The event in Orlando a few days creates many feelings. One is my anger at the gun lobby. I hesitate to put forward Australia's gun laws as being perfect. It only takes one nutter and one firearm to create a massacre but the rifle used in Orlando has been banned in Australia since the Port Arthur Massacre and while still allowed in NZ, the chamber must be restricted to 7 bullets. So you can shoot 7 people before they have a chance to stop you ?????
The New Zealand hunting culture is one aspect of my new nation with which I do not agree. Fortunately they mainly only manage to shoot their best mates because they do not follow the rules of identifying their target.
I am proud of the fact that NZ police do not regularly carry firearms.
I have been bemused by my US friends who say they will avoid travelling to Europe and particularly France. I have always felt most at risk when in the USA. I was in Washington at the time of the Virginia Tech Massacre, not that far away.
However my main anger is at the religious authorities. In this case it was Muslim teaching but Christian teaching is just the same.
It makes me sick when Religious leaders like the Abps of Canterbury and York announce their horror at what happened.
As long as GLBTI and their love are portrayed as less than equal, those stating such views are equally culpable when someone who is mentally unstable develops such views as an excuse to carry out atrocities. There is now some evidence that the individual in this case may have had gay feelings himself and, due to his religious teachings, had developed feelings of self-hatred.
I well remember growing up with the conflict between my religious upbringing and my internal feelings. With some friends it led to suicide, with others it led to extreme homophobia.
When I was out as a teacher in a senior catholic high school, I received a lot of stick from some students. From some it was not much more than good natured ribbing but I remember one boy who was particularly nasty. Several years later I heard he had died from HIV. I sometimes wonder whether the internalised homophobia may have prevented him receiving information about safe sex.
But I digress.
"Organized religion bears responsibility for the pain and misery and death inflicted on gays for so many centuries in the name of god."
I will continue to express my anger with those who are preventing the churches from giving LGBTI people complete equality, whether it be the Evangelical Archdeacon in the next suburb, the Bishop in Nelson or the Archbishop of Canterbury. I see them as enemies. I may be suppose to love my enemies but I see them as beneath contempt and do not want to be in the same room as them.
A retired teacher librarian who loves travelling especially by train and wastes a lot of time on the Internet.
An Anglican who knows God loves me as a gay man.
Moved at the beginning of 2010 from the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia to Dunedin, NZ.
One of the best things I ever did.
I became a New Zealand citizen on 2nd March 2016
I will always be an Aussie by birth but am proud to be a Kiwi by choice.