Monday, July 28, 2008

And now for some home-grown terrorism

Yesterday morning, Jim Adkisson shot and killed two people in the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.

According to an AP story today, the police are reporting that Man shot churchgoers over liberal views.

Chief Sterling Owen IV said Monday that police found a letter in Jim D. Adkisson's car. Owen said Adkisson was apparently frustrated over being out of work and had a "stated hatred of the liberal movement."

Sara Robinson of Orcinus just wrote a very moving post on the events at the church, including describing how one church member, Greg McKendry, protected others from the gunman's shotgun blasts (and was killed) and how the gunman was tackled by church members. She describes the history of Unitarianism in the U.S. and how tough the members of the church have had to be to stand up for their convictions.

Some updates: David Neiwert reports on some of the items found at the gunman's home:

Police found right-wing political books, brass knuckles, empty shotgun shell boxes and a handgun in the Powell home of a man who said he attacked a church in order to kill liberals "who are ruining the country," court records show...

Adkisson targeted the church... "because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of media outlets."

Adkisson told Still that "he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them in to office."

Adkisson told officers he left the house unlocked for them because "he expected to be killed during the assault."

Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

Neiwert also commented on Orcinus - In Tennessee, eliminationism is no longer 'just a joke'.

Another blogger comments that the church had put up signs welcoming gays and lesbians to the community.

1 comment:

  1. This is such a tragic and unwelcome reminder of the pain and brokenness in our sinful world. Our prayers go out to our brothers and sisters in Tennessee as they mourn in this time of loss. I pray that, though difficult, events like this will help unify the church in the hope of the Gospel.

    I was thinking about this today and found that Christianity Today is offering a free resource called “Confronting Gun Violence.” I’ll include the link below for any of you who are interested. While we can never predict when an act of violence might occur, this download offers some precautionary measures churches can take to safeguard their people and facilities.

    Again, my deepest sympathies go out to our friends in Knoxville and I pray that we can learn to prevent such tragedies in the days to come.