Monday, July 28, 2008

Updates and reflections on the shooting at the Tennessee Valley UU Church in Knoxville

Sonja Lamicela, Director of Religious Education at First UU Society of Syracuse, NY, has suggested that sending paper cranes for peace would be an appropriate way to express support and healing for the staff and members at TVUUC, especially the children, 25 of whom witnessed
the shooting. Here's how to make them. (I feel I might have better luck with the video.)

The church address:
Brian Griffin, DRE
Tennessee Valley UU Church
2931 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, Tennessee 37919

Special Notice From the Thomas Jefferson District of the UUA:

Every UU has been deeply impacted by this unspeakable violation to one of our own. I encourage you to gather together in your congregations and hold your own vigils, reach out to all of your members, invite them into conversation, speak about your own sadness and your own fears, find ways to be together in this difficult time. Let the spirit of life and love hold you all through this, for it is our courage, our commitment, our love, and our acceptance of all people that guides us through even the darkest hour.

From the First UU Church of Second Life:

The Tennessee Valley church is holding a candlelight vigil tonight
Monday at 7:30pm EDT (4:30pm SLT). The First Unitarian Universalist
Church of Second Life will join in solidarity by holding a candlelight
vigil as well, at the same time, Monday night, July 28 at 7:30 EST/4:30 PST.
Please join as you are able, we will take photographs and send them to
the Knoxville church to show them our love and solidarity.

Video: Man Helped Tackle Gunman

Video: Churchgoes React to Shooting

A couple of good blog posts:

Bad American: Open Season on Killing Lib'ruls

Pam's House Blend... always steamin':
Breaking: Shooting in Tennessee -- Knoxville church had just put up gay-affirming sign

"It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement," Knoxville Police Chief Sterling Owen IV told reporters on Monday.

Authorities also discovered a letter from the state government telling Adkisson he was having his food stamps reduced or eliminated, police said.

"He did express that frustration, that the liberal movement was getting more jobs," Owen said. "And he felt like he was being kept out of the loop because of his age."

Adkisson's resume indicates he had worked in mechanical engineering, police said.

Owen said Adkisson apparently acted alone and chose the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because of recent publicity about activities there that Adkisson considered liberal.

"He indicated also in that letter that he expected to be there shooting people until the police arrived and he fully expected to be killed by the responding police," Owen said.
Puh-leez. Jobs, age, food stamps etc., and throw in a bunch of chronic illnesses: look at my other blog, The ICI Experience. You don't see me running around killing a bunch of conservatives, in spite of the fact that I'm quite sure it's all their fault.

The there's the "male-centric" world view excuse, or maybe it's just that darn testosterone's fault. I just saw "No Country for Old Men" and I can't help but compare the senseless violence. The psychopath wandering around killing people on a coin toss vs. the jobless aging man killing people in a church that is an openly Welcoming Congregation*.

I think there's some similarity in the gaze. Art imitating life is my opinion, though I'm sure some will think it's the opposite.

Judging by how long it's taking to load pages at the main Unitarian Universalist Association website, in the long run Jim Adkisson's actions in the TVUU Church might have the opposite effect to what he intended.

*Welcoming Congregation

Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender Community - Welcome to Unitarian Universalism!

The Welcoming Congregation Handbook: Resources for Affirming Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, and/or Transgender People

Welcoming Congregation Program History

UUA marks Welcoming program milestone

More on Welcoming Congregations

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