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Bishop Erwin’s Response to the Orlando Shooting

Bishop Erwin’s Facebook post after the Orlando shootings was shared over 240 times. Thank you to everyone for your prayers, support, and witness.

Something I learned from Bishop Medardo Gomez of our sister church in El Salvador: hiding from enemies doesn’t work. Make them meet you in public. Make them do it in the open. Evil hates the light.

Sitting in the back of a convertible in the Los Angeles Pride parade in front of tens of thousands of people Sunday morning seemed the right thing to do after the shootings in Orlando. Even in quieter times, I never forget the possibility that some nut with a gun might think a gay bishop a good target, so I put on my purplest shirt and my shiniest cross to make the target a little brighter. I told my people at the parade to stay alert and drop or scatter at the slightest sign of danger. But we were determined to march anyway – and we will keep marching as long as we need to, and we will go anywhere we need to go.

In the days ahead we will hear so much about this. Some of it will be holy and some of it will be nonsense. Don’t be distracted; this is the country we have made for ourselves, and unless we work to change things we are complicit in what happens. Our duty to our neighbor demands our action to keep her safe and provide for her well-being. We need to pray, shout, write, march, donate – and most of all, to vote and urge others to vote. Hate does not go away on its own, and it must be openly and publicly resisted.

Please read the statement of my colleague Bishop Schaefer of the Florida-Bahamas Synod. He says it well: these were his people too, and he hurts for them. I thank him for his love.

Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s letter in response to the Orlando shooting, in English and Spanish.