As you can imagine, two years after the event there has been a lot of action here recently, memorializing the Pulse nightclub shooting and the tragic loss of 49 lives. But the death toll at Pulse that night was not 49. It was 50.
I understand the visceral response that wants to leave the the attacker, who was subsequently shot by police, out of the picture. It's a completely natural reaction and I don't hold anything against those—especially of the victims' friends and family—who limit their compassion to the 49.
What I don't understand is why churches are following the same path. The natural way is not the Christian way. It is very, very clear that we are to love our enemies, which at the very least means mourning the violent, if necessary, death of this angry and unstable young man. He, as much as any of the other victims of this tragedy, was someone's son, someone's brother, someone's father, a human being, created in the image of God—no matter how distorted that image had become.
Churches, when you ring out the memory of the lost from the Pulse tragedy, remember that you are to be in the world but not of it. Don't take the natural course, but the supernatural: Let your bells toll the full 50 strokes.