Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Faith in Action

Why am I not surprised this took place in Texas? A woman in Tyler, Texas stoned her two sons to death and says that she was reading between the lines:

A housewife said the first sign that God wanted her to kill her three boys came Mother’s Day weekend when she saw her 14-month-old playing with a toy spear.

Deanna Laney said she resisted at first, but the signs kept coming. The baby came to her with a rock, and later in the day squeezed a frog, and she believed God was suggesting that she should either stab, stone or strangle her children.

A sobbing Laney recounted in a videotape played at her capital murder trial Wednesday how she smashed her sons’ skulls with rocks to prove her faith to God.

“I was telling him no, and each time it was getting worse and worse, the way that it would have to be done,” Laney said. “I thought it was the Lord saying to me, ‘You’re just going to have to step out in faith. This is faith. You can’t see why. You just got to.'”

Just like the airline pilot interpreted was reading the signs allegedly telling him to proselytize over the speakers on his plane:

A minor problem with the plane’s braking system had developed during final checks before takeoff, he said, a problem that might have grounded the aircraft, on which every seat was taken, in part because another American flight from Los Angeles to New York had been canceled that morning. But after a simple maneuver involving a power source, the braking problem inexplicably “disappeared,” Findiesen said, and the plane was cleared for departure, and that’s when he knew he had to use the P.A. system to talk about his Christian faith.

And just like the woman in Virginia who keeps going back to the same used car lot telling them that God has been giving her signs that they’re supposed to give her a new car:

Cole testified she knew she had been ordered to stay away from the dealership, at 14655 Jefferson Davis Highway, after being convicted of trespassing there in May and September 2003. But she kept returning because God – through the Bible – had told her to do so, and God’s authority, she said, is higher than man’s laws.

“To take a stand that I feel that God is telling me to take, I have to accept whatever comes from that,” Cole said, referring to a likely jail sentence.

All these people talking to God and interpreting mundane events as signs that they’re supposed to do something. It’s time for a wake up call, folks. It’s time for everyone to realize something:

If you think that God is telling you to kill someone, you’re insane. If you think that God is telling you to do something bizarre and illegal, you’re insane. Period. That goes for the woman in Texas. It goes for the woman in Virginia. It goes for Osama Bin Laden, who also claims that God tells him to kill. And yes, it goes for Moses and Abraham in the bible too. It’s true no matter what you call God, it’s true today, it’s true yesterday, and it was true 3500 years ago too.

And here’s the kicker – to those people and their apologists, I’m blaspheming God when I say this. The people who claim that God tells them to murder innocent people, they’re not blaspheming. The one who calls them insane is blaspheming. Such is what passes for reasoning among extremists.


  1. #1 red
    April 1, 2004

    Hey Ed – you ever see the movie The Rapture?

  2. #2 Ed Brayton
    April 1, 2004

    No, but I know of it. That’s the one with Mimi Rogers and Bryan Brown, isn’t it? I’ve heard it’s very good, but I’ve never watched it.

  3. #3 red
    April 1, 2004

    Yes. And David Duchovny is in it too.

    It is a film which tackles, head on, the issue of taking the Bible (in particular the book of Revelaitons) literally.

    It’s very very good. I highly recommend it. Mimi Rogers is amazing.

  4. #4 Aaron Pohle
    April 2, 2004

    The problem that I see is that too many people have decided to stop thinking for themselves, they don’t want to analyze problems, look at outcomes, make decisions and take responsibility for their lives. Instead they look for a quick or easy answer.

    Of course religion is a common source for people. The idea of being able to stop taking responsibility for you life and handing total responsibilty to someone or something much bigger and more powerful than you are, is very appealing to some. It is, however, also a terrible thing to do. There should be no rule higher than that of reason. If God is telling you to do something terrible, then either God is terrible, or you are hearing Him wrong.
    Believing in God, should not be an excuse to abandon all responsibility for your life and your actions.

  5. #5 eon
    April 4, 2004

    From today’s NY Times: Deanna Laney was acquitted of murder by reason of insanity.


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