The West’s Crisis of Culture and Meaning


Speculation has abound over the last week that the Orlando killer, Omar Mateen may have been gay himself, and even frequented the club where he brutally took the lives of 49 victims.

In trying to make sense of the attack, some authorities have speculated that Mateen’s motive may have been a ‘hate crime’ based up self-hatred and an inability to come to terms with his homosexual orientation.

Pundits have been quick to try and get political mileage out of the attack, whether it has been to push gun control, gay marriage, or going to the bizarre length of pointing the finger of blame at conservative Christians or even Donald Trump, himself.

I do not believe Mateen’s motive was self-hatred as there was ample motive to carry out the attack on Islamist grounds. In fact, Islam and Islamic State were what Mateen himself names as the motive for the Pulse nightclub slaughter. We now seem to have a tendency not to take terrorists at their word, and to concoct other motives and attribute these to the attackers when they have made no such claim.  I also find myself agreeing with the remarks made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late last week when he said:

“This week’s shooting wasn’t merely an attack on the LGBT community, it was an attack on all of us. On our common values of freedom and diversity and choice. Radical Islamist terror makes no distinction between shades of infidel. This week it was gays in Orlando, a few days before that it was Jews in Tel Aviv, before that it was music fans in Paris, travelers in Brussels, Yazidis in Iraq, community workers in San Bernardino, Christians and journalists in Syria. All of us are targets.”

While the Israeli Prime Minister is on the money with what lies behind Islamic terrorism, the issue of self-hatred needs needs further exploration. Those who live in the West are fed a daily narrative of self-hated, so it is not surprising that this was raised as a potential motive.

Children are taught from the earliest age at school and through the media that their lives and prosperity are built on the proceeds of crime. Our education system instills a culture of guilt and shame for the sins of our fathers; where achievements of Western Culture are either ignored, dismissed or amount to nothing more than exploitation, and where the colour of one’s skin is said to make one automatically and irredeemably racist.

We live in a culture that is drenched in shame, guilt and self-loathing. Such a culture of guilt and shame has not come from Christianity, but has arisen from the rabidly anti-Christian secular left which now (like the Christian faith before it) dominates our civil institutions. Is it any surprise that this self-hatred might rub off on our young people?

While self hatred is unlikely to be the motive behind the Orlando massacre, the custom and practice of self-loathing indoctrinated into our children and each of us through the media is certainly behind the crisis of culture and meaning experienced by so many in the West.