Mental Imbalance + Christiany = Dead Child

Ah, Heat generating title, and still so demonstrable. I've written about this before and I'm sure this won't be the last time. This elicits reactions. It's not the reactions that I'm after, it's driving home the point of a continuing correlation that many shy away from stating.

Mother of 4 year old smothers child for saying she wanted to "Go Home". Mother suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia, is a Christian and interprets this as the child wants to go to heaven. Link

This is such a common theme. You have a delusional person who believes in the literal interpretation of God and the Bible. They hear something in their head and the next thing you know, they are pretending to be Abraham. If this was a rare incident, you could chock it up to a particular problem with this mother. This is seen over and over and over and we don't change anything. Why is it we don't become honest and say, "You are delusional, believe in the literal interpretation of a religion that promotes those willing to kill their kids to great status, therefore, your kids are not safe with you?" Why is this a hard conclusion? Stacking delusions must be recognized for the faulty tower it is. I wonder if Andrea Yates would agree?

One of the things that helps me through day to day life and the problems that come up is viewing life as cause and effect. The two causes here are mental defect and religion. The effect is a dead child. As an Atheist I seek to address the cause to prevent the effect. This ability is why I find comfort in Atheism. I don't care that she wants to explain the world through religion. I don't care that she's imbalanced and believes in the literal interpretation of the Bible. But she has a kid. You must remove one piece of that puzzle or we will see the same result, over and over. If we don't do this as a society, we find the definition of insanity staring us directly in the face.

Views: 65

Comment by Daley on December 18, 2009 at 1:58pm
I feel so sad and lucky at the same time.
That is such a chaotic and revolting situation.
Comment by Apple on December 18, 2009 at 3:31pm
I don't know about this, honestly. If the woman had a mental illness then anything could have set her off. Her insanity is clearly what caused her to act this way. It is easy enough to chock this up to the mental illness of the woman. However, we do see medical neglect and direct murder of children in the name of religion by (otherwise) sane people. These are the kinds of cases we should focus on when dealing with this topic.

One interesting thing to note is that when someone is mentally ill and commits a horrible crime and tells the world that it's in the name of religion, the public will (rightly) blame her personally and her mental condition for the incident. However, in other cases where religion is not the motivating factor people will try to pin the crime on something else entirely. (Video games, rock music, etc)
Comment by Aric on December 18, 2009 at 4:03pm
As I've said before, in America the mentally ill are able to hide behind religion to keep from getting the proper care that they need.
Comment by Jacqueline Sarah Homan on December 18, 2009 at 7:05pm
Another issue that is neatly swept under the rug is the effect of going through childbirth, which is traumatic physically and psychologically to varying degrees for women. PTSD precipitated by childbirth is not uncommon. And that is in addition to post-partum depression — which can turn into post-partum psychosis, as in the case of Andrea Yates.

In fact, Andrea Yates' doctor advosed her husband to not put her through anymore pregnancies. But being fundies, he wouldn't let his wife have birth control and she was trying to be the "Proverbs 31" kind of wife...Of course, when she cracked up and drowned her kids because she thought they were possessed, it wasn't her husband who shared in the prison sentence with her. She alone paid the more ways than one.

Religion + mental illness + childbirth-related PTSD = recipe for disaster
Comment by Jacqueline Sarah Homan on December 18, 2009 at 8:01pm
Aric, Gaytor, everybody: I just thought I'd add this news story that made it to Facebook. I don't know if you guys heard about this, but this is another example of people killing for God, or encouraging killing for God:
Comment by Jacqueline Sarah Homan on December 19, 2009 at 12:38am
Yep, you're right Gaytor. Just look at what the "nice", upstanding "moral" Christians did to Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Christians have been killing for Christ for the past 2,000 years.
Comment by Jacqueline Sarah Homan on December 19, 2009 at 4:11am
Here's another case of religion cloaking mental illness: the only Amish homicide in the annals of American jurisprudence.

About 6 miles from my home in Erie, PA, on the Erie/Crawford County lines there is an Old Order Amish settlement — the Brown Hill settlement. Back in March of 1993, an Amishman, Eddie Gingrich, beat his 28 year old wife, Katie, to death while she was washing the supper dishes and preparing to go to another Amish couple's wedding. Ed thought that Katie "had the devil in her." He beat her to death and after she lay in a heap of bloody pulp on the floor from him stomping her head in, he undressed her and gutted her like a deer in front of their three children (ages 2-8).

Ed Gingrich was mentally ill and was supposed to be taking medication. But since the Old Order AMish in my neck of the woods don't trust any modern technology, and especially not doctors from among us "English", Ed was convinced that his wife was trying to poison him by slipping his meds into his food. He threw away the medicine and insisted on getting a second opinion from a local quack — a "faith healer" named Doc Terrell with no medical credentials except a homemade shingle saying "chiropractor" hanging from the porch roof of his home.

Doc Terrell was trusted by the Amish because he wasn't like all the other "English" (he was a flim-flam man). This quack charged the GIngriches $50 a visit and said there was nothing wrong with Ed, that if he just took a dose of blackstrap molassas every day, he'd be fine. We see how that turned out for Katie Gingrich, unfortunately.

Because Ed Gingrish was Amish, and because he had a lawyer that really hammed it up before an Erie County jury playing up Ed's "pious Amish life", Ed Gingrish was found "guilty but mentally ill" and sent to North Warren hospital for the criminally insane and after intake there, sent to Indiana to another Amish community where they have their own "faith-based" mental hospital of sorts for two years, after which he was released back into the community here in Erie, County Pennsylvania. For first degree murder. His lawyer claimed Gingrich lost it because he was intoxicated from Gunk fumes while using this potent carbeurator cleaner inside his non-ventilated barn.

Now bear in mind, Pennsylvania doesn't fool around with the death penalty. Had Ed Gingrich not been this "pious" Amishman and instead been a normal person, he would have gotten far more than a slap on the wrist and sent to Indiana to a colony for the "troubled Amish."

Two years ago, he "buggy-jacked" his daughter who was 17 at the time, and absconded with her two counties south of here. He was charged with kidnapping. The craziness that goes on in the name of "freedom of religion." You can't make this stuff up. Seriously. There's a book written about this case called Crimson Stain, if you want to check it out.
Comment by Angie the Anti-Theist on August 9, 2011 at 6:04pm
Don't forget faith healing! It's a way parents *without* schizophrenia can kill their children in the name of their god.


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