Monday, March 13, 2006

Church arsonists tied to Satanism

While the "all-American college boys" arrested for a series of church arsons claimed they had committed their crimes for the fun of it – with no religious or political motivation – new reports from friends say the students dabbled in the occult and Satanism.

Benjamin Moseley and Russell DeBusk, 19, were theater students at Birmingham-Southern College. Matthew Cloyd, 20, lived in the same dorm as DeBusk, an academic overachiever and son of a doctor.

Less enthralled with fame and film, Matthew Cloyd, 20, hooked up with the others when he and DeBusk lived in the same dorm.

[…] Cloyd wrote to Moseley last summer, as the two planned a road trip: "Let us defy the very morals of society instilled upon us by our parents, our relatives and of course Jesus."

About the same time, DeBusk and Moseley started dabbling in the occult, according to a report by Religion News Service. They told friends they were Satanists on a hunt for knowledge.

[…] DeBusk and Moseley had a darker side, according to friends. They said they claimed to be Satanists, which, they explained, was "not about worshipping the devil, but about the pursuit of knowledge."

Jeremy Burgess, DeBusk's roommate, said he discussed religion with him.

"He told me I was one of the more intelligent Christians he's talked to," Burgess said. "Coming from a Satanist, I didn't know quite how to interpret that."
(From WorldNetDaily for 3/13/2006)

That last sentence has to be the quote of the day.

I always take reports like this with a grain of salt, and I really have no idea what I actually believe about all this stuff. “The devil made me do it” has always seemed to me to be the most facile of excuses for evil. On the other hand, “dabbling in Satanism” strikes me as similar to playing with a syringe you find on a street corner. Odds are, you aren’t going to get hurt. Sometimes, however, it will kill you. Why even mess with it? You’re just setting yourself up for something bad to happen.

Even if you’re a convinced modernist and think it nonsense that “Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour (1Pe 5:8),” what does “dabbling in Satanism” say about the person that does it? Everybody knows what “Satan” means, and even if you don’t believe he exists, isn’t there by definition something wrong with glorifying the notion? Even if you don’t believe you’re opening yourself up to the preternatural, don’t you believe you’re opening yourself up to something foul in yourself? Talk about asking for it!

These guys will probably have several years to think the matter through; fortunately, they didn’t injure or kill anyone in the commission of their crimes. I hope prison doesn’t simply harden them. A felony conviction probably won’t hurt the actors too much. Given the current moral state of the American arts community, it may even be a professional asset. Mr. Cloyd, however, can probably kiss any hope of a professional career goodbye.

Truly a sad thing for all concerned – a really good sentence would have these guys spend the next seven to ten years helping rebuild the churches they burned and then serving the communities they harmed.