I’m a huge fan of the new show, SMASH and was thrilled to see Norbert Leo Butz’s guest appearance last week. He’s an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind performer that I hope to see perform live soon.

After the show I was in a Norbert frenzy so I Googled his name.  This led me to his Wikipedia page. There I discovered, much to my dismay, that he had a sister that was murdered in a brutal and bizarre crime.  Teresa Butz and her lesbian partner were attacked in their home and were repeatedly raped and stabbed until Teresa found a way to fight back which bought her lover time to escape but resulted in Teresa’s death.

I look at so many people that I admire with such a charmed life expectancy that I’m never prepared to hear such horror stories as this. Norbert Leo Butz exudes such joy in his Broadway performances one might be deceived into believing that pain has never touched his life.

I can imagine the outpouring of response on such a brutal crime. Especially considering the players.  A single woman or a married woman could escape much of the creepy and hateful speculation that sadly accompanies a crime like this but the involvement of two gay women…

Rarely do humans pass on an opportunity to point fingers. But us Christians… In times like this I’d kill for a God’s eye view, a God-corder, if you will, to hear how many of His people made reference to a lifestyle “choice” that somehow earned this tragic fate.  I don’t know what’s worse, standing around and watching injustice and bigotry or adding to the mix with judgment and scorn.

Every day I read on line about hate crimes and there’s always a religious nut blaming the victim and praising God for His righteous judgment.

Yesterday I heard yet another report of someone who refuses to attend my church because of my “choices.”  She’s always welcome despite the fact that she’s judgmental, bigoted, dishonest, adulterous, an addict, a false prophet and kinda annoying. Her choices are none of my business yet mine are up for grabs.

As long as we have hate, we’ll have hate crimes. Spiritual hate crimes have no place on planet Earth. 

My heart broke for the Butz family and continues  to break for this fallen, tortured world. How can we, the keepers of Jesus justify perpetuating this evil over and over again? And the rest of us who see it happening, who listen to the hate rap coming out of the ungrateful mouths of our peers…

Do we just stand around and watch?

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