Saturday, August 1, 2009

Three Killed in Tel Aviv Gay Youth Club: There's No Excuse

There's very sad news from Tel Aviv, Israel, today:
"Israeli police say a gunman entered a youth club for gay teens in central Tel Aviv on Saturday night and sprayed the interior with automatic rifle fire, killing three people and injuring 11.

"Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said it was 'most likely a criminal attack and not a terror attack.' Tel Aviv has been a target for Palestinian militants in the past...."

"...'This was a hate crime, a premeditated attack,' witness Yaniv Weisman told Channel 10 TV. He said Cafe Noir, the basement club, was popular with youth..."
(AP, via FOXNews)
First of all, a hate crime may be premeditated, or may be some bit of evil done on the spur of the moment. A premeditated crime may be motivated by hate, or by a coldly calculated desire to achieve some goal by illegal means.

Yes, it looks like what some Americans call a "hate crime." But it's possible that this attack was the sort of communication that occurred in the livelier days of Chicago's history, when someone didn't go along with an offer they couldn't refuse.

Why Write About This?

A few days ago, I read a post about celebrating our faith: and added the post's blog to the blogroll. (July 28, 2009) I do intend to lighten up a bit: but this multiple homicide in Tel Aviv attracted my attention. I think there are some important things to be pointed out.
Not Everything is About Me
I'm a Catholic, living in a country that started out Protestant and is becoming increasingly secular. There are people who don't like Catholics in America. The days of the burning cross seem to be over, for a while at least, but there are still rather nasty verbal and symbolic attacks on Catholicism. (Another War-on-Terror Blog (August 5, 2008))

Particularly since I grew up in a virulently anti-Catholic area, I need to remind myself now and again that not everything that affects Catholics is directed at Catholics or Catholicism. (July 5, 2009) I'm a convert, by the way: and wild claims about the 'Whore of Babylon' are part of the reason I'm a Catholic now. (September 26, 2008, and other posts)

With respect to the feelings of Yaniv Weisman, I can't assume that this multiple murder was a hate crime - any more than I can assume that explosions in Cotabato were directed at Catholics (July 5, 2009)
Catholicism Does Not Teach Hate
I don't expect to convince true believers of contrary philosophies, but the Catholic Church doesn't teach hate. There are Catholics who hate others - and sometimes themselves - and some of them may believe, ardently, that the Catholic Church is on the same page as they are.

They're wrong.

The Catholic Church has some markedly counter-cultural beliefs about sin: for starters, that it exists. But hating a sin is not the same as hating a sinner. I wrote about that in connection with the supposed object of hatred in this crime, earlier this year. (March 13, 2009)

I know: there are wack jobs who say that they're Christian and appear to have very little going for them except hatred for a short list of preferred targets: blacks, Jews, foreigners and Catholics often make the list. (October 2, 2008) But I don't assume that they're any more representative of Protestant Christianity, than politicos like Pelosi are representative of Catholicism. (March 8, 2009)

And yes: these little 'First Church of Holy Hate' groups generally teach hate of homosexuals, too.
Life is Precious: and Three Lives are Now Ended
I'm a practicing Catholic, so I have no choice but to value human life. (November 2, 2008) Not just the lives of good-looking, healthy people with opinions similar to my own: every human life.1
Now What
It's possible that whoever killed these youth will be caught, tried, and convicted. And, I hope that the person or persons responsible are not executed. It's that 'life is precious' thing again.

  • Do I think it was right to kill those three people?
    • No
  • Do I think Homosexuality is okay?
    • No
  • Do I hate homosexuals?
    • No
  • Do I hate the person or persons who killed those kids?
    • I'm trying, hard, not to
It's getting late: enough said.

Related posts: In the news:
1 I know: the Catholic Church allows the death penalty. In extreme circumstances. Although I know that not everyone agrees with my position, I do not think that a country with America's resources can, in good conscience, allow the death penalty. (October 2, 2008) When the Supreme Court of the United States of America can raise someone from the dead, I'll reconsider my position.

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Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.