Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dangerous Minds

What is the fatal switch that flips someone into killing mode? Primarily those who prey on the unarmed and unsuspecting? I think of this every time an angry, atomized person opens fire in public, for it must go deeper than mere social frustration. In Jim Adkisson's case, the asswipe who went ballistic on a Unitarian congregation in Tennessee, officials say that he blamed his sorry life on liberals and gays. Clearly, here is a confused fuck who couldn't separate his twisted personal demons from abstract tormentors like Obama-loving queers. Then again, I wonder how much negative weight Obama's possible election pressures the weak minds of guys like Adkisson. He can't get a job, and here some nigra's gonna run the country. Maybe that's all it does take to set these assholes off. And I seriously doubt that Adkisson's the only one.

Simmering white hatred aside, I'm very sorry to see Unitarians targeted like this. I've known self-described Christian purists who had nothing but disdain for the Unitarians, which I always found odd, given that Unitarians actually practice what they believe Jesus preached, even though they don't think that Jesus was the Son of God. I suppose that for some Christians, this alone is a deal breaker. Putting Jesus' philosophy into action is secondary to accepting without question Christ's divinity. Well, you won't go broke or be ostracized for taking that approach. Jesus as a timeless, floating wizard is certainly more appealing than viewing him as someone who defended prostitutes and mixed with the diseased and wretched. This is America we're talking about.

I've long had the utmost respect for Unitarians, going back to the early '80s near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where my then-girlfriend Amy and I spent many beautiful summer days. Amy's stepfather was a Unitarian minister who had worked with refugees fleeing Guatemalan death squads; and up on the Cape, he and his congregation were part of the Sanctuary Movement, helping Guatemalans and Salvadorans get into Canada and to safety. Whole families moved through this underground railroad at a time of mass murder, starvation, and torture in Central America, and my exposure to this had a serious, lasting effect on my developing political awareness. What the Unitarians did then was one of the noblest, bravest social actions I've ever seen. They didn't just talk about how awful Reagan was, like so many of my Manhattan liberal acquaintances; they risked arrest and possible prison time in order to save lives.

I recall sitting in a Unitarian church, listening to Amy's stepfather translate the stories told by refugees wearing bandannas over their faces to hide their identities. It remains one of the most moving experiences of my life. The love and peaceful determination of those around me was inescapable. I've no doubt that the FBI was there or was eavesdropping. After all, the Reagan gang made it clear that this type of activity was criminal, and federal agents fanned out across the country to spy on those actively opposed to their terrorist policies. Still, being human, I wonder if any FBI agents were ever moved by what they were ordered to curtail. If not, then they must have had hearts of granite. For me, it knocked the dopey Dem liberalism right out of my head. I saw things much differently from that point on.

Too bad that Jim Adkisson doesn't understand this about Unitarians. Far from being his enemy, they would be the first to help him should he ever come to ask. And even now, after the killing, chaos, and pain, I trust that those Unitarians are praying for Adkisson. How one can hate unconditional love is beyond me, but then, I've been known to occasionally miss the point.