The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Taking Them At Their Words

I haven’t written much yet about the shooting at a Unitarian church in Knoxville. By now, the particulars are known. The shooter acted (at least in part, though mental illness almost certainly played a role) out of a hatred of liberals, if he is to be taken at his word. Speaking of words, among the things police found in his home were books by Michael Savage, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity.

A while back, I bought book called Take them at Their Words: Startling, Amusing and Baffling quotations from the GOP and Their Friends, 1994-2004. I thought of that book when I heard about the shooting, and about this quote from Ann Coulter.

“When contemplating college liberals, you really regret once again that John Walker is not getting the death penalty. We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.” 2

That really is the message in acts like this one, as any group subjected to hate-inspired violence knows — whether its a lynching, a gay-bashing, of a little target practice with liberals: You can be killed, too. You are not safe. Don’t forget it, and don’t get too far out of line.

There’s more where that one came from of course.

Ann Coulter:

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”

Vester: You say you’d rather not talk to liberals at all?

Coulter: I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days.

So for those of you who haven’t read any of my five best-selling books: Liberals are driven by Satan and lie constantly.

“I’d say something about John Edwards, but if you use the word ‘faggot’, you have to go to rehab.”

“We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee. … That’s just a joke, for you in the media.”

“Patriotic Americans don’t have to become dangerous psychotics like liberals, but they could at least act like men. “

“I don’t know if he’s [Bill Clinton] gay. But [former Vice President] Al Gore — total fag.”

Sean Hannity:

“Governor, why wouldn’t anyone want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, unless they detested their own country or were ignorant of its greatness? “

“Is it you hate this president or that you hate America?

“‘I hate America.’ This is the extreme left. There is a portion of the left — not everybody who’s left — that does hate this country and blame this country for the ills of the world…”

“So I’m saying, for the sake of the nation, I think you Democrats should stay home. For you there’s no reason to vote.”

“I’ll tell you who should be tortured and killed at Guantanamo: every filthy Democrat in the U.S. Congress. “

“[Liberals] teach our children multiculturalism rather than American culture, revisionist history rather than American history, the thinly disguised religion of secular humanism and extreme environmentalism rather than capitalism. They train our young to criticize America, not celebrate it. They welcome condoms into the classroom but ban God and the Ten Commandments. They encourage tolerance for the teachings of the Koran but not for the teachings of Jesus Christ. They oppose the Pledge of Allegiance, tell us that ‘God is dead,’ that ‘Christianity is for losers,’ and that evangelical and Catholic conservatives are more dangerous than radical Islamic militants. They tell us that fuel-burning SUVs are bad for America, but flag-burning SOBs aren’t. But they are wrong. And it is time to ask: Why, particularly in time of war, should we entrust the education of our children to people who loathe and ravage so many of out core values and traditions?”

“[T]hey can have the Gay Scouts if they want, if they don’t like the values of the Boy Scouts.”

“This is the moment to say that there are things in life worth fighting and dying for and one of ’em is making sure Nancy Pelosi doesn’t become the [House] speaker.”

Rush Limbaugh:

“The Clintons have a cat, but their nanny has a dog.”

“They are 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?” [To a caller who said black people need to be heard.]

“…If you want to know what America used to be — and a lot of people wish it still were — then you listen to Strom Thurmond.”

“The NAACCP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.”

“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus — living fossils — so we will never forget what these people stood for.”

“In order for me to believe that God was sending America a message, I would need to be shown that the people who died Tuesday were all members of the NOW gang, or abortionists, civil libertarians, et cetera.” [9-18-2001]

“Because we are sympathetic, we are compassionate people, we have responded by letting our government literally feed these people to the point of obesity. At least here in America, didn’t teach them how to fish, we gave them the fish. Didn’t teach them how to butcher a — slaughter a cow to get the butter, we gave them the butter. The real bloat here, as we know, is in — is in government.”

“[I]t sounds just like the DNC (Democratic National Committee) is writing his scripts now.” [On a videotape released by then Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqwi.]

Bill O’Reilly:

“And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we’re not going to do anything about it. We’re going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.”

“Everybody got it? Dissent, fine; undermining, you’re a traitor. Got it? So, all those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains, because they, you know, they’re undermining everything and they don’t care, couldn’t care less.”

“I just wish Katrina had only hit the United Nations building, nothing else, just had flooded them out, and I wouldn’t have rescued them.”

“Americans will respect your beliefs if you just keep them private. “

“I’ve been to Africa three times. All right? You can’t bring Western reasoning into the culture. The same way you can’t bring it into fundamental Islam.”

“That’s my advice to all homosexuals, whether they’re in the Boy Scouts, or in the Army or in high school: Shut up, don’t tell anybody what you do, your life will be a lot easier.”

“You want to have two guys making out in front of your 4-year-old? It’s OK with them. A guy smoking a joint, blowing the smoke into your little kid’s face? OK with them. And I’m not exaggerating here. This is exactly what the secular movement stands for.”

“Evil cannot be “treated” — nor should it be. Evil has to [be] confronted and destroyed and it matters not why the evil is in play. Society has no obligation to try to rehabilitate evil.”

“Conservative people tend to see the world in black and white terms, good and evil. Liberals see grays. In any talk format, you have to pound home a strong point of view. If you’re not providing controversy and excitement, people won’t listen, or watch.”

“Many parents are worried in America about the gay agenda and indoctrination of their children to see homosexuality in a certain way.”

“I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels.”

Pat Robertson:

“If anyone understood what Hindus really believe, there would be no doubt that they have no business administering government policies.”

“How can there be peace when drunkards, drug dealers, communists, atheists, New Age worshippers of Satan, secular humanists, oppressive dictators, greedy money changers, revolutionary assassins, adulterers, and homosexuals are on top?”

“When lawlessness is abroad in the land, the same thing will happen here that happened in Nazi Germany. Many of those people involved with Adolph Hitler were Satanists, many of them were homosexuals–the two things seem to go together.”

“Feminism encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians.”

“Maybe we need a very small nuke thrown off on Foggy Bottom to shake things up.” [Speaking about bombing the State Department]

Michael Savage:

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites…You should get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig? You’ve got nothing better to do today, go eat a sausage and choke on it.”

“I am a White Male. You see, liberals had destroyed my future to make a future for less qualified people. My babies were crying…”

“And I say also, No. 2, to the politicians, I warn you personally. You will not be re-elected. If you take to the streets with the vermin who are trying to dictate to us how we should run America, even though they’re not even entitled to vote or be here, you’re going to be thrown out of office. The people will throw you out of office. There are not enough of them to re-elect you. You will be out of a job. You will not have a living. You will be hunting for a job. Maybe, you’ll be picking the vegetables.”

“You know something; I’m voting for Bush, I just made up my mind. There’s nothing in this for me. I’m a white male, I’m a white, male, married heterosexual — I don’t want the Democrats. Everywhere I turn, there’s another hot coal in my eye. For example, today’s DNC calendar of public events included lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender meeting, the disability meeting, the ethnic meeting, the American Indian meeting, the Asian/Pacific Islander meeting, the Hispanic meeting, and the African American meeting — God bless ’em, they’re entitled to their meeting, I’m entitled to my vote, they’re not my party, end of story. And that’s it. I’m not voting for a party of ethnic minorities and women and immigrants. I will not do it. And if I thought for a moment that they had changed their direction, if I thought for a moment there was a new Democrat Party that was more centrist and more focused on the real issues of today, I would have considered, well, maybe sitting the election out, or voting for Kerry — no, I’m not. “

“I can guarantee you [liberals], you wouldn’t be in business too long. I can guarantee you you’d be arrested for sedition within six months of my taking power. I’d have you people licking lead paint, what you did to this country.”

“To fight only the al-Qaeda scum is to miss the terrorist network operating within our own borders… Who are these traitors? Every rotten radical left-winger in this country, that’s who.”

“But the question is what’s good enough for you? You wanna live in a country like this? Where a gang of liberal judges hijack any law they don’t like? And hold you hostage to it? They make homosexual wedding the law of the land, when 90 percent of the American people find it repugnant! And sickening! And disgusting! And don’t wanna accept it! And don’t wanna live in a degenerate nation!”

“Carl Levin and Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton, The New Yorker, CBS have destroyed the war effort against terror. And if, God forbid, a suitcase bomb goes off you’ll know who to blame. I’m — hey I’m not going to mince words, there’s no grey zone here. It’s black and white, it’s them versus us and the enemy within on their side.”

“I don’t know why we don’t use a bunker-buster bomb when he comes to the U.N. and just take [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out with everyone in there.”

“My fear is that if the Democrats win [in the November midterm elections], and I’m afraid that they might, you’re going to see America melt down faster that you could ever imagine. It will happen overnight, and it could lead to the breakup of the United States of America, the way the Soviet Union broke up.”

Randall Terry

“I want you to let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good.”

“America should function as a Christian nation.”

“The world will not know how to live or which direction to go without the Church’s Biblical influence on its theories, laws, actions, and institutions.”

“Overnight you’ll have the court saying…homosexual marriage is a protected right. I would callit a bliztkrieg of the homosexual juggernaut. It’s not an erosion. It’s a frontal assault on decency and morality.”

“If the militant homosexuals succeed in their campaign”

(I’ll update later with referring links, but these are pretty much all easy to find via online sources.)

It’s said that the shooter initially tried to enter the church through a back entrance to a room where the children were preparing for their performance. He was stopped and told that he’d have to come in through the public entrance. No children were killed, but the article above quotes one parent on how the incident has touched their children.

Jamie Parkey thought the blast that ripped through the sanctuary of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was part of the play his daughter and other children were putting on. Then he saw blood on another parishioner behind him and saw a man with a 12-gauge shotgun calmly firing away at the congregation.

“He had the gun leveled in our direction,” Parkey told TODAY’s Matt Lauer on Monday, one day after the gunman killed two church members and wounded six others before being wrestled to the ground by parishioners. “That’s when I pushed my mother and daughter to the floor and got under the pew. When I saw the men rushing him was when I got up to join them.”

Parkey was one of the people who tackled 58-year-old Jim D. Adkisson, kicking the shotgun away and holding the gunman on the floor with an arm-bar hold. Parkey’s 16-year-old daughter was in the play, and he had been sitting in the front of the church with his mother and his 6-year-old daughter when the attack began.

…Parkey’s wife, Amy Broyles, was in the church’s glass-enclosed quiet room with their 2-year-old daughter when Adkisson walked into the Knoxville sanctuary, pulled the shotgun out of a guitar case and opened fire.

“I was there with our 2-year-old and heard the first shot,” Broyles told Lauer from Knoxville. “Our daughter had come out on the stage. Then another shot, and I saw Jamie pushing people down to the floor. I looked right outside the window of the room and the man was standing right there with a rifle, shooting. I grabbed the baby and dropped to the floor against the door so that he couldn’t see or be able to come in if he tried to.”

Broyles said she could hear the men tackling Adkisson right outside the door she was sitting against. When she heard her husband’s voice, she knew that he and her family were safe. “He wouldn’t have left them if they were injured. I was very thankful that my family was safe, but my heart is breaking for the families that were not,” she said.

Although none of her children was hit by shotgun pellets, Broyles said, “Our 6-year-old was very, very upset; lots of crying, and she had blood all over her dress and her arms and legs.”

Who told Adkisson who to hate? He loaded and pointed his weapon, but who loaded and pointed him? And do their hearts break for the families now experiencing loss and heartache and trauma because one man was taught to hate “liberals” and to blame them for all that went wrong in his life?








  1. Aren’t conservatives supposed to be more religious than liberals? I know, not true, but we’re talking about stereotypes here. That’s a hell of a lot of hate coming out of their mouths. No wonder some weaker-minded people walk into churches and start shooting. Savage, Coulter, Hannity, Robertson, O’Reilly all should apologize for rabble rousing. Rush too, although he’s marginally more entertaining than the others. It’s a sad commentary that these conservative commentators have so much power over conservative politicians, and — of course — conservative people. People need to learn to open their eyes, see things for how they are, and think for themselves.

  2. Excellent post, Terrance. It’s high time the RW take responsibility for all the violence their hateful words have unleashed.

  3. Pingback: Gay In Augusta » Blog Archive » The Cost of Hate Speech

  4. Perfect for Civil law.
    Some ambulance chaser needs get in touch with the survivors and the dead victim’s families. Of course, given these example, the FCC needs to do something. Write them. Internet search “contact fcc” And also write your representatives. search “write my representative” (you’ll need your 5+4 zip code).

  5. Is Jim Adkisson the Knoxville-area blogger known as “Improbulus Maximus” who ranted about his guns and killing liberals?

  6. Deanna.
    “Aren’t conservatives supposed to be more religious than liberals?”

    I’m wondering what religion you may be thinking of. I suggest Googling these for starters:
    “The Spanish Inquisition” “The Crusades” “Witch Trials” “US Indian wars” “priest pedophile” “church Indian orphanage abuse” … I could go on.

  7. The double standard for political hate speech (just fine for rightwing nutjobs but not OK for lefties) is sinister, alarming, deplorable, and flat-out SICK.

    However, I am not entirely convinced the shooter was “motivated” by the above commentators. He was a lifelong resident a nearby community in my county. From the little I’ve heard, he had long gone around the psychological bend and was no longer recognizable to former friends, no longer married, and no longer employable. I have a strong feeling this is going to be another adult-onset paranoid psychosis sort of deal, an almost intractable treatment situation since about the only civil liberty still intact in the U.S. is the right of the wildly mentally ill to avoid forced treatment until after they’ve killed or injured someone. (I’m not saying this is all bad, particularly since the vast majority of mentally ill people present no risk of harm to anyone, but this individual freedom presents definite risks to the community.)

    If he had wanted simply to vent his anti-liberal rage on a Unitarian congregation, this man with no job and no money could have saved maybe $6 of gasoline driving 20 miles to the closest Unitarian church rather than ~40 miles to the one in Knoxville.

    From what I’ve heard, his ex-wife had been a member of the Knoxville Unitarian congregation and might have recently resumed attending there. Even the Nazis had to manufacture excuses for their atrocities, dehumanize their victims to deflect their own guilt. If rumor bears out, this man wanted to kill his ex-wife before committing suicide-by-cop, and used liberals as his excuse.

    Very typical. Very sad. Saddest of all is that liberals, rather than conservatives, would have been much more inclined to fund the programs that would have fed him, gotten him mental health treatment, and tried to find him a job.

    Don’t be afraid. Love is stronger than hatred, and has the power to transform hatred’s wreckage, spin sh*t into gold.