The horrific news of the killings at a Tennessee Unitarian Universalist church has hit me hard. Clearly the man who did the shooting was desperate and unbalanced, but why did he choose this place to begin shooting? According to the New York Times:
A man who the police say entered a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday and shot eight people, killing two, was motivated by a hatred for liberals and gay people, Chief Sterling P. Owen IV of the Knoxville Police Department said Monday.
So, was this a “gay” church? No. But according to Out & About, it had just put up a sign recently “welcoming gays to the congregation.”
Yes, “welcome” as in the “we are all God’s children” kind of welcome. Do you remember what I wrote on Sunday about the Episcopal church I’ve been attending?
However, the congregation at this church is a little bi-polar. On the one hand, the inside of the bulletin proclaims that “We welcome all ages and abilities, classes and cultures, races, genders, and sexual orientations.” Yet, in the monthly newsletter it’s reported that a group of 20 met to discuss questions of division and exclusion. The article says “All answers and/or experiences were positive. However, we did not commit to being included on the list of friendly churches for persons of other orientations.”
What will my neighborhood church do now? I mean, if they didn’t want to advertise being gay friendly before, they’re sure not going to be happy about it now. Probably, they’ll want the gays of the congregation to keep a low profile, not call attention to this church. You know, step back into the closet. Except the problem with that attitude is that we give up an important piece of who we are, while these hateful people still rule the airwaves:
Rush Limbaugh: “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus — living fossils — so we will never forget what these people stood for.”
Melanie Morgan: “A great deal of good could be done by arresting Bill Keller having him lined up against the wall and shot.”
LINDA VESTER (host): You say you’d rather not talk to liberals at all?
COULTER: I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days.
“Sock” Sokolowski, to Stephanie Miller:
As with Cindy Sheehan the best thing that could happen to you would be seeing some WONDERFUL activist sticking an AK-47 up your Glory Holes and sending you into eternity.
Don’t think these words have no effect:
Investigators said they found copies of “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder” by radio talk show host Michael Savage, “Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism” by radio and TV host Sean Hannity, and “The O’Reilly Factor,” by radio and TV host Bill O’Reilly.
On Sunday I wrote a long post about trying to decide whether I would continue attending this particular church now that the gay-friendly rector has left. I also wrote about the strange phenomenon wherein you seem to be in a place and time for a purpose. I think I’m beginning to understand it now.