Sunday, August 24, 2008

Unitarian Universalists of America, Fight Back!

I was deeply disturbed and angered by a recent post on the Alternet liberal website in relation to the recent shooting rampage at a Knoxville, TN Unitarian Universalist Church. The article describes the experience of Jenna Kerns, a writer who published an opinion piece in Newsday linking fanatical right-wing commentators such as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity to the shooting. (The shooter, Jim D. Adkisson, owned copies of books by Hannity, O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and Michael Savage, and was motivated by a hatred of the Unitarians' liberal views.)

How did the right-wingers respond? Did they engage in an examination of conscience and rethink their hateful rhetoric? No. Did they launch a minor league smear campaign against Ms. Kerns, with the help of right wing censor L. Brent Bozell? Yes.

It's time for UUs to take matters into their own hands. If someone shot up an evangelical church and was found to have books by liberal commentators such as Keith Olberman and Richard Dawkins, you can bet they would do everything in their power to drive those commentators off the airwaves and off the bookshelves. Maybe it's time we learned a lesson from our evangelical brethren.

Every UU church should have a sign up in front condemning these commentators and holding them directly responsible for the attack. (I'm thinking wanted posters with "Incitement to Murder" written on them.) Advertisers on their shows should be informed that they will be subject to a boycott for as long as they continue to support this hate speech.

It's time to fight back.

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