A Brutal Reminder Interolerance Exists

We Americans debate matters such as whether people who believe biology is not really the determinant of gender should use certain restrooms. We argue over whether members of the clergy should be forced to marry same-sex couples.

But in much of the world there is no argument about such matters. Among some adherents of more than a few religions, there is no discussion.

We were reminded of that Sunday.

A nightclub favored by gay residents of the Orlando, Fla., area became a slaughterhouse that day. A Port St. Lucie, Fla., man who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State massacred 50 people inside the club, wounding 53 others. His father told police the man had become extremely upset about homosexual behavior demonstrated in public.

Islamic State terrorists have a prescribed method of dealing with homosexuals. They are taken to the roofs of the tallest buildings available and thrown off. Those who attempt to renounce homosexuality are told it is too late for that.

A substantial number of other cultures – some not thought of as outside the mainstream – simply do not tolerate homosexuality or gender switching. Some have remedies just as violent as the Islamic State.

We Americans believe in diversity and tolerance, even to those whose beliefs do not mesh with ours. For example, though 72 percent of people in the United States identify as Christians or Jews, we have welcomed 2.8 million Muslims.

Disagree though we may, sometimes energetically, we often do not pause to recognize that the acceptance demonstrated by real Americans of all faiths is not reciprocated everywhere and by everyone. Sunday was a brutal reminder of that.