Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: A powerful message of inclusion from Bishop Robert Lynch

With plain, piercing words, Bishop Robert Lynch of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg has taken a morally bold stand in honoring the lives of the victims in the Orlando nightclub massacre. His thoughtful remarks, written in a blog post after Sunday's mass shooting, serve as an admirable example of self-reflection and humility by a leader in a time of mourning over the terrible loss of life caused by a hateful act.

Lynch, who at age 75 is nearing retirement, wrote that the victims in the shooting at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub, were "all made in the image and likeness of God. We teach that. We should believe that. We must stand for that." Free of nuance, Lynch's message is a clarion call for unconditional acceptance of others.

Most extraordinarily, Lynch allowed that the teachings of his own Roman Catholic faith bear some responsibility for the climate that allows gay people to be victimized. "It is religion, including our own, which targets, mostly verbally, and also often breeds contempt for gays, lesbians and transgender people." Lynch, who oversees a diocese with about 425,000 Catholics in five counties on the Gulf Coast, leaves no room for those who would fall back on Scripture to justify their intolerance.

Lynch also wrote that sensible restrictions on guns are consistent with prolife beliefs and that discriminating against Muslims is "offensive to God's ears." He was able to confront these issues in his official role as bishop in part because Pope Francis has created the space for such honesty and introspection in the church. Religious teachings are often tested as societies evolve — gay marriage is a notable example — and the pope has worked to set a tone of love over judgment.

Amid the calls for unity and support for the victims since Sunday's shooting, Bishop Lynch's words rise above the noise. They reflect what Floridians feel — profound grief and a yearning for change.

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Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Editorial: Trump should stop taking children away from parents at the border

Innocent children should not be used as political pawns. That is exactly what the Trump administration is doing by cruelly prying young children away from their parents as these desperate families cross the Mexican border in search of a safer, better...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Editorial: ATF should get tougher on gun dealers who violate the law

Gun dealers who break the law by turning a blind eye to federal licensing rules are as dangerous to society as people who have no right to a possess a firearm in the first place. Yet a recent report shows that the federal agency responsible for polic...
Published: 06/17/18
Updated: 06/18/18
Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18