Regarding the Mass Shootings in Orlando
By Ramon Diaz
I along with the rest of the country mourn for the victims of the mass shootings in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. As a resident of Central Florida, this incident strikes particularly close to home. To my many friends in the LGBT community, my thoughts and prayers are with you. It is hard to imagine anybody would carry so much hate and contempt in their heart as to kill and injure so many innocent people. It is incomprehensible why anyone would judge, shun, hate or kill someone because of their choice of whom they love.
When I started my business, hippieuniversity.com, I made a conscious choice to be an advocate for LGBT rights. Even though I am not gay, as somebody who was bullied as a child, I can empathize with my brothers and sisters who have the courage to be who they are, despite persecution and discrimination. Although I come from a conservative family background, I realized very early on in my adulthood, that all the fear mongering about homosexuality had no basis in reality. I learned that sexual orientation had nothing to do with whether you’re a decent human being or not. To the chagrin of many in my family, I became a very public advocate through my website for everyone to have the freedom to be who they want to be, to love who they want to love and not have to hide in shame or fear.
I always knew, from very early in my childhood, whom I was sexually attracted to. In my teenage years, I struggled with religious guilt every time I masturbated. I know from experience that sexual attraction is something one is born with and is almost impossible to control. To realize that homosexuality, in its many forms, is something you are born with, seems like an obvious conclusion to anyone that has any empathy. Homosexuality is not a choice, and people should not be punished, made feel guilt, or shame, or be treated differently because of who they are. When it comes to guilt, shame and condemnation, it mostly stem from one main source: religion.
Religious text, whether the Bible or the Koran, had one very basic agenda: to make more converts and have control over them. What better way to control humans than to make them feel shame and guilt of their carnal desires? These text were written in a world in which the number of followers decided which religions or sects would rise to power. It is hard to gain followers by conversion. It is much easier to have your followers procreate and multiply to gain power in numbers. In this type of world, homosexuality is a direct threat to the power and influence of the religious leaders, since homosexual sexual relations do not lead to procreation and increasing the number of followers. That’s why the Catholic church is against both homosexuality and contraception. That’s why the church seems more concerned about human procreation issues than by poverty, human bondage, justice, greed, war and human suffering.
In this indictment, I do not want to promote intolerance towards any religion. I just want to shed a light on what I believe is the truth, and end the relentless religious intolerance towards the LGBT community. Ancient religious text have been quoted throughout history as an excuse to slavery, lynching, genocide, and many other crimes against humanity. I exhort all readers of this article not to give up personal judgement to adhere to ancient text. Take the wisdom, compassion and empathy that these text have to offer, but leave behind the bigotry and hate within these texts. Beware of the people who interpret these writings to promote their own prejudices.
For every purchase of our Orlando Strong t-shirts, hippieuniversity.com will donate a portion of the profits to Orlando Youth Alliance, and LGBT 501(c)(3) charity.