Where is the Right Wing Outrage Over Tennessee Shooting?


A man walks into a church and starts shooting because of the church’s liberal views on women’s rights and gay rights, according to the Associated Press.

Out of work and frustrated, Jim Adkisson turned a children’s performance of Annie in front of 200 congregants at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, into a nightmare yesterday, killing two and wounding several others.

Today, his motivation became clear. The church had liberal views. Most Unitarian Universalist "congregations retain a deep commitment to social justice, which
has led them to embrace liberal positions over the years. Unitarians
were among the first to ordain women, support the civil rights movement
and back gay rights," reported the AP.

The notion that women and gay people should have rights — as hard as it is to believe that these issues remain debatable in the 21st Century, let alone how they offer motivation for murder — moved this man to kill people in church.

Where is the outrage from the far right?

Where is the understanding that their demagoguery of social issues leads to more division than healing, and ultimately to this sort of violent behavior?

Where is the realization that the policies that created Adkisson’s unemployment and financial frustration — shared by millions of Americans absent his murderous rage — have been implemented by politicians who have used hot button social issues just to get far-right votes? They have made little to no progress on the social issues the far-right cares about, while running the economy into the ground to the point where it moves a frustrated man to take a gun to a church to kill. He killed people sympathetic to his economic plight, people who would have likely helped him, but then again, they are "liberal" in their compassion, ability to love, and see the divine in everyone. Forgiveness is an amazing lesson, and here, the victims have an opportunity to demonstrate it as the powerful skillfully plan to divide and conquer once again.

Rev. Debra Haffner, a UU minister, writes on her blog:

And I feel sick…and disgusted…and PERSONALLY affected, even though
I don’t believe I know anyone at this particular church. According to a
news story online, it’s the fourth shooting in a church in America this
year. The Yahoo story was illustrated by a pair of hands
holding a large cross and a rosary. I found that perhaps insignficantly
infuriating as well (and there didn’t seem to be any place to let the
editors know how incorrect that image was.) What in God’s name
will it take to outlaw handguns in this country? How many school
shootings, church shootings, home shootings, domestic violence shoots,
drive by shootings until lawmakers do something? I’ve thought for the
past twenty five years that if I wasn’t so committed to my work in
sexual justice, handgun control would be the area I would spend my life
working on. And now, it’s happened one step closer…and I know
if could happen even closer still. "Thou shall not kill" has to be
backed up by legislation so that people don’t have the resources to do
it. It wasn’t a suggestion; it was a commandment.

 

Again, I ask, where is the far-right outrage? Hasn’t the politicization of faith, pretending it belongs only to those who adhere to one narrow interpretation, gone on long enough? Hasn’t the demonizing of the left purely for political gain been played out? Can the far-right really win again by revving up their base — even those who don’t own guns — to support policies that create the economic frustrations that keep them down?

Can they still call it "pro-life" when people are shot for believing women have rights?

Update: Firedoglake has a great observation on this as well, linking to the always self-righteous Michelle Malkin when a shooter wasn’t killing liberals.

 

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  • invalid-0

    Outrage? These are people who cheer clinic bombers and clinic shooters. The right would try to say that this didn’t take place in a Church since it’s Unitarian, because only Baptists have -real- churches.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Pam Spaudling has more right wing reaction.  A lot of them just seem confused, because I don’t think they realized that such thing as liberal churches existed.  It’s like they don’t see the point of religion if it doesn’t back up your prejudices.

  • scott-swenson

    Amanda,

     

    Thanks for that link, those quotes are just amazing and revealing of what is really happening on the far-right-lunatic-fringe-religious sliver of the country. They have attempted to pervert our democracy, pretended they alone define patriotism, and for many of us, distorted our faith. I simply don’t understand how people can say things like this quote below that Pam called "the winner", and still claim to understand one ounce of what Christ taught, or Buddha, or many other spiritual leaders.

    And the winner—He [60-year-old Greg McKendry, who jumped in front of the gunman’s bullet] did die doing good (which is nice), but, if
    his choice of churches is any indication, he died without knowing
    Christ. Death without Christ = eternal separation from God = Hell


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • http://www.byzantineroads.info invalid-0

    I Don’t think that you’re going to be hearing a lot of outrage over this one. The right always has a problem admitting mistakes. They also seem to belive they have a monopoly on truth and religion. No, I think this will not be a talking point unless it’s along the lines of “Look what these churches that teach tolerance and social responsibility lead to.”

  • invalid-0

    Another “love crusade” by the pinheads from the Westboro Baptist Church will come to “protest” at the funerals.

  • invalid-0

    As balm for the left, may I suggest that the shooter was only performing a “very late term” abortion on two people?

    Once again, we see an attempt to slime all right-leaning people with the extremes of a few.

    I guess I could support the shooter, if one of our kind readers could show how Jesus Christ encouraged this sort of thing. Otherwise, he should spend the rest of his miserable life in jail. After all, being pro-life and all, I wouldn’t want him to get the death penalty.

  • invalid-0

    Who was pregnant? Oh wait, you’re trying to be ‘cute’ here. But may I suggest that if you believe that the fetus has the right to the womans body then there would be nothing wrong with another person using the womans body to maintain their life either. Oh wait, you may not be pro-life for a born person who wants their right to life equally protected when needing anothers body.

  • scott-swenson

    Infogleaner,

    Actually, I think you just slimed yourself.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    But may I suggest that if you believe that the fetus has the right to the womans body then there would be nothing wrong with another person using the womans body to maintain their life either.
    *******
    http://www.arizonarighttolife.org/userfiles/File/violinist_factsheet.pdf

  • invalid-0

    Just as easily as in the pdf – we can passively kill the fetus by disconnecting it from the womans body instead of using the current abortion methods that the pdf talks about.

    We could find nothing wrong with using the womans body to maintain the life of a newborn. Same argument applies – she chose to have sex so should not be allowed to not to refuse its equal right to live over her body after birth if it still needs her body. Parental obligation to be exactly the same after birth. It should not be treated as less protectable simply because it got born – an event it had no control over.

    There are different burdens to being forced to give blood than a kidney too yet we don’t use this as an argument to allow some versus others.

    We override natural all the time – we don’t allow for survival of the fittist so everyone can have their ‘natural’ rights. The vagina was meant for a penis too and its a natural use but women are still allowed a ‘stay out’ sign.

    • invalid-0

      Love how pro-lifers are here to compare this incident to later term abortion where a womans life or health is generally at stake while she’s trying to give life….and to provide documents supporting limits on the right to life of the born, excusing passive disconnection as acceptable (vs. active), not using anothers body (even though it may be a child) and other reasons for not supporting the life of the born.

  • invalid-0

    Greg McKendry is a real hero who will certainly be in heaven if there is such a place or have good karma for his next life –no one really knows what happens after we die–maybe nothing–but his family and friends can be proud to have known him. I am a member of a UU in Indiana and want to say thank you to Greg on behalf of all truly spiritual people-my prayers are with the UU members of this church. I would say that every UU I have ever known is far more spiritual than any right wing nut that I have ever met.

  • scott-swenson

    This open letter to Sean Hannity from our friends at Religion Dispatches is amazing and well worth your time. Books by Hannity and other conservatives were found in Jim Adkisson’s home, apparently the fuel for his rage.

    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    even though it may be for a child

  • invalid-0

    I’m very conservative and try to be a good Catholic. I don’t know what exactly you’re waiting for the right to do. The shooting was horrible, horrible, but do you really believe that if this church had been less liberal he would have just gone on his way peacefully? People who do this kind of thing will always try to justify it. At Columbine the kids responsible said they were “teased”. That was a pitiful attept to justify a massacre. This guy said the church was liberal and its equally pitiful. This nut targeted this church because his ex-wife had once attended there. Someone there probably had helped her excape her nightmare of a marriage also he was trying to plan a suicide by cop.

  • invalid-0

    How did an article on why the religious right weren’t outraged by some nut shooting up a “liberal” UU church get turned into a forum on abortion? As a wiccan practioner, affiliated through a UUC through an organization called CUUPS, I am horrified by this action, but then I’m horrified anytime someone picks up a gun and shoots someone else because of their own inadequacies, real or imagined. In response to that sorry cant from the NRA about “Guns don’t shoot people; people shoot people,” well, it’s people with guns who shoot people.

  • invalid-0

    on his show Monday night….

    The US is pretty good at creating homegrown terrorists. When police entered the shooter’s home they found these books.. Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder by Michael Savage (you remember Michael Savage…. he wants to put grenades up the butts of babies), Let Freedom Ring by Sean Hannity and the O’Reilly Factor by Bill O’Reilly. And of course the whole thing was a massive hate crime. People are dead, children are traumatized.
    I’m shocked that it’s taken this long for someone who has had hate and fear driven into his skull to just snap.
    He left behind a 4 page letter in his small SUV suggesting that he targeted the congregation out of hated of their policies (including acceptance of gays) and hated the liberal movement and was upset with liberals in general as well as gays.
    He had 76 rounds and a semi-automatic shotgun with him when he entered the church and pulled the shotgun out of a guitar case. It appears that what brought him to this event was lack of a job, his frustration over that and his stated hatred for the liberal movement stated the police. So you take some twisted son-of-a-bitch like this who probably started off as a typical right wing, white, southern knuckle dragger but after Hannity, Limbaugh, Savage and the rest of these people get through with him and the Bush crime family’s economic policies get through with him he has been converted into a non-human who will go into a church and open fire during a children’s theatre presentation.

    This guy thougt that if he could just be like Sean Hannity, Michael Savage or Timothy McVeigh everything would be OK. Sad thing is this guy is a symptom of the disease. “Liberals” are sadly targets… there are thousands of guys like this out there who have been eaten up by these filth pushers, just waiting for the right trigger. I don’t understand what mindset these people who put these thugs on the air or publish them have. Apparently one of the cornerstones is no concept of the humanity of other people. No concept that people do no all want to live their lives according to what the filthmongers are pushing for.

    In the meantime innocent people will die at the hands of these homegrown (white!) right wing terroists that probably aren’t on any no-fly list… no matter how long it gets.

  • scott-swenson

    We deal with sexual and reproductive health, inclusive of women’s rights, contraception, sexuality education, maternal health, HIV/AIDS and abortion. The gunmen said he targeted the church because of their beliefs on women’s rights and gay rights. We care.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor

  • invalid-0

    How dare you make this political. An out of work looser walks into a church and shoots my sister, her friend and co-author, his daughter, his brother, and his sister in law and you turn it political. I am a conservative and I’m very outraged. I am outraged about this evil selfish man who stole my sister from me. Is that the right wing outrage you want. He deprived me and my other sister of years we were looking forward to enjoying lots of time with her after retirement. He stole a life mate from my beloved brother in law. She was helping raise 2 children so he deprived them of a major care giver and also traumatized them. I am outraged that such a loser has been able to change our family so much and create such a void for us. I want my sister back.

    I am also outraged that you are making this political. This is a tragedy you jerk!

  • invalid-0

    The whole country, other than those who are right-wing advocates and spokesperson are outraged. This man has a valid point. As sorry as I am for your loss, as you are not alone in this world of senseless losses, I agree whole heartedly the Right has NOT shown concern over this….if they have, why don’t you hear about it? Why are they (the conservative right) not expressing the outrage they so readily and willingly express over issues such as human rights they so strongly detest. Again, my apologies for your loss, but look, this is the sad truth. This is not about you, don’t make it about you, as much as you want to make everything about you right now, DON’T! This is about how the hate that is spewed from Religious & Right-Wing advocated who use radio and TV to spread hate is wrong. Were you this upset with Matthew Sheppard was killed?
    I pray for you, but please see, this is not about you, it’s about making the world better so these horrible acts are not repeated.

  • invalid-0

    Let me help you understand the objections here: if it’s a “liberal” church that gets shot up, nobody right-wing cares. But if it were an evangelical church that got shot up, you better believe that the far right would be up in arms. The same way they were when Obama’s ex-minister said messed up stuff, but don’t seem to care that McCain associates with people who are far more racist, sexist, and generally biased. That’s the problem. The “right-to-life” crowd doesn’t care that these people were denied their right to life, but will freak if someone has an abortion.
    Also, yes, I do believe that if it were a conservative church this guy wouldn’t have opened fire. Although you are correct in stating that psychos will always find a way to justify their violence and rage, THIS psycho was specifically anti-liberal. He didn’t have books justifying violence to conservatives, he had books that were anti-liberal. So in this case, no he wouldn’t have shot up another type of church. Except maybe the Quakers, but they’re pretty darn liberal too.
    BTW, UUs are some of the kindest, gentlest, most productive members of society. At the last UU young adult event I attended, 95% of the group was either teachers, doctors, social workers, or in AmeriCorps. They spend their whole lives trying to help people. These are the last people who should be shot at. Maybe next time the shooter will be smarter and actually shoot the people responsible for his bad situation, like say the billionaires using tax loopholes to bilk America of it’s deserved tax dollars, or the politicians taking millions in bribes from lobbyists who only want to make life better for their corporation, and screw the rest of us.

  • invalid-0

    First let me say I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose that many family members at once. I have lost two people I cared about in the past year, and I know it is a horrible tragedy. I truly do grieve for you. But your outrage against commenters on this site is misplaced.
    Unfortunately, we are not the ones making it political. The man who left a note trashing liberals and their views and citing liberalism as the reason he killed is the only person who made this political. We can’t ignore the politics in the note he wrote.
    Also, and I really don’t want to be picking on someone who has recently suffered a great loss, if you want people to take you seriously you have to give a name or screen name or something. That’s just advice to help make your views heard and respected. I’m not trying to hurt you by saying this. It’s just that a lot of people don’t take anonymous views as seriously as those that have a name, because a name helps you seem more human.

  • scott-swenson

    I am sorry for anyone who lost family, friends, colleagues or any way had a connection to this violent act. I did not make it political, the shooter did, and the people who motivated his rage. If we just ignore the cause of any violent act, how can we ever hope to heal. My prayers are with you and all the families, and that people are paying attention to the source of division and hatred in this country. I’m simply witnessing it and asking how people’s faith ever became so politicized, hoping that we can take our country, and our faith, back from those who would exclude rather than include.


    Be the change you seek,

    Scott Swenson, Editor