Don’t Blame “Self Loathing.” Blame Jihadism.

Is there anyone who has spent much time studying religion—very much including its most fanatical and extreme versions—who is not aware of the concept of the mind of the adherent as a place of warfare between sinful impulses and the demands placed by the religious authority? This is human and psychological conflict, yes, but ordinarily it is described as one shared by all or most of those who walk in the religion’s path. Had Omar Mateen followed many other sects, what it would mean for religious observance to “win” in this context might be something like unhappy and lonely celibacy, or staying at home with Noor. Had he done that, many would now be alive.

That he did not is attributable not to the hypothesized “push” of self-loathing due to whatever may have gone on in his sex life, but to the “pull” of a malign and evil ideology. And it is to that ideology we should look for explanations of the Orlando atrocity.

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