Tennessee Shooting: When will the Right Wing Go on Trial?

07/30/2008 10:21 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

I'm still stunned by the news that an armed gunman went into a Unitarian Church in Tennessee that was in the middle of a performance by kids of the play Annie and killed two people, with the intention of killing many more.

A play, on a Sunday. Kids. adults. In a church.

He hated liberal views, he hated gay people. The church had just received a grant to create a LGBT and questioning youth cafe, space to be safe to be themselves. To have the rooms to share their experiences without fear.

The irony stings.

I am a Unitarian Universalist. Yes, everyone, I am an atheist. It's the beauty of the church -- you are challenged to think, consider and if you do not believe in God, there is room for you to believe in social justice, in community, in peace.

Four people are in critical condition. Greg McKendry, an usher, wrestled the man to the ground. He died, saving countless others as the killer packed 78 rounds of ammunition in his bag.

So as we examine whether or not Lawrence King was a bully that deserved shooting, as we examine whether or not gay history is something that is "too sexual" to teach in schools, I ask this:

When will we examine the right wing groups that create such hatred in our society? When will we put them on the stand and cross examine their lives, their homes, their parents? When will their hatred be abnormal?

A church.

On Sunday.

200 people watching kids perform Annie.

If this doesn't call to mind the 16th Street Baptist Street Bombing, I would ask you why. That no children died is only a testament to Mr. McKendry.

This is about civil rights.

And this just got really personal.