Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tennessee Shooting

I'm still stunned by the news that an armed gunman went into a Unitarian Church in Tennessee that was in the middle of a performance by kids of the play "Annie" and killed two people, with the intention of killing many more.

A play, on a Sunday. Kids. adults. In a church.

He hated liberal views, he hated gay people. The church had just received a grant to create a LGBT and questioning youth cafe, space to be safe to be themselves.

I am a Unitarian Universalist. Yes, everyone, I am an atheist. It's the beauty of the church- you are challenged to think, consider and if you do not believe in God, there is room for you to believe in social justice, in community, in peace.

Four people are in critical condition. Greg McKendry, an usher, wrestled the man to the ground. He died, saving countless others as the killer packed 78 rounds of ammunition in his bag.

So as we examine whether or not Lawrence King was a bully that deserved shooting, as we examine whether or not gay history is something that is "too sexual" to teach in schools, I ask this:

When will we examine the right wing groups that create such hatred in our society? When will we put them on the stand and cross examine their lives, their homes, their parents? When will their hatred be abnormal?

A church.

On Sunday.

200 people watching kids perform "Annie."

If this doesn't call to mind the 16th Street Baptist Street Bombing, I would ask you why. That no children died is only a testament to Mr. McKendry.

This is about civil rights.

And this just got really personal.

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Blogger Sue J said...

Sara, as you know, this is very personal for me, too. Thank you for sharing a little bit about the UUs.

6:49 PM  
Blogger MLC said...

I hate the shock jocks -- loath hate speech. And still I think situations like this are quite complex - what creates this hatred.

I am inclined to think the economy more than any other factor creates an environment where shock jocks can thrive. When so many are unemployed are struggling for basic things there thoughts cannot go much further then basic survival

And jobless - like this murderer was he was looking for someone to blame for his situation. Which the media provided.

But I don't think we'd be in the place regarding hate crimes if the economy was stronger.


7:57 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I completely agree this has become personal...well MORE personal. I, too, am UU. My daughter is going to attend theatre camp at our Southern UU church in a few weeks which ends with a performance for everyone to attend. Think I'll be nervous? You bet you ass I will!

12:27 PM  
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