Saturday, August 4, 2007

Evidence of Delusion

There seems to be a preoccupation among critics of prolific atheist writers like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and, now, Christopher Hitchens for their insistence that religious belief amounts to delusion. But there are some religious followers for whom it can be said are clearly delusional:

Aaron Snyder, would-be assassin of Bill Ritter, the governor of Colorado.
Snyder, dressed in a tuxedo and sporting a “large caliber handgun,” strolled into Colorado’s state capital building with the probable intent to kill Bill Ritter. Snyder was shot dead by a State Trooper before he was able to fully execute his plan. Among Synder’s writings were notes and letters that claimed he “ruled this country for Jesus Christ” and that he is “Lord Governor of Christiendom [sic].” Synder was preoccupied with abortion and wrote several items about stopping it as “sovereign ruler.” He also wrote, “God is preparing me mentally to kill thousands of police officers.” Among the lists and notes was an “estimated expense to stop bloodshed” in which he planned, as ruler, to allocate funds: $15 million to purchase uniforms for his “Praetorian Guard,” $1.5 million for their rifles, swords and sidearms, and $25 million for tanks and armored vehicles. Clearly, Snyder was delusional. Modern tanks run about $4.5 million each, so his $25 million wouldn’t stretch far!

Snyder is an extreme case of delusion that is obviously the result of mental insanity. But what does this say about those already mentally challenged and presented with the added influence of religious delusion? The next case might speak to that:

Terry Mark Mangum, killer of a gay flight attendant.

Magnum says he murdered Kenneth Cummings because “I believe I’m Elijah out of the Bible,” and “that he was carrying out God’s judgment and “sacrificing” Cummings’ body.” Magnum believed he was doing God’s work in killing a homosexual, whose charred remains were found hidden at his grandfather’s ranch. The district attorney is seeking a hate crimes enhancement, which will affect Magnum’s ability to get parole. Cummings was loved by his family and had set up college funds for his niece and nephew before being brutally stabbed in the head by someone doing God’s work.
What does it take to send a psychopath over the edge? How does religious delusion affect the choices the psychopath or sociopath makes? Can they find justification for their anti-social and psychotic behaviors? If they believe that a magical deity, a deity they believe has ultimate authority over all mankind, wants them to kill, what’s to stop them from doing it?

Fred Phelps wants erection dedicated to Matthew Shepard

Sort of. The erection in question is a statue that would be placed in Casper's Monument Plaza that includes monuments to Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, the Magna Carta, the Mayflower Compact, the Ten Commandments and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Phelps’ statue, however, would include a plaque that would read, “MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22” with an image of Matthew Shepard.

Does Phelps’ hatred and clearly delusional position equate to the previously mentioned Christians? He doesn’t actually kill anyone, but seems happy to have the innocent killed in the name of his God. Is it a matter of time before someone in his cult has had just a bit too much of the Kool-Aid and takes matters in their own hands? And lest we think that the Westboro Baptist Church (Phelps’ cult center) is a fluke of religious extremism, it might be healthy to realize that it is probably our nation’s religious freedom and secular principles which keep such nonsense from being codified into a theocratic state:

Jafar Kiana stoned to death for adultery in Iran

The same nation that cried foul to the U.N. a few months ago about the release of the Hollywood film, 300, saying that it unfairly depicted Persians as “barbaric” and wanted U.N. sanctions against Hollywood, CA, buried a man to his waist and murdered him by throwing stones at his exposed body. The reason: he had sex with a woman that was not his wife. The woman, Mokarrameh Ebrahimi, is also sentenced to the same fate (only women are buried up to their neck before the stones are thrown). The couple had two children that are currently living with Ebrahimi in prison and Ebrahimi was thrown out of her home by her husband over two years ago. Backward-ass, delusional theocratic nutbars like Muslims following Sharia Law have no compassion for love or kindness. Their delusions go against humanist ideals and are detrimental to society.
Are the delusional Muslims, who murder in the name of Allah and call it legal under their “law” any different than the first two nutters mentioned above? Maybe. But I don’t see much difference.

Does it follow that all religion is delusional because of the few that make bad choices in the name of their Gods? Certainly not. I just want to find out if there’s anyone who will disagree with me that any of these people are delusional before moving on to defining at what point it can really be defended logically that religion is not a delusion.

More on this topic to follow in the future.


  • Capitol gunman's notes bizarre

  • FACTS EXCLUSIVE: Murder suspect — I did it

  • Phelps Thwarted In Bid To Erect Anti-Gay Statue

  • Amnesty protests stoning of Iran woman


    Rev. Don Spitz said...

    Terry Mark Mangum was right.

    The Bible is clear that homosexuals are sexual deviants and enemies of the LORD God. Your support of these sodomites is disgusting.

    Whatever you think, you will not be able to change God's Word and will one day have to pay the price for not believing what God has written.

    Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Romans 1:22-27

    V22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, V23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    V24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

    V25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, Who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    V26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

    V27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

    Yenald Looshi said...

    What I see in your comment is yet more evidence of delusion. Not a single line you typed from Judeo-Christian mythology provides a single shred of evidence that it is a mandate from a god.

    For all intents and purposes, your mythical beliefs regarding homosexuality are man-made and a product of your own bigotry and need to hate others.

    I pity you.