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Know What They Say About Assumptions?
Know What They Say About Assumptions?

STORY UPDATED 11/14/14*

Last night as I swiped through my Facebook feed I thought I saw that another Unitarian Universalist church had been victim to a hate crime. But I wasn’t in the mood for another thing to be mad/sad about so I pretended like I was impervious to the click bait.

In the office this morning (yes that’s right, I get to work at UUA Headquarters for a couple weeks) colleagues were abuzz with mis/information about the incident.

I’m sure by now you’ve seen Maybe you haven’t yet seen this article, when I did a search in Google News, it was nowhere to be found. [We've verified only one news source published this story from which all related posts were generated –Ed.] Well, you tell me if you think this is news worthy. This was featured on the Atheist blog: WhatWouldJTDo? (tagline: “fighting religion tooth & claw”).

   

What story does this tell? What picture does this paint?

Okay,  now by looking at the picture below, who would you say did it? This is from a “progressive news & media coverage” website called Crooks and Liars:

Well, when you read this post in the Arkansas Times it becomes clear that while yes, a church’s window has bullet holes in it and yes, the president of the church board received a hate filled letter, the two events happened two weeks apart and there’s no reason to believe there is any correlation.

[Thursday evening, Nov. 13 it was reported the Mountain Home Police Department concluded its investigation, finding the hate mail and window incidents are not related. Read the story in the Baxter Bulletin.-Ed.]

In fact the Fellowship's lay minister, Mrs. Hurley, says the bullet (actually pellet gun) holes probably came from “teenagers with a BB gun [who] might have just popped off a few shots.” Who knows, it might be teens, but you can't tell that from the bullet holes.

As for the anonymous letter writer, Mrs. Hurley says, “I'd arrange for him to have five to ten minutes of time to speak at our service Sunday.” I interpret Mrs. Hurley’s invitation as a demonstration that she, as a person of faith, is not afraid to stand up for what is right. But I don’t think I would be brave enough (if that’s the right word) to attend church with my kids that Sunday.

What’s your take? We’d love to hear from you.

Oh, and if you want to send our friends at the UU Fellowship of Mountain Home a blessing, prayer or kind word, you can find them on Facebook.


* "They make a donkey out of you and me."

 

About the Author

  • Jennica first joined the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries in 2014. She began her ministry with youth as a youth advisor at First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City, her hometown, in 2008. Since then she has served as Youth Program Coordinator and Religious Education...

Comments (5)

John A Arkansawyer (not verified) 2 years 10 months ago

Hi,

It's a little surprising that folks in your office hadn't checked with our regional folks. I first heard about it from them and first heard from them--last night--that the folks in Mountain Home did not believe this was a serious incident. (And I need to update my blog to say that!) They've been on top of keeping us in the now-forming Arkansas cluster informed.

I jumped a little when this news came in. I'm still jumpy, but I trust the judgement of the folks up there. There's one mildly worrisome point I haven't seen made: Pellet guns are much quieter than firearms, so they're easier to get away with using, but they still break glass just fine. If the window-breaking turns out to be related, I'd rather the people who did it weren't that careful.

Probably we'll never know if the two events are related. I'm strangely okay with that as it means the incident is over.

T. Resnikoff (not verified) 2 years 10 months ago

Thanks for your comment, John! You'll learn from the updated version of this story that the local police have since concluded the two events are not related. – Ed.

Susan Lawrence (not verified) 2 years 10 months ago

Good job, Jennica. While I am weirdly disappointed to have taken events in AK more seriously than they warranted, I love the idea of our movement being known for truth-mongering, of all things!

Marie Z (not verified) 2 years 10 months ago

Wow, goes to show just how important a little fact checking can be, and maybe why other news outlets didn't pick up on the story. Thanks for the important contextual info on this hot nUUs story!

John A Arkansawyer (not verified) 2 years 10 months ago

That's good to see! They're probably right. This didn't quite fit the MO of either of the two nearby known hate groups. I'll put this in my update, when I have time to make it.

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