Paul Zahl, terrorist

The headline you’ve just read is irresponsible. Terrorism, as we know, takes lives. It shatters bodies, families and societies. When you call someone a terrorist you are, effectively, calling that person a mass murderer. When you use a phrase like “terrorist bomb,” you conjure up images of torn limbs, devastated bodies, blood, lots of blood. It is not a metaphor one should use lightly.

Consider then, the conversation that Zahl, dean of the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry near Pittsburgh had recenlty with Associated Press reporter Kim Curtis about the upcoming episcopal election in Califormia. In this conversation, he likened the possible election of a gay bishop to “a terrorist bomb, which is timed to destroy a peace process.”

Why do you suppose he thinks it is okay to talk this way?

Update 5/5 The Human Rights Campaign has called on Zahl to apolgize. The Rev. Susan Russell, president of Integrity, has done likewise:

“Paul Zahl’s comments comparing the election of a gay bishop to a ‘terrorist bomb’ is hate speech that has no place in any faith-based discourse. Such language does nothing to advance our public discourse, does everything to further polarize and alienate and is antithetical to the love God calls us all to offer each other. I call for Dean Zahl to apologize for this incendiary rhetoric that attacks not only gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people but the very fabric of our historic faith in the Jesus who called us be peacemakers and to love our neighbors as ourselves.”

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