Monday, July 28, 2008

Comments on Tennessee Valley Church Killings

Firedoglake is attacking the conservative blogosphere for its alleged silence on the news that "some wingnut crazy shot up a Unitarian church in Tennessee, killing 2 and wounding 7."

Dave Neiwert, also at Firedoglake, argues that the "chickens came home to roost."

I'm troubled to see political polarization in times like these.

I first send out my condolences for the bereaved, and God's blessings to the survivors. But I also want to lay down a moral challenge, to those on both the left and right, for an end to the politicization of these personal tragedies.

The Knoxville News Sentinel has the full story, but the Yankee Confederate has observations on Jim Adkisson, the suspect apprehended in the case:

While many in the political blogosphere will no doubt focus on the fact that Adkisson said he hated liberals and gays, the fact of the matter is that the didn't target a gay club or local progressive political groups, he specifically targeted a church. He did so after expressing beliefs to neighbors in the past that he had an abiding anger against Christianity, an anger that appears rooted in his childhood. The church appears to have been targeted because it embodied at least three things this pathetic human being hated, not just the one or two things I know certain critics will single out as they view the world through their own warped prisms.

Adkisson had apparently planned to keep murdering church-goers until gunned down by police. He planned to keep killing innocents until he died in a hail of police bullets... suicide-by-cop. But he was instead tackled and restrained by church-goers just seconds into his attack as he attempted to reload after shooting his shotgun's magazine dry....

Sunday was a horrible day for the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, and there will be terrible days ahead as they seek to recover, and to heal.

The Tennessee church killings might be seen as an example of domestic terrorism (take note Melissa McEwan) , and no one, no reasonable, thoughtful person, should try to score political points from this tragedy.

A background story, also from
the Knoxville News Sentinel, indicates that Adkisson has a history of psychological instablity. He hated "anyone who was different," and he had treatened to kill his wife in 2000. Adkisson had trouble holding down stable employment.

This is a story of personal and community tragedy, not of political payback. Let the healing begin.