Saturday, February 24, 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: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Editorial: Improve school security plans with gun controls

Gov. Rick Scott and key members of the Florida Legislature offered ambitious proposals Friday that would plug some holes in the state’s safety net, strengthen school security and spend up to a half-billion dollars in response to last week’s massacre ...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Editorial: Six proposals for reasonable gun control

Enough is enough. The mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has renewed conversations about gun control in Washington and Tallahassee. Young people are demanding action, and there are cracks in the National Rifle Association’s solid w...
Published: 02/23/18
Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

Editorial: The time to act on guns is now

The nation’s conversation on guns took an encouraging step this week in three essential places — South Florida, Tallahassee and Washington — as survivors, victims’ families and elected leaders searched painfully and sincerely for common ground after ...
Published: 02/22/18

Editorial: FDLE probe of state fair fiasco falls short

It should go without saying that Florida law frowns upon public officials who take freebies from vendors and whose agency throws business to their family. But that wasn’t enough to move the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to find that the ex-di...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: They value guns, not kids

Editorial: They value guns, not kids

They value guns over kidsSix days after 17 were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High by a teen-ager firing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, the Florida House refused to even debate a bill banning the sale of assault weapons. The vote, 71 to 36, wasn...
Published: 02/21/18

Editorial: Nursing home rule should be stronger

It shouldn’t take months or another tragedy for Florida — which is hot and full of seniors — to protect its elderly population from heat stroke in the event of an emergency. That’s why Gov. Rick Scott had the right idea last year in calling for nursi...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/23/18
Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Editorial: Listen to Marjory Stoneman Douglas students demanding change

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are traveling to the state capital today and declaring "never again.’’ A prominent Florida Republican fundraiser vows he won’t raise another nickel until his party approves new gun controls. Across F...
Published: 02/19/18

Editorial: No more doubt about Russian meddling in election

The latest indictment by the Justice Department special counsel, Robert Mueller, refutes President Donald Trump’s claims that Russian interference in the 2016 election was a Democratic hoax. The indictment details the lengths Russian conspirators too...
Published: 02/19/18

Another voice: Tips should belong to workers, not their bosses

The Trump administration is under fire for proposing a Labor Department regulation that could result in hotel and restaurant employers dipping into the tips customers leave for their employees, depriving the nation’s 14 million hard-working restauran...
Published: 02/18/18
Updated: 02/20/18
Editorial: Trump’s rising deficits and misplaced priorities

Editorial: Trump’s rising deficits and misplaced priorities

It’s not popular in Washington or virtually anywhere else these days to express concern about the rising federal deficit. Congressional Republicans who used to be deficit hawks first voted to cut taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, then rais...
Published: 02/17/18