By now you’ve no doubt heard the tragic reports of the church shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee this weekend. In perhaps the most disturbing twist to the crime, the victims were apparently targeted by the perpetrator, Jim Adkisson, solely because they happened to belong to a “liberal” church. To quote the BBC:
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,” Chief Owen said.
“It appears that the church had received some publicity in the recent past regarding its liberal stance on things and that is at least one of the issues we believe caused that church to be selected.”
What’s worse, the day Adkisson picked for his rampage also happened to be the day children were putting on a play inside the church in question, the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. If not for church usher Greg McKendry, who put himself directly in the line of fire to protect others, who knows how bad this shooting could have been.
It’s a scary thought to imagine being targeted for death simply because of my political and social ideology. It’s difficult to wrap my brain around the idea that my beliefs could anger another to the point of wanting to put me to death, and while I realize the actions of Jim Adkisson are far from the norm, it’s not outside the realm of possibility something like this could happen again.