Monday, July 28, 2008

Unfortunately, I Kinda Thought So...

But about the shooting in Tennessee, as it turns out this wasn't the usual incoherent nutjob.

When I heard this morning on the national news that some guy had shot up a church I thought, "Oh we go. The Christians will talk about how they're oppressed."

Then I heard that it was a Unitarian Universalist church that was the target of a Mr. Jim Adkisson, 53, and not being an ignorant agnostic my tune changed. The Lovely And Talented Mrs. Pedant can attest that I told her that I figured it was at least 60/40 that this guy was motivated by fundamentalist Christian impulses...and it looks as if I was right. At the very least I was mostly right, and I'll be SHOCKED if it doesn't turn out that this guy was into a fundamentalist church.

Jim Adkisson was apparently motivated by an unproductive job search and by rage against liberals, according to "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 of the liberal movement," said Knoxville Police Department Chief Sterling Owen.

There've been some aspects in the wake of this that I find telling though.'s headline read, "Police: Killer Targeted Church for Liberal Views."'s reads, "Church Shooting Suspect Angry Over Job Search, Police Say." Hmmm, bias much?

In the last couple hours the link text but not the article headline has been changed to read, "Police: Shooting suspect mad over job, liberals" which at least indicates that a news organization that employs and coddles Glenn Beck has realized it might not want to appear to be glossing over a major component of the motive, despite having tried to gloss over a major part of the motive.

I also find it interesting that Googling "fundamentalist condemnation church shootings" produces this from Tony Perkins as the very first hit on Google, regarding the pity party Christian Fundies threw for themselves in the wake of the Colorado Springs shootings. Because, of course, everyone knows that after 7 years of Bush Christians have to meet in catacombs to avoid persecution by the government, rather than, say, running most of the government.

As for condemnation of the shootings over the weekend? "Your search - fundamentalist condemnation Tennessee shootings - did not match any documents."

I don't expect it ever will.

UPDATE: Now, not only are there still no Fundie condemnations but CNN and MSNBC, using the same AP wire story, have shaded it slightly differently. contains this chilling quote: "Adkisson 'stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country,' investigator Steve Still wrote." omitted that little factoid from their version of the AP wire report.

CNN has seriously misplayed their hand. Long called "Clinton News Network" by the wingers, they apparently are trying to court conservatives, at a time when conservative self identification and affiliation with the Republican Party is falling. In the process, they aren't pleasing conservatives, for whom nothing less than full throated Fox News style Republican propagandism is acceptable, and they're now pissing off liberals in their attempt to get at the conservatives. And in order to do so, they're glossing over a conservative hatred of liberals so profound that shooting up a church full of children is OK, at least at the far margins of conservative thought.

They deserve the ratings crackup they're headed for.

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