Where is the Right Wing Outrage Over Tennessee Shooting?

Scott Swenson

People in a Tennessee church were killed and wounded because they support women's rights and gay rights. Where is the outrage from pro-life social conservatives?

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.

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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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