Shooting fueled by conservative hate

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On the morning of July 27, the most honestly brutal expression of conservative America exploded in the sanctuary of the Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church.

On that morning, Jim D. Adkisson, 58 -- an angry, frustrated, unemployed truck driver -- took his 12-gauge shotgun and opened fire on 200 congregants who were enjoying a performance of Annie . He succeeded in killing two members and wounding five others before he himself was subdued by other congregants.

Though this carnage lasted only minutes and did not have the physical destructiveness of the September 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., it was certainly done in the same spirit of hatred -- hatred against those who have long championed the cause of freedom, equality and human dignity

Mr. Adkisson left a four-page letter detailing his hatred for blacks, gays, women and liberals. He had deliberately chosen this church, of which his ex-wife was a former member.

In his home, police found a .38-caliber revolver and books written not by extreme radicals but by popular right-wing pundits Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage and Sean Hannity. These writings present liberalism as a growing cancer seeking to destroy American culture, and claim that conservatism is the only way to redeem "our traditional values." Let us rephrase that: their traditional values. The conservatives of today are the descendants of those who promoted Jim Crow laws, anti-suffrage, brutal child labor and religious oppression. Their rhetoric is more polished, but their core has not changed.

We UUs are deeply saddened by and for Mr. Adkisson. He, too, was a victim, for his soul was killed by the ideology with which he chose to identify and act upon.

Joseph A. Zuchowski, Augusta

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rbk
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rbk 08/06/08 - 06:27 am
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Liberalism is a growing

Liberalism is a growing cancer that is seeking to destroy American culture, but I don't advocate going out and wantonly killing those who are so liberal, I just wish they would put up and shut up. To blame all conservatives for the actions of a Kook is exactly what you can expect from a liberal, which almost makes them Kooks themselves.

TheTruth
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TheTruth 08/06/08 - 07:05 am
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America was founded on the

America was founded on the ideals of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. The authors of the Constitution realized the importance of these freedoms and the need to have separation between church and state. Conservatives seek to destroy these essential freedoms at every turn. They want America Christian, white, and uptight. I am two out of three. I believe that to be a good Christian you must live "Christ-like." I don't remember Christ going around killing people because of their beliefs, sexual orientation, race, or beliefs. The Christ I know died for their sins. A good Christian does not judge; he encourages others to change their ways and ask for forgiveness. That's what Christians need to do. Not condemn, but encourage. Not to persecute, but model.

shivas
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shivas 08/06/08 - 07:06 am
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When a group of people teach

When a group of people teach intolerance this is the result. The right-wing is now being seen for what it is.

DeborahElliott2
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DeborahElliott2 08/06/08 - 07:09 am
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Call it what you will, Hate

Call it what you will, Hate doesn't have a limit or a name. I agree with RBK on this, and the author seems to confuse conservatism with liberalism. Make up your mind what it is first! This guy didn't go after just any church, he went after this church cause he was frustrated about a job loss and most of the congregation got jobs from which he was laid off or fired. It goes to show that more companies and businesses are going towards the attitude of "not what you know but who you know" which not only worsens the economic state, but it is becoming acceptable with the people as well to make it a legal matter in which NOBODY would ever qualify for jobs in this world, even WITH proper training.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 08/06/08 - 07:12 am
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Cain, did you think you could

Cain, did you think you could fool anyone with that Zouchowski moniker? (kudos on not using Kaczynski, though) Otherwise, typical stupid Cain commentary, lack of ability to extrapolate and apparent lack of understanding of the existing situation. No one's fooled, except you, as always.

HYPOCRITES 08
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HYPOCRITES 08 08/06/08 - 07:34 am
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" Liberalism is a cancer".

" Liberalism is a cancer". What a bunch of BS.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 08/06/08 - 07:36 am
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Yes it is FFH, but a lot of

Yes it is FFH, but a lot of people fall for it anyway.

142
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Dan White 08/06/08 - 07:48 am
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The hate of the shooter is

The hate of the shooter is his and his alone to account for. It is a fallacious argument to argue from the specific to the general - from one man's hate to paint all conservatives as hate-filled people. Your argument makes about as much sense as inducing that because Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a hate-filled African American preacher that all African American preachers are hate-filled. You need to go to ASU and take a beginning course in logic.

justus4
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justus4 08/06/08 - 07:55 am
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Right-winged radical
Unpublished

Right-winged radical gun-carring losers are finding out that their knowledge of issues, and their understanding of America is outdated. They have problems with laws, while constantly referring to "rule of law" but thats only if "they" make the laws. Let's hope they are able to control their violence when CHANGE comes to their living rooms, because thats the reality. This killer, and thousands of other like-minded losers are closet-racist willing to kill Americans due to ignorance. The last paragraph of the article nailed it!

effete elitist liberal
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effete elitist liberal 08/06/08 - 08:21 am
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The news from Tennessee

The news from Tennessee simply proves Obama was right: Adkisson was one of those poor, out-of-work, uneducated, bitter white guys clinging to their Bibles and guns. Obama was, of course, politically incorrect in saying what he did, but no one, not even conservatives, have ever said "politically incorrect" is the same as "wrong."

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 08/06/08 - 08:24 am
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Except for the most radical

Except for the most radical extremists, Adkisson is the exception that proves the rule. Trying to twist it otherwise makes the twister look twisted. By the way, I was mistaken in my 7:12 post, it seems many are confused about this isolated incident.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 08/06/08 - 10:00 am
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The uni-bomber had the book

The uni-bomber had the book by al gore. So what does that say about gore? What a stretch to blame all people for a situation. Looks like people are really grasping for something to complain about.

giveitsomethought
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giveitsomethought 08/06/08 - 10:09 am
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why do people attack the

why do people attack the person and not the problem? maybe the reason is that they don't understand the problem

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 08/06/08 - 10:31 am
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Mr. Zuchowski, I agree. You

Mr. Zuchowski, I agree. You can see why I am an Unitarian Universalist. The extreme cons have hijacked Christianity for their own hateful purposes.

One correction I want to make to the LTE: Adkisson is NO victim. He is a terrorist.

BigJohn767
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BigJohn767 08/06/08 - 10:53 am
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A fact not stated yet is

A fact not stated yet is this: The shooters ex-wife attended this church. Maybe he was after her for whatever reason. This guy was deranged. There are deranged people on both sides of the political spectrum. The conservatives had this one and the liberals have Obama so it's about even.

sjgraci
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sjgraci 08/06/08 - 11:15 am
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Adkisson is a radical right

Adkisson is a radical right terrorist who is no different from the radical right Al Quaeda and Taliban.

jack
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jack 08/06/08 - 12:03 pm
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I am yet to hear violence and

I am yet to hear violence and hatred out of either Hannity or O'Reilly and I listen to them daily. Savage is another matter and I don't listen to him. It is the lberals who preach hatred for everything American. One only has to go to such radical liberal blogs as moveon.org, Huffington Poot (Post), dailykook (kos), Think liberal (Progresive) to see pure hatred to the point of wishing specific conservatives (Cheney/Bush)were dead. One individual, going through a divorce (that always entails anger), does not a true conservative make. If there are those who believe in the basic rights of Americans, it is we conservatives. It ain't us that are trying to shut up talk radio because it exposes liberalism and the left that preaches it for what it is-anti-American or wish anyone, even liberals such as Chappaquidic Ted, dead..

jack
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jack 08/06/08 - 12:05 pm
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ShivASS, note my response to

ShivASS, note my response to your buddy and fellow idiot, Sigraci. Justussdummies, it ain't us conservatives/Republicans threatening to riot if McCain ain't elected.

jack
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jack 08/06/08 - 12:12 pm
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BTW, Chappaquidic Ted, the

BTW, Chappaquidic Ted, the super lib Senaotr killed Mary Jo Kopecknic (sp?) so all liberals are killers, right?

steve-o
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steve-o 08/06/08 - 12:53 pm
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I can't believe that the

I can't believe that the Chronicle even printed this piece of rubbish. To blame conservatives for a madman going on a rampage is totally irresponsible.

dani
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dani 08/06/08 - 01:51 pm
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My feeling is that the person

My feeling is that the person Adkisson hates most is himself. We hear about horrendous acts everyday. Little 2 year old Caylee Anthony in Florida was almost surely killed by her mother Casey. I don't know her religious or political affilation but whichever, she killed her child.

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 08/06/08 - 02:34 pm
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Or better yet cissy, the

Or better yet cissy, the parents in Wisconsin who killed their 11-year-old daughter because they chose religion over medicine. And jack, you're so wrong. the cons don't believe in freedom. If they did, then they wouldn't have spent a combined 88 years almost blocking the Equal Rights Amendment (62 blocking ratification and another 26 blocking an up or down vote in Congress).

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 08/06/08 - 03:26 pm
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It looks like the in charge

It looks like the in charge dims are blocking votes right now, so - I wouldn't go there.

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 08/06/08 - 03:51 pm
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There have been hatred

There have been hatred spilling from Hannity's allies, such as Ann (Crook) Coulter. Also hateful bile coming from Michelle (Horseface) Malkin, Wingnut Daily, and the Free (Dictatorship) Republic.

They have all called for executions of anyone who dares disagrees with George Bush.

Farful
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Farful 08/06/08 - 04:26 pm
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Being conservative did not

Being conservative did not drive this lunatic to go and shoot people. The guy was a nut case who hated blacks, gays, etc. and just snapped one day and lost control of himself. Once again the AC prints trash not worth reading.

gagirl40
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gagirl40 08/06/08 - 05:10 pm
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For the record: KNOXVILLE,

For the record: KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - An out-of-work truck driver accused of opening fire at a Unitarian church, killing two people, left behind a note suggesting that he targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal policies, including its acceptance of gays, authorities said Monday. A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson's small SUV indicated he intentionally targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because, the police chief said, "he hated the liberal movement" and was upset with "liberals in general as well as gays." 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, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of the major media outlets," Investigator Steve Still wrote. Hmmm...wonder where he got those ideas? Sounds like he's been drinking the FoxNews kool-aide.

convertedsoutherner
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convertedsoutherner 08/06/08 - 05:23 pm
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I guess in this country no

I guess in this country no one is able to have an original thought of their own, according to the liberal dims. In their eyes someone always tells a conservative how and what to think. And... they are the only ones able to actually think for themselves

dani
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dani 08/06/08 - 06:35 pm
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converted..Don't ever forget,

converted..Don't ever forget, we are "typical", the libs will always see conservs that way. Obama calls it ignorance..but I think Libs in general speaks with a forked tongue. The comments usually point to the "gimme" aspect of the Dem Party.

steve-o
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steve-o 08/06/08 - 07:10 pm
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For Mr Zuchowski, or anyone

For Mr Zuchowski, or anyone else, to use this tragedy to inflict damage onto an entire group of Americans, HARD WORKING AMERICANS, belittles, and for lack of a better word, whores out the families of the victims of this psycopath, to further your own political beliefs. You are a coward, and a pimp.

willistontownsc
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willistontownsc 08/06/08 - 07:22 pm
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The only coward(s) are the

The only coward(s) are the ones who are sympathizing with Adkisson. And judging from the posts, those people are very easy to spot.

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