MY SAY: Why does sex have to be considered a sin?
IS IT just me or does everyone think they might be missing something about sex?
This week 29-year-old American college graduate Omar Mateen shot to death 49 people in a gay nightclub. Fifty-three others were hospitalised.
Survivors claim Mateen called 911 during the attack to pledge his allegiance to Islamic State and there is no doubt he was radicalised but what about the role of sex?
Or more accurately, sexual repression.
Omar Mateen had been inside the Pulse nightclub at least 12 times, confirmed by security records. That's a very thorough reconnoitre.
The FBI is investigating numerous reports he is a member of the gay dating apps Grindr, Adam4Adam, and Jack'd, under false names.
His ex-wife says he displayed homosexual tendencies.
As far as I know, no man has come forward to claim a sexual relationship with Mateen but it's fair to say the gunman had a sustained interest in homosexuality.
I blame religion and not just Islam.
Australia is a peaceful democracy, fashioned around Judeo-Christian ethics. Christendom has served us well. I'm grateful for that.
But I was raised in the Christian faith and I have never come to terms with my religion's obsession with purity and sexuality. God loves me just the way I am. Gay or straight, saint or sinner, married or divorced, sex kitten or prude.
Apologies to my kids who will probably read this but I think sex is a pretty great gift and I don't understand why we have to feel so bad about it.
According to some Christian doctrine, sex, even within marriage, is immoral unless aimed at having a baby, homosexuality is an abomination and fornicators are going to hell. That covers just about all of us I think.
Fundamental Islam is possibly worse, female circumcision, the burqua, stonings: Allah's more controversial laws around sex are well documented.
Just this week a British-born cleric visiting Sydney was revealed to have once said, death is a compassionate sentence for homosexuality and we should "get rid of them now".
Moderate Christians do not see the Bible as the literally perfect word of God, but more a record of humanity's struggle to understand what is good and right. I am sure most Muslims feel the same about the Q'ran and Jews about the Torah.
But sexuality and conservative religion can be a toxic, sometimes deadly mix.
I don't blame God, I blame those who claim to speak for him.