorado, and another two at New Life Church in Colorado Springs.
Jews: Surprisingly, Jews have been regularly subject to a number of murderous rampages since 2000, with fire bombings at synagogues in the Bronx and Syracuse New York in October 2000, the LAX shooting at the El Al ticket counter on July 4, 2002, the Seattle Federation shooting on July 28, 2006, and the Overland Park, Kansas, attack on April 13, 2014.
Mexican Americans: No, they have not been murderously attacked—but there was a serious plan afoot. On May 1, 2007, five members of an anti-immigration militia in Birmingham, Alabama, were arrested for planning to mow down “Mexicans” with machine guns.