Anti-gay sentiment motivated TN shooter

Sunday, a Tennessee man opened fire on a Knocksville church’s children’s production of “Annie,” killing two and critically wounding four more. From The Times Online:

Jim D. Adkisson, an out of work lorry driver, described his violent plans in a four-page letter, saying he intentionally targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville because “he hated the liberal movement; and was upset with liberals in general as well as gays”…

 Sterling Owen, the local police chief, said today that Mr Adkisson indicated in his letter “that he expected to be in there (the church) shooting people until the police arrived and that he fully expected to be killed by the responding police. He certainly intended to take a lot of casualties”.

The Unitarian Universalist Association is a creedless liberal religious tradition, the first denomination to recognize Welcoming Congregations, and perhaps the only to offer egalitarian marriage services for LGBT couples, even those in the ministry.

I can only offer my condolences to the friends and families of the victims.

I wish that life should not be cheap, but sacred. I wish the days to be as centuries, loaded, fragrant.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Considerations by the Way ,” 1860

Update (12:11 PM 7/30/08):Blogger Elrod at The Moderate Voice, a Knoxville UU parishioner, refers readers to the Knocksville Relief Fund to help defray medical costs of the victims.

2 Responses

  1. I guarantee that despite the shooter’s sentiment/motivation, this incident won’t be treated as a hate crime. He’ll argue that his religious beliefs prompted him to protect society and blah blah blah…

    You know, it’s really sad that even in 2008, I worry about walking down the street hand-in-hand with my girlfriend for fear of someone opening fire on me, or worse, sexually assaulting me BECAUSE I’m a lesbian. I know that like African-Americans and women, things will get better as the generations age and someday we’ll look back on these incidents of hate and be confused as to how they were allowed to happen in the first place, but in the meantime it really sucks. It really really sucks.

    Side note… any indication as to why he targeted a children’s performance rather than a regular mass? He had to make a conscious decision to shoot up a room full of kids, don’t you think?

  2. Hopefully some day you can walk down the street holding hands the storm.

    What pisses me off is that these crazy bastard theists (some theists not all) can get away with anything they feel like with out hate crime or discrimination being thrown onto the charges because its there religion. Which in turn leads me to the whole Cracker ordeal, but that is a different story.

    What I want to know is how can all of the Juedo-Christian theists state that their religion is one of peace, when it can be seen that following it closely leads only to violence or becoming the target of those who believe you are a heretic.

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