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Was Orlando shooting terror or homophobia? Yes.

(CNN)The moment the news about the shooting in Orlando started dribbling through social media — first an ominous, familiar drip, then a hemorrhage of horror — we could see the political alignments beginning to take shape and steadily build in intensity.

Doctors were pleading for blood donations and desperate families were still trying to locate their loved ones. But already the political potency of the tragedy began to rise up, inescapably, like a harsh light over the horizon.
    In the many ideological battles raging in our turbulent, confused world, the massacre in a gay nightclub in an American city looked like it would hand a victory to one side and a defeat to another; it would provide evidence, empirical evidence, to bolster certain points of view about some of the fiercest social disagreements in our fast-changing world. But which?


    And in Texas, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted (and then deleted) a bible verse “reap what you sow,” which some took as outrageous affront to the gay victims, although Patrick’s campaign said it had been “previously scheduled.”
    But the FBI and others said the killer, Omar Mateen, had suspected links with Islamic extremists.
    Then his father said his son was angry after seeing two men kissing.
    It turns out that he may have been motivated by both homophobia and Islamic radicalism. That should not come as a surprise. We have seen fundamentalist Islamic governments execute young gay men, and terrorist groups have done it in their own gruesome way.
    Terrorism or homophobia? The answer is yes. Both.
    Perhaps the Orlando massacre can indeed help us accept some common ground.
    Can we agree that killing human beings is morally reprehensible and draw a circle of humanity that leaves out those who reject that basic notion? Vast majorities of people of all religions would accept that.
    Can we agree that there are Islamic extremists killing people, Muslims, Christians, Jews, gays and others, and that letting them have unfettered access to weapons in the United States is a dangerous proposition?
    Maybe it’s too much to expect that the killings in Orlando would help us find this common ground. But in a time when the world feels like it’s becoming unmoored, it’s worth a try.

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