RELIGION
06/14/2016 12:41 pm ET Updated Jun 15, 2016

Bishop Calls Out Homophobia In Religion... And He Isn't Blaming Islam

"Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets...and often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people."
Orlando Sentinel via Getty Images

The mass shooting at Orlando's LGBT club Pulse that left 49 dead and at least 53 injured has brought conversations about religion and homophobia to the forefront. 

Robert Lynch, a Catholic bishop with the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, FL, discussed the tragedy in Orlando committed by gunman Omar Mateen in a blog post Monday. 

Lynch noted three points, including the need for stricter gun control laws, whose loopholes allowed Mateen to purchase an AR-15 despite having been on the terror watch list, and a pushback against Islamophobia. 

His second point focused on religion -- not just Mateen's religion of Islam -- and how it perpetuates bigotry against the LGBT community, which was the target in Sunday's hate crime

Sadly it is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people. Attacks today on LGBT men and women often plant the seed of contempt, then hatred, which can ultimately lead to violence. Those women and men who were mowed down early yesterday morning were all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that. Without yet knowing who perpetrated the PULSE mass murders, when I saw the Imam come forward at a press conference yesterday morning, I knew that somewhere in the story there would be a search to find religious roots. While deranged people do senseless things, all of us observe, judge and act from some kind of religious background. Singling out people for victimization because of their religion, their sexual orientation, their nationality must be offensive to God’s ears. It has to stop also.

You can read Lynch's full blog post here. 

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