(Oklahoma City) When is hope not enough?
On Sunday, July 27, in Knoxville, TN a Unitarian Universalist Church was turned into an abattoir by a deranged man who shot seven people. Two, so far, have died. The killer is in police custody after being subdued by others in the building.
Whenever these far too frequent shootings happen in public places we hear calls for prayers, counseling, compassion--in other words, a need for hope that such seemingly avoidable events won't happen again. But we know crazy, incensed people who acquire guns, legally or illegally, will pull out their vigilante enforcer and go about satisfying one of the lowest forms of human thought: revenge for a perceived wrong by using murder.
We hope for the best, but does it really arrive? When is hope not enough?
The church, Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church, had just recently advertised itself as a welcoming gay/lesbian affirming congregation which means exactly what it sounds like.
Can I be assuming too much that this man was using his version of hope to remove a few peaceful gays or gay-friendly citizens to assuage his desire for some self-perceived threat to his psyche? News reports have a witness reporting Jim D. Adkisson, the perpetrator, with shouting "hateful words" before firing his shotgun, but the witness would not elaborate.
Why did Mr. Adkisson pick this typical Unitarian church that promoted progressive social issues such as helping the poor, support for women's rights, and affirmation of gay and lesbian equality?
How much can we attribute to this man the words and deeds of the perennial, persistent, and pugnacious homo-haters who loudly insist that America is failing, wasting, and declining because of their fear of the incremental advancement, and indeed legalization, of gay/lesbian equality?
When was the last time an openly gay/lesbian opened fire on a collection of bible fundies hot with the fire of righteousness for the cause of religious purity? When did you last hear an openly gay/lesbian legislator use their personal privilege on the floor of their state legislature or Congress to lobby for the passage of a bill that would limit any demographic group's aspect of their protection of the law as outlined in the Bill of Rights?
Massachusetts and California have made great strides in acknowledging that gays/lesbians have the right to marry the person of their mutual choice without regard to gender. With this acknowledgment comes the full panoply of rights and privileges for which we have been paying the bill to support straights yet not receiving the goods for ourselves.
A handful of other states are making advances with domestic partnerships and civil unions that approach the legality of marriage even if the icing on the cake is not quite the same.
These pro-gay developments disturb the minds of some in our country who are fragile as eggshells in their self-esteem, brainwashed by the brayings and boastings of the professional homo-haters.
Some of these professionals receive pay checks funded by the taxpayer.
To commemorate, but not to honor, this twisted manipulation of the public forum and society I'm inaugurating what I call the Okla-Homo-Haters Club. Membership is open to those who by their own actions and words--sometimes judicial convictions--defame gays and lesbians who have done no harm to anyone. Four of Oklahoma's prominent politicians and legislators belong to the charter list of membership---