Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says the Orlando shooting was not the inspiration for his tweet, which has been the subject of much shock and horror this morning. His official Twitter account released a post that appeared, to many, to be a condemnation, not of the shooter, but of the victims. In an official statement, his office has declared that this is not the case, that the tweet was scheduled before the shooting occurred, and that the Lt. Governor is saddened by the mass murder.
Chron reported on the tweet Sunday morning. It was an image of a field and sky, with the words “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” spread across the image.
It’s a Bible verse — Galatians 6:7. BibleGateway shows the verse following to declare that those who “sow to please the flesh” will “receive destruction.” With that in mind, it’s hardly surprising that many read Lt. Governor Patrick’s tweet as a declaration that those who were in a gay nightclub had received the destruction promised.
CNN is describing it as the worst mass shooting in American history — a man, since identified as Omar Mateen, entered Pulse, a popular nightclub for LGBT patrons, and opened fire, killing 50 people and injuring more than another 50.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick tweeted a few hours later with the image that has been the center of further controversy, as social media users reacted in shock and horror.
— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) June 12, 2016
The tweet was soon deleted, but the screenshots continue to be shared, and social media users continue to respond in anger and outrage. The Lt. Governor’s many other tweets, condemning marriage equality and transgender bathroom access, remain.
Marriage is between one man and one woman. Period.
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) February 26, 2014
I am sending a letter to all Texas school districts, urging them not to adopt President Obama’s transgender guidelines. #tcot
— Dan Patrick (@DanPatrick) June 1, 2016
Now Patrick’s office has responded officially, declaring that the image was not in response to the Orlando shooting. The official statement reads as follows.
“Lt. Governor Patrick and every Texan is stunned and saddened by the outrageous act of domestic terrorism that has occurred in Orlando. He and Jan are praying for the victims, their families and their friends.
“Regarding this morning’s scripture posting on social media, be assured that the post was not done in response to last night’s tragedy. The post was designed and scheduled last Thursday.
“The Lt. Governor is traveling out of the country, but our social media team has deleted the posts and graphics. We regret the unfortunate timing of these posts and ask everyone to join us in praying for the people of Orlando in this awful time.”
In Orlando, the shooter is dead, and the New York Post reports that he had complained previously about his wife and child seeing men kissing. The attack is being treated as an act of domestic terror.
The Red Cross and One Blood are calling for blood donation in response to the massive number of victims.
— Red Cross Mid-FL (@RedCrossMidFL) June 12, 2016
PLEASE SHARE: Donors we are at capacity today! Please make an appointment to donate this week. 1.888.936.6283. https://t.co/4bf6aA1lMS
— OneBlood (@my1blood) June 12, 2016
As for Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, the Orlando shooting appears to have not precipitated his social media posting; rather it appears that a more general post regarding his religious beliefs was prescheduled, and poorly timed.