Damn, I Hate Being Right!

11 February, 2009

In late July, I posted about a gunman in Tennesse who killed two in a Unitarian Church.  In that blog, I wrote this:

Unfortunately, I have my suspicions (based, I will admit, on stereotypes) and I am disturbed by this attack.  A Unitarian Church in Kentucky Tennessee shot up by a gunman.  Hmmm.  What could be the motive?  Well, this is the last paragraph of the article:

The Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church is a community that meets to worship and work together for social change, according to the church’s Web site. Since the 1950’s, the congregation has worked for desegregation, racial harmony, fair wages, women’s rights and gay rights, according to the Web site. The congregation also has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the ACLU.

I really hope that the socially progressive stance of this church is not a motive.  I hope it’s not, but, as I said, I have my (stereotyped) suspicions.

As the comments came in, it appeared that my fears were well-founded.  Damn, I hate being right.

On Monday, James Adtkisson, the Knoxville gunman, released a four-page ‘manifesto’ (full text here (pdf)).  Here are some ‘highlights’:

“Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them….

“This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book. I’d like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn’t get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It’s the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence.”

“I thought I’d do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me….Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I’d like to encourage other like minded people to do what I’ve done. If life aint worth living anymore don’t just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.

Is it just me, or does it sound like he took Fox News talking points (the ones they recieve from the GOP and sprinkle into every story, political or not) and then ramped them up by a factor of about 1.2?   It sounds like a decade of conservative  talk radio, conservative fiction (sorry, opinion pieces by the likes of O’Reilly), pseudo-history and blaming the ‘other’ for ones own life.

There is some good news, though:  he was sentenced to life in prison.

I have sympathy for Mr Adkisson (and his victims and families).  He needed psychiatric help.  He needed medication or hospitalization.  Instead, he was fed a steady diet of right-wing conspiracy mongering preying on his percieved victimhood.  I have no sympathy for the hate-mongers on the right.


Here’s a question, though.  Suppose that James was named Muhammed?  Would Faux News be carefully ignoring the manifesto? or would they be running it six times an hour?  Or suppose Adkisson was a liberal atheist who shot up an evangelical church and then wrote the same manifesto (with, of course, conservative replacing liberal)?  How would the ‘liberal’ media have handled the story?

Insane conservative obsessed with being a victim kills two in a liberal church, a one-day story.  Insane liberal or Muslim?  At least a month of stories every time another step is taken in court.



  1. Never mind a month worth of stories – if it was an insane liberal then it would result in an orchestrated backlash against the “enemies of the state” including the incumbent President.

    And if it were a Muslim, the cry for war from the right would be deafening. That is quite frankly terrifying, and the worst part is you just know that this man is far from alone in his views. I stumbled across a blog by a guy who is only a few carefully chosen words away from calling for the assassination of Obama as a matter of patriotic urgency.

  2. Paul: Agreed. Sometimes I’m a little too understated. I find myself getting very angry but I do not want to sound like one of these whackaloons.

  3. This is disgusting, and you bring up perfect points…what if this was a liberal atheist? Or a gay? A muslim? We wouldn’t hear the end of it! Lawmakers would be holding hearing or proposing new laws and every religious leader on the far-right would be raising hell about the “ills” of society.

  4. Well, let’s just follow Adkisson’s prescription… let’s get out there and kill the all the right wing fundogelicals we can get in our sights. Hey, if it works for him and his, then it’s sure to work for us. Right? And once they’re all dead, all of them, then we can bring the country at least into the twentieth century instead of the eighth or ninth that Adkisson et al want us to live in.

  5. DB: Agreed.

    Ric: Except that killing (or denying civil rights, or harming) because of what an individual thinks is fascism. Or the inquisition. Or the Cheka. Or Dick Cheney.

  6. Life Lesson: Do it to them before they do it to you.
    Corollary LL: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
    Corollary #2: Turn the other cheek if it gives you a better shot.
    Corollary #3: Do unto others what they want to do to you.
    I’d do more but my cat wants a hug.

  7. Well all I can say is I haven’t heard any of this shit on the tv, so wtf?!

  8. Someone needs to tell him (and the wackos over at Faux News) that there is NO “vast left-wing conspiracy”. At least, I’ve never been invited, and I’m almost as liberal as they come, especially for this country.

    It makes me so sad that my fears of violence resulting from the hate- and fear-mongering the extreme political and religious conservatives (fundamentalist Christians) use to excite their followers aren’t irrational. I know this guy wasn’t mentally healthy, but there are thousands of “healthy” people who believe in this same bullshit, and then go around beating up gays, or defacing ACLU location, or Planned Parenthood.

    God I hate religion.

    And I hate Fox News. Why, oh why they don’t get called 1) on their constant utter bullshit lying or 2)their incomprehensible constant comparing of American liberalism to communism? You’d think they didn’t know that it’s not a black/white thing, if you’re not a raging crazy conservative, you must be a commie? Right? Just like Barack Obama is a socialist? *head explodes from overload of illogic*

    If Democrats are communists, then what does that make me, a Canadian who supports the NDP; what is Canada where the ruling Conservative Party is in many, many ways more liberal than the American Democrats (and still not nearly liberal enough for me)?

  9. Ric: Cat needs a hug? Is that another metaphor?

    Philly: Of course it is not on the TV. This guys an insane conservative, not an insane liberal.

    Craig: Faux News does get called on their constant utter bullshit lying, but they just print a retraction in Swahili in the Crosby, North Dakota newspaper and keep right on lying. Their comparison of liberalism to communism is (almost) fair — I had a college professor who said that liberalism taken to an illogical extreme is communism, but conservativism taken to an illogical extreme is fascism, and taken to a logical extreme is libertarianism. Weird thing is, in Europe, the Democratic Party would be considered centrist. I suspect in Canada, also.

  10. () –

    Nope. Cat’s very old, getting senile, not unlike The Lion occasionally.

    Just in case you think I’m an ultraviolent individual dedicated to wiping the religionists off the face of the earth… hmmm, might not be a bad idea actually… no, I just think that when one those idiots opens his mouth to spew his hateful bigotry he should have it flung right back in his face, just like the fecal brain matter it is. I want them to know that if they hassle me verbally or physically I’m going to give it back to them ten fold, or as many folds as an old guy like me can manage. Tolerating the bullshit of ignorant, stupidly religious people is not acceptable on any level; I think they are dangerous to individuals and to society. They’re not cute, they’re not quaint, they’re not funny nor even mildly amusing. They should be shoved and pushed and laughed back under the slimy rocks they crawled out from under.

  11. I have fantasies about treating oppressive, suppresive, and fanatical theists the same way harvesters treat saffron crocusses — rip the sexual organs off. Of course, I would never (unlike the insance asshat from Knoxville) actually do this, but I feel for you and your fantasy life.

  12. I think, as others have stated, it is truly amazing that this is a ‘non-issue’ in the media… It’s something I’ve been very vocal against, the conservatives, fundagelicals and religionuts stir up hatred and bigotry and then wonder why some crazies take it too far, instead of just stopping.

  13. Sunny: Thanks for stopping by. Drives me nuts, too.

  14. @ Billy:

    Actually, the Democrats would be considered a little right of center up here. One of the things that amazes my American friends is just how liberal Canada is. We have things up here that would get amy mainstream American politician, would he be so crazy as to suggest them, laughed right out of office. In Ontario, for example, it is legal for women to go topless (in appropriate places such as the beach), prostitution is for all intents and purposes legal (whereas pandering and solicitation for prostitution are not) and we have had same-sex marriage for several years now without the collapse of Canadian society. There is also an unwritten rule in Canadian politics that mentioning religion is a faux-pas.

    Remember, the Canadian right-wing Conservatives are too liberal for the US, the Liberal party here is our Centrist party, and the New Democratic Party are way, WAY left of US center — even some Canadians consider them socialist. As for the Bloc Quebecois, imagine if you will a Texas separatist party gaining seats in the House of Representatives.

    Can’t see that happening in the US. I imagine that we will see this covered in the Canadian media before you see it in the States.

  15. Rallymodeller: Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I’m always amazed that what is referred to in America as radical leftist socialism would be, in the rest of the world, centrist and boring. Then again, the Italian ‘center right’ appears to be in line with the American Taliban (sorry, Republican Party).

  16. Mark 16: 16 He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned.


  17. Rallymodeller — except the difference with the Bloc is that they may be separatist, but often their views on how to shape society come a lot closer to the NDP than to any Texas party. I’ve had friends in BC as well as here in Ontario sometimes chuckle, “I sure wish I could vote for them, at least for their social policies.”

    But I agree — it’s horrible that the guy who shot up that church not only was influenced by the right-wing neo-cons hate-talk, but said so, and trumpeted it loudly. Chickens coming home to roost.

    And everyone in North America should be shouting that story from the rooftops.

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