Police: Man Shot Churchgoers Over Liberal Views
Knoxville, Tennessee—An unemployed man accused of opening fire with a shotgun and killing two people at a Unitarian church apparently targeted the congregation out of hatred for its support of liberal social policies, police said Monday.
That makes a lot of sense. This whackjob is unhappy because he lost his job, gets a letter saying he’s losing his food stamps too, and instead of blaming the Republicans who have been in charge of the country for the past eight years, he trots off to the nearest UUA congregation and opens fire during a children’s performance.
Two people are dead, one because he gave his life in an attempt to save others. Five more are injured–no children, at least.
What did those people do to upset the homegrown terrorist?
The Unitarian-Universalist church promotes progressive social work, including advocacy of women and gay rights. The Knoxville congregation also has provided sanctuary for political refugees, fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site.
Goodness. How upsetting. Obviously, they caused him to lose his trucking job. Yep. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Sam Harris’ views on religion make more sense every day.
Take away a manâ€™s actual sense of manhood–which is conventionally based on the ability to work, to earn money, to be self-sufficient, to provide for children–and youâ€™ve got to give them something else. And they did.
This hideous religion thatâ€™s all over the country–these huge church-malls–thatâ€™s what substitutes for these lost towns. But thatâ€™s not a town. Thatâ€™s a cult. A town is diverse, in a real way, not in this fake way we have now. A community is a butcher and a doctor, a minister, a town troublemaker. A ‘community’ is not a bunch of people united by some grievance. Thatâ€™s just self-righteousness–incredibly dangerous and antidemocratic. People have become so rigid; their opinions seem to them like themselves. When that happens (and it has happened) people canâ€™t change their minds. If you are identified by your opinions–if that is the very basis of yourself–how can you change your mind?
Fran Lebowitz, Ruminator Magazine interview with Susannah McNeely (August/September 2005)
Religion and the jargon of the helping/hindering professions are comprised largely of literalized metaphors. That is why they are the perfect tools for legitimizing and illegitimizing ideas, behaviors, and persons.
Ordinary language combines all of these qualities. It can be used literally and precisely, to convey meaning; metaphorically or poetically, to move people; or ‘religiously,’ to blind and numb people, making them feel elevated or debased.
“In the natural sciences, language (mathematics) is a useful tool: like the microscope or telescope, it enables us to see what is otherwise invisible. In the social sciences, language (literalized metaphor) is an impediment: like a distorting mirror, it prevents us from seeing the obvious.
That is why in the natural sciences, knowledge can be gained only with the mastery of their special languages; whereas in human affairs, knowledge can be gained only by rejecting the pretentious jargons of the social sciences.
Thomas Szasz, The Untamed Tongue: A Dissenting Dictionary