Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Psych Slums

An out of work truck driver on the verge of losing his food stamps carried a shotgun into a Unitarian-Universalist Church in Knoxville while the church's kids were performing the musical "Annie," and shot the place up. He killed two and injured more than half a dozen before parishioners took him down.

According to people who know Jim D. Adkisson, he is obsessed with homosexuality and "the liberal movement," and the UU Church nationwide has publicized its willingness to provide a spiritual refuge for gays and lesbians. Also, Adkisson's ex-wife once attended the Knoxville Church, although she hasn't gone there for years.

This story hits close to home, since I've always been and always will be a Unitarian, although I'm no longer a member of the UU Church.

According to the AP story covering this incident, "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." Apparently his hatred extends to anyone who is offensively tolerant and refuses to exhibit the proper degree of judgmentalism.

He's also a prime example of what Carl Gustav Jung was talking about when he described psychological projection, or the tendency of the weak-minded or dishonest among us to avoid confronting their internal conflicts, or even self-hatred, by projecting these things onto others. Jung sometimes called this avoidance of the "shadow self."

You don't have to be a certifiable dumb shit to engage in this weak behavior; millions of otherwise intelligent people in this country engage daily in an obsessive and irrational hatred of Islam and Arabs. But for a person to descend into the deeper forms of projection, it helps to be stupid, and morons can be dangerous.


Joe said...

A closed mind is a dangerous thing to maintain. It can promote the appearance of efficiency, but if the shell gets cracked, the effects can often be devastating.

Anonymous said...

I was at a UU Church this past weekend for a book signing of Robert Scheer, author of "The Pornography of Power." They're a nice bunch, very much an activist group. This is a sad story indeed... ignorance and hate creates this sort of thing.