Culture

Texas politician's tweet after Orlando massacre appalls Twitter

Technically Incorrect: Dan Patrick, lieutenant governor of Texas, tweets that you reap what you sow just a few hours after more than 50 people were murdered in a gay club in Orlando, Florida.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Patrick's tweet, now removed.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

At least 50 people are dead, murdered in an act of what police describe as "domestic terrorism."

It happened during the early hours of Sunday at Pulse, an LGBT bar and club in Orlando, Florida.

Many have taken to social media to express their horror. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio took to Twitter to appeal for blood donors in central Florida.

One politician, however, offered a different message.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick tweeted this a few hours after the massacre: "Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

This verse from the Bible -- Galatians 6:7 -- may have its appropriate context.

Many on Twitter, however, took it as an affirmation of Patrick's anti-LGBT stance. He is against gay marriage. He's been described by Josh Earnest, the president's press secretary, as "a right-wing radio host elected to public state office."

Reaction to Patrick's tweet -- posted at 4 a.m. PT on Sunday -- was swift.

"Tweeted as new [sic] breaks of mass casualties at a gay nightclub. Vile. Have you no shame?" tweeted one commenter.

"Try being a human being for once in your life," tweeted another.

Just after 9 a.m. PT the tweet was deleted.

Later in the morning, Patrick's office issued a statement. It said in part: "Regarding his 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 statement said that the lieutenant governor is currently out of the country and links to Patrick's website and the message: "Petition: Keep boys out of girls' restrooms."

A tweet sent 30 minutes after the controversial one was still live. It seems to be a regular tweet sent by Patrick on Sundays and quotes another Bible verse: "The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in times of trouble." Patrick captioned it with: "Have a blessed Sunday!"

At least 50 people are dead. There is nothing blessed about that.

Updated 11:42 a.m. PT: adds comment from Patrick's office.