It's funny that I can already talk about revisiting something that only happened a week ago, but of course the mainstream press, with its compulsive ADD and its unwillingness to hold the right responsible for anything it does, has already moved on. What I want to do here is discuss a rather long excerpt from a Washington Post article that appeared a couple of days ago. It is not that there is anything wrong with this article- it lays out important facts pretty starkly; what is significant is the refusal to draw the obvious conclusions from this information, typical behavior when bad things happen because the right is allowed to continue its rampage. Anyway, here is the article, with, as usual, my comments:
Mark Berman, Brittany Shammas, Teo Armus and Marc Fisher, Washington Post: "The Atlanta spa shooting suspect’s life before attacks...
A unitary theory about what brought Long — now facing murder charges in the shootings of eight people, six of them Asian women — to three Atlanta-area spas on a chilly Tuesday evening is as elusive as the explanations the 21-year-old repeatedly sought for his own troubles."
No, the explanation is not at all elusive, and Green Eagle is here to provide it. In fact the explanation is obvious to anyone who doesn't refuse to see it.
"At Sequoyah High School in Canton, Ga., Long, who went by his middle name and graduated in 2017, kept a low profile. He played the drums, carried a Bible and attended meetings of a Christian student club. Outside of school, he hunted deer, played video games and traveled with his church youth group. He started college classes and left after one year. He believed he was straying from his faith, telling friends that he was fixated on sex to the extent that he thought he was addicted."
This pathetic kid was obsessed with his evangelical religion from his pre-pubescent days, and came to see what were undoubtedly the normal sexual urges of a male high school student, almost every one of which is "fixated on sex," as some horrible personal sin. He was driven insane by his Church.
"Long’s former youth pastor, Brett Cottrell, has struggled to reconcile the mission-driven boy he knew in the youth group at Crabapple First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., with the young man who ended up confessing, according to police, to the killings of eight people.
The youth ministry “was his deal,” Cottrell told The Washington Post.
A devotee of a strict church...They “come across as a good Christian family,” said Mary Morgan, 88, who lived near Long’s parents and younger sister."
And yet they seem to be unable to conceive that his breakdown had a thing to do with his religious obsession, fostered by his parents' own obsession with a bankrupt religion:
"The family was active at Crabapple, the Southern Baptist church where Aaron’s father, Robert “Buddy” Long, was a valued lay leader. Aaron and his parents attended Sunday services, afternoon group activities and Wednesday evening meetings, church members said. The evangelical congregation’s minister, the Rev. Jerry Dockery, is an energetic preacher who advocated for a socially conservative brand of Christianity that, as the church bylaws put it, views “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, polygamy, pedophilia, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex” as “sinful and offensive to God.”
And he was force fed this drivel multiple times a week by his parents and a "lay leader" and minister whose own obsessions with sex are all too clear.
"(recovery counsellor) Bayless said Long spoke often about rekindling his religious faith but repeatedly fell back into what he called an addiction to sex. Bayless, who said he was at the facility to recover from an alcohol and drug addiction, said Long was plagued by the conflict between his belief that his obsession with sex was immoral and his dedication to furthering his faith."
“He was militant about it,” Bayless said. “This was the kind of guy who would hate himself for masturbating, would consider that a relapse.”
He was taught to hate himself for absolutely normal feelings in a person of his age, and was subjected to this disgusting brainwashing on a virtually daily basis.
"On one occasion, Long came back from a massage spa and called Bayless in to say he was having suicidal thoughts. He was “living in sin” and “walking in darkness,” he told his roommate. Long said he was fighting for his salvation. Bayless said he urged Long to seek psychiatric or psychological care, but Long insisted on sticking to spiritual counseling. “He was uninterested in therapy that was not specifically related to the church,” Bayless said."
"Spiritual counseling." I.e. constant reinforcement that his totally normal feelings were abominations.
"After leaving Maverick, Long transferred to an intensive inpatient addiction facility, HopeQuest Ministry Group, which specializes in treating sex and pornography addictions and the traumas that fuel them, using counseling “integrated with Christian principles,” according to the group’s website."
An "inpatient facility" which operates on "Christian principles," i.e. beating into him the same self loathing that his parents and church had fostered for years. And we see how much good that did.
"On Friday, in an unsigned statement posted on its website, Crabapple First Baptist Church confirmed that “we watched Aaron grow up and accepted him into church membership when he made his own profession of faith in Jesus Christ.”
Now, the church statement said, the “unthinkable and egregious murders directly contradict his own confession of faith in Jesus and the gospel.”
As a result, the church said it has begun a disciplinary process aimed at removing Long from the congregation.
“We want to be clear that this extreme and wicked act is nothing less than rebellion against our Holy God and His Word,” the statement said, adding: “We can no longer affirm that he is truly a regenerate believer in Jesus Christ.”
After turning this poor kid into an emotional basket case through their intolerance and lunatic fanaticism, they are just washing their hands of him. They will never accept a shred of responsibility for their role in creating this person.
Well, I promised that I would provide a "unitary theory" about why these nine poor people were killed, and here it is. This guy is a monster, but he is one created entirely by his church and the sick, perverted, hate filled, violent "religion" of Evangelical Christianity. And on some level it is the fault of all of us, for tolerating the deeply evil power of this cult in our country without speaking out against it. I only wish that this were the only consequence of these people and their hideous beliefs- we almost lost our democracy because of it, and it shares responsibility for the half million dead Covid victims, through its constant attacks on even the most rational action proposed by Democrats, and on the science behind them. It is responsible in large part for the economic collapse of this country under its demigod Trump. In my opinion, nothing we can do will lead to a better country than refusing to accept this abomination as a legitimate moral authority.