« Results of a fearless inventory of one’s own motives


Here is a statement by someone who describes himself as a "truth fanatic": 

Organized religion is hate masquerading as love. Which inevitably leads you back to the religion as it originally existed, before it was corrupted. It leads you to become a fundamentalist. You can see where the Church lost the answers by giving up its fundamental principles. So you find your beliefs evolving toward fundamentalism. But then I found out that there weren't answers in fundamentalism, either. You see some of the same contradictions. 

So far, from the sound of it, we could be tracking the spiritual journey of someone who evolved out of Christian fundamentalism and is now a liberal Protestant or secular humanist. This statement, however, starts red flags waving: 

There are two fathers, God and the devil. And all the children of God possess something none of the children of the devil possess, which is the gift of love. The devil could not program love into his children because love is something he doesn't possess or understand. It's beyond his knowledge. All the children of the devil possess is greed, hatred, envy, and jealousy. 

Both statements were made by Dan Lafferty, a member of a tiny splinter sect of already schismatic Mormons, to writer Jon Krakauer in a Utah prison almost 20 years after Lafferty murdered his 24-year-old sister-in-law and 15-month-old niece. Lafferty committed this crime because a "revelation" from God was delivered to his brother Ron. Krakauer published a book-length study of this religiously motivated murder titled Under the Banner of Heaven (Anchor Books, 2004)

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About Stephen Kennamer

For several years I have taught a course titled The Anthropology of Evil. I chose the term “anthropology,” not to indicate a restriction to the study of evil among primitive tribes, but rather to widen the lens to take in every relevant discipline: history, philosophy, theology, psychology, sociology, and current events.

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