guest post by Linfar
NO. The shooter at a Knoxville Church yesterday didn’t open fire on a bunch of churchgoers killing two and injuring seven, because he didn’t like “the liberal movement.” This is inaccurate and it slides over the reality in a way that borders on falsehood.
The man who opened fire in a Tennesee church hated gays.
The church had just put a sign up welcoming gays! Yeah. The shooter left a 4 page letter in his car saying he didn’t like “the liberal movement,” but this is often code for a social agenda which fosters equal rights for gay people and that specifically was the trigger issue.
This is the headline that is more accurate:
Several people shot at gay affirming church in Knoxville. Shooter may have targeted church because of its support for gays.
Of course, this headline only appeared in a gay newspaper Out and About.
When Kitty Genovese in 1964 was stabbed to death 25 times by a man in Queens– while 38 bystanders looked on it and did nothing– the case was reported in the national media as the worst case of bystander apathy in American history. In all the media publicity and furor, nowhere was the fact that Kitty Genovese was a lesbian, who had been prone to loud fights with her girlfriend, ever mentioned.
The bystanders who refused to help her as she was stabbed to death refused to come to the aid of a lesbian.
Bystander apathy was a phony issue. However, it was widely believed because a) no one bothered to find out she was gay or b) if they did find out, refused to say so publicly.
As of 8 am today, two of the victims have died, two were treated and released and five remain in critical or serious condition at University of Tennessee Medical Center.
As a result of the shooting at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church at its Sunday morning service, Linda Kraeger, 61, died last night at at UT Medical Center. Greg McKendry, 60, died when he confronted the gunman as he entered the church.
The shooter, Jim D. Adkisson 58, of Powell, Tenneessee, shot eight people with a 12 guage shotgun after firing 13 rounds. Of those shot, all were adults: four women and three men. Although at the time of the shooting a group of children were singing from a church production of “Annie.”
The FBI is assisting in the investigation which is required in a hate crime.
The church is the site of gay affirming activities. A member of the congregation wrote in a national blog that the church just recently put up a sign welcoming gays. One of the goals of the church’s long range plan is to:
Increase congregational participation in human rights programs forgay/lesbian/transgendered persons.
“Elrod,” who posted a comment on the blog The Moderate Voice says he is a member of the church. He said he was not present on Sunday, but did add:
all we know right now is that the suspect was not connected to the church in any way. I have no idea if the man had some sort of political or cultural agenda (TVUUC had just put up a sign welcoming gays to the congregation), or if it’s just some lunatic acting for no reason at all.
The church is home to Knoxville’s Spectrum CafÃ©, which is an eight year old social gathering place for Knoxville area high school youth who:
support the principles of diversity, tolerance, and the worth and dignity of every human being.
Teens who come to Spectrum respect each others’ ideas, religious views, race, sexual orientations, abilities, and ethnic backgrounds. The group welcomes:
self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, or who are questioning their sexual or gender identity.
The Knoxville Monday Gay Men’s Group meets at the church each Monday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
David Massey, who is one of the coordinators of Spectrum CafÃ©, also known as “Spectrum Diversi-Tea and Coffee House,” said recently in the Unitarian Universalist World Magazine:
We advertise it as a safe harbor for teens who identify as LBGTQ and their straight friends and allies, plus any other youth who are being harassed for religious beliefs, appearance, or abilities.
At least seven people were shot – Becky Thompson with UT Medical Center confirmed to NBC News that seven people were transported from the church to UTMC for medical treatment.