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Man shot churchgoers over liberal views

By DUNCAN MANSFIELD

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – An out-of-work truck driver accused of opening fire at a Unitarian church, killing two people, left behind a note suggesting that he targeted the congregation out of hatred for its liberal policies, including its acceptance of gays, authorities said Monday. A four-page letter found in Jim D. Adkisson’s small SUV indicated he intentionally targeted the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church because, the police chief said, “he hated the liberal movement” and was upset with “liberals in general as well as gays.”

The attack Sunday morning lasted only minutes. But the anger behind it may have been building for months, if not years. “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,” Police Chief Sterling Owen said. Adkisson was a loner who hates “blacks, gays and anyone different from him,” longtime acquaintance Carol Smallwood of Alice, Texas, told the Knoxville News Sentinel. The Unitarian-Universalist church advocates for women’s rights and gay rights and has provided sanctuary for political refugees. It also has fed the homeless and founded a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, according to its Web site. Owen said authorities believe the suspect had gone to the Unitarian church because of “some publicity in the recent past regarding its liberal stance on things.”

Read the original article at: Lompoc Record

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