Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, has stated that Satan was behind last week’s murders in Newtown, Connecticut.
Tragic events like the mass murder of schoolchildren certainly have an evil aura, and it isn’t out of line to label the killer’s actions as evil, in my opinion.
But to attribute the killer’s actions directly to Satan, as Wildmon has done, is problematic. First of all, it’s entirely possible that Adam Lanza had an emotional or mental disorder that interfered with his ability to feel empathy for others, manage his emotions, or control his impulses. The notion that mental illness is caused by demonic infestation or Satanic influence, promoted by Alex Jones and others, is positively Medieval and has no place in an informed, educated society like our own. It will not benefit the mentally ill, their caregivers, mental health professionals, or family members to fob the blame off on the Devil. If Lanza was not mentally ill, then he was fully responsible for his crimes, and no one else (including Satan) deserves even a shred of the blame for what he chose to do.