Monday, July 28, 2008

Blind Prejudice

I've been writing a great deal lately about the blind prejudice that all too often turns into absolute hatred in our political and economic discourse. Much of what is written in blogs and repeated on talk radio (from the left and right) is nothing short of hate speech.

And while racial prejudice and sexual discrimination (and the objectification of women in our society, hat tip to the ikonoclast) continue to fester and infect our society, the "Derangement Syndromes" surrounding political philosophies and our supposed opponents and members of opposing political movements has reached a boiling point.

It hit really close to my home (both physically close and close in terms of religion and values) Sunday with the
shooting and murder of two members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church during morning services. The shooting occurred during a children's performance. Thank God no children were killed.

The shooter, Jim D. Adkisson, left a letter in his car with the reason for his rampage. Adkisson "stated hatred of the liberal movement."

Thankfully Adkisson himself was not killed in the rampage and didn't have the chance to commit suicide. One report stated he had 76 shotgun shells and planned to use them all. He was wrestled to the ground by church members. He is now being held by the Knoxville police.

Among the many sins of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church were it's sponsorship of the American Civil Liberties Union and its support of women's rights and gay rights. They had recently put out a sign welcoming gays to the congregation.

These people were shot for the very beliefs I hold and practice every day.

As a society we must learn to respect each others views, religions and politics or we will find ourselves mired in internal fighting like the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, or past sectarian battle in Ireland.

Love is the spirit of this church and service is its law.
This is our great covenant: to live together in peace,
to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.

Written by James Vila Blake and used in many Unitarian churches (including the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church) as a Statement of Faith.

If only everyone could live by this simple and non-sectarian creed. Please send your prayers and thoughts to the friends and members of the Knoxville community touched by this tragedy. This tragedy touches everyone.

Here is a link to the website of The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church


Vigilante said...

Wizard, to a certain extent already we are already mired in internal fighting like the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine.

But I get your major point. As a Unitarian, I felt wounded by this event.

Stella said...

I posted the "tenets" of Unitarianism at Swiftspeech. This is a faith that welcomes all people. No. 44 posted an article from a UU that discusses forgiveness for the shooter.

As a UU, I am with Vig and also felt wounded and angered by these senselessness.

Stella said...

...sorry, meant to say killings. I would go one step further and say why fight foreign terrorists when they're already on our own soil?

the WIZARD, fkap said...

stella Thanks for stopping by and posting so frequently lately. I appreciate your observations.

I, too, am a Unitarian and post very often on Unitarian viewpoints and issues.

I hope you'll continue to stop by.