jQuery Slider

You are here

Nashville massacre of Christians shows the sexual revolution is turning more violent

Nashville massacre of Christians shows the sexual revolution is turning more violent

By Gavin Ashenden
March 31, 2023

The recent shooting in Nashville, Tennessee, a desperate enough tragedy in its own terms, is provoking a wider cultural assault that is shaking American society in a way that deepens the fault lines of the culture wars and the struggle between Left and Right.

The facts of the shooting are obviously widely known. But the implications and ramifications are still unfolding, and they look ominous for the welfare of Christians.

It's not simply that this was the targeting of a Christian school, and the deliberate murder of six different Christians and adults. It is the reactions and counter-reactions that are embedded in the reflexes that feed the ideological conflict that is dividing the West in general, but Americans in particular.

The facts are depressingly simple. Audrey Hale started her journey as a young woman who became first a lesbian, and then a began to experiment with being transgender by dressing as a man when her parents left the house.

On the Monday of the last week of march Hale entered a private Christian elementary school and shot and killed three nine-year-old school children -- Hallie Scruggs, William Kinney, and Evelyn Dieckhaus -- and headmistress Dr Katherine Koonce, 60, substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61, and chef Mike Hill, 61. Hale had taken three weapons, two assault rifles and a pistol for the killing spree, and was shot dead by the police.

As journalists have been piecing together different elements in Hale's background, a former friend interviewed by the media spoke of Hale's open struggle with autism and mental health.

The facts by themselves are disturbing enough. One more shooting of children in a school. But this particular tragedy has theological as well as political resonances.

She left a manifesto. She had texted a friend on Instagram telling her that the words she had left behind would make everything clear.

The manifesto was confiscated by the FBI and its contents have not been released or even referred to.

This has already begun to pour more of the fuel of conspiracy into an increasingly intense public debate.

The LGBTQ+ activists and polemicists have begun to give a more energised expression of the rage and frustration that they are directing at the Christian community. They hold Christians and Christian culture responsible for their frustration as Christians question the validity of the trans experience.

And it is at this point that the tectonic plates that represent the two culture begin to collide with each other in a way that threatens a civil earthquake, or acts as a catalyst to something worse.

Trans activists and Antifa had already planned a Trans day of visibility for Saturday 1st of April. But under pressure the title of the day had tragically morphed into a "Trans day of Vengeance".

It remains to be seen whether the event will return to its original descriptor, or indeed take place as publicised, but the sense of animus that the progressive cause experiences towards the Christian world-view grows ever darker.

It may be that one of the elements involved as a catalyst to the shooting will prove to be the legislation passed by the Senate in Tennessee. But a number of commentators point out that this last month in the state Senate along party lines, passed a bill preventing drag shows from being performed in public or near children.

The law prohibits performances in the vicinity of schools, public parks or places of worship, beginning July 1. Another law bans transgender minors from receiving gender-affirming health care such as hormone prescriptions or surgery in Tennessee where Republicans hold super-majorities in the state House and Senate.

The LGBTQ+ response to this is one of deep frustration and rage.

A representative tweet that has been widely shared on both sides of the debate, composed by an author with the handle '@TNDtracker', read: "Their name was Audrey Hale. They are a martyr against transphobia from hateful CHRISTIAN BIGOTS like you genociding us. WE WILL DEFEND OURSELVES FROM YOU. Where is your god now. Pray for mercy, because we will not show you any."

A senator asked the Attorney General in a publicised meeting in the Senate if the FBI planned to open a hate crime investigation for the targeting of Christians. The Attorney General replied that the FBI were still looking into it and had yet to reach a conclusion about motive. The response of horrified conservatives has been to suggest that the FBI release Hale's manifesto, and even if they find it difficult to come to a conclusion that the motive is too occluded to yield to investigation, the public may not have the same problems, given the transactivist rhetoric that has filled the airwaves since the shooting.

The progressive media appear to have taken a similar strategy to that of the Attorney General. Twitter closed down a raft of accounts where alarmed onlookers retweeted the material promising a trans day of vengeance publicity.

However, the Liberal establishment's strategy of burying the rhetoric may not work as a solution to this clash of civilisations and philosophy.

The Christian view that sex is immutable, given by God at birth and that the trans experience is a symptom of distress and mental confusion founded on an invalid existential autonomy, is experienced by the trans community as just one more act of hatred from a phobic enemy they want to repudiate. This repudiation is steadily ramping up and has for a while threatened to spill over into violence, a violence already fuelled and acted out by Antifa in their repudiation of free speech and communal dialogue.

Religion and politics have not been a good mix in public debate. The injection of this most recent element of contested sexuality and sexual identity is making the cocktail more intense and dangerous. At the heart of this terrible event, is a clash of religious, philosophical and political values that appears increasingly to marginalise and threaten Christians and the Church in a more deeply fraught and disturbed public square.


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top