Church Shooting: Intolerance At Its Worst

Jim D. Adkisson decided he had a problem with a certain type of Christianity – the type that actually cared about their fellow human beings.

Children were performing the play ‘Annie’ at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church when Adkisson had had enough. His issues with the church were due to their socially liberal and ‘gay-friendly’ beliefs. In other words, this church was tolerant of others and Adkisson took issue with that.

Adkisson entered the church at 10 am carrying a guitar case while 200 members of the congregation watched the children’s production. Opening the case, he pulled out a 12 gauge shotgun and killed 2 adults and wounding 8 others. Thankfully, no children were injured.  Adkisson was restrained until police arrived.

Knoxville, Tennessee, police chief Sterling Owen said that Adkisson was out of work since 2006 and believed that liberals were taking the jobs he should have.

According to the Guardian:

The church’s website speaks of its “long and rich history of taking stands for social justice,” and said it has fought since the 1950s for racial desegregation, fair wages and equal treatment for women and homosexuals. It provides sanctuary for political refugees and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The church hosts social events for gay and lesbian teens.

The more I read about this story, the more despicable Adkisson becomes. How dare this church actually do good work for the community and people in general.  How dare they treat gays and lesbians with respect and decency. 

This is what happens when one political party drives the wedge of intolerance in order to advance an agenda.


Obviously, you must pull out all of the classic descriptions of the ‘man who snapped.’


His neighbors described him as a helpful and kind man. They also said that he had issues with Christianity – of course we notice that he really had the issue with real Christianity and not that intolerant nonsense we hear the religious right tout.

He lived alone for 4 or 5 years in that neighborhood. He only socialized with a few people” and “he was very nice … he’s kind of quiet.”

If I was a profiler, I’d be interested in this point: His yard was neatly mowed.  (I’m not making that up.  I actually found this in one of the stories I read.)

He had his own sense of belief about religion, that’s the impression I got of him,” said neighbor Karen Massey. “We were talking one day when my daughter graduated from Bible college, and I told him I was a Christian, then he almost turned angry. He seemed to get angry at that.”

Massey also noted that Adkisson talked frequently about his parents who “made him go to church all his life … he was forced to do that.”

The KnoxNews and Massey are attempting to illustrate that Adkisson’s issues were with the church and religion itself.  Obviously, it was this particular church’s acceptance of gays and lesbians that drove Adkisson to this heinous crime. 

Other neighbors said that he would help them, no matter what. Really? What if you’re a Christian – or gay – or a liberal – or …?

“He’s never bothered anyone,” Massey said.

Tell that to the congregation of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church.


2 responses to “Church Shooting: Intolerance At Its Worst

  1. David Lieber

    “the type that cared about their fellow human beings” is going to get you in trouble…

  2. This is incredibly sad and disturbing. I wrote about this yesterday as well.