Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has faced a social media backlash for what some perceive as anti-gay commentary after Sunday’s mass shooting at an popular Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows,” Patrick tweeted Sunday morning, hours after a mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse which left, at least 50 people dead and 53 injured. Officials have called the attack the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Patrick posted the same verse to his Facebook page soon after. Both posts were deleted before noon.
It was not immediately clear if Patrick was commenting on the Orlando shooting. Representatives from his office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Many users on both platforms read Patrick’s quotation as anti-gay, as that verse (and the one succeeding it) have frequently been quoted as evidence of Christianity’s intolerance of gays.
“You’re such a poor example of Texas, and of Christianity. May those affected my this morning’s violence be protected from the thoughtless words of idiots like you,” one Facebook user commented on Patrick’s post.
Another wrote, “What a horrific post. Disgusting. But then, I guess you failed to remember that the entire book of Galatians was written to the CHURCH, and that Paul’s anger was to the bigotry and selfishness within the Christian church at Galatians. In other words – he was talking about people like you.
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On Twitter, businessman and sometimes Shark Tank guest Chris Sacca responded, "You pervert Christianity in a way that would make Jesus cringe. Where is your compassion?”
@DanPatrick You pervert Christianity in a way that would make Jesus cringe. Where is your compassion?
â€” Chris Sacca (@sacca)
Patrick, a Republican, opposed gay marriage and has spoken out against the White House’s requirement that students be allowed to use the school bathroom that matches their gender identity.
Authorities do yet know a motive for the shooting, and an FBI spokesperson said Sunday morning that this is an ongoing investigation and wouldn’t classify it as a terror or hate crime.
The father of the reported suspect told NBC News that it “has nothing to do with religion,” and instead pointed toward his son’s recent anger at seeing two men kissing.