What to Make of Religion in Pa. Shooters Blog
By William Wan
In the wake of the disturbing shootings by one man in a Pennsylvania health club, there have been the usual pundit debates about gun control, the psychology experts called in to talk about mental health and isolation in modern society.
But after a blog written by the man, George Sodini, was was uncovered, many are trying to figure out how religion fits into it because his ramblings specifically on God, Jesus and his Christian faith the day before he killed and injured so many. Atheists have seized the incident as evidence that God or religion was Sodini's justification. That, of course has Christians in heated defense, saying this was one disturbed guy with a deeply flawed understanding of theology, who twisted many things in his life, including religion, to justify the shootings.
Here's the online diary that talks mostly about his struggles with women. And below is the Aug. 3 passage from his online diary that atheists and the religious a like are focused on: "Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell," Sodini apparently wrote, before adding later, "I was reading the Bible and The Integrity of God beginning yesterday, because soon I will see them."
After reading some of the other stuff out there, one Catholic writer had an interesting reaction focusing on not what Sodini wrote or what he did, but the quick response afterward by the Catholic diocese, which sent priests to the scene to comfort the wounded and traumatized. Here's more from a Pittsburgh Post Gazette news story:
There, they were comforted by crisis counselors and priests from the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese -- the Revs. Kim Schreck, John Naugle and Joseph Freedy, who were sent to the fire hall by Bishop David Zubik.
"We're here so we can help, perhaps, some with their spiritual needs," Father Schreck explained.
The priests listened to, counseled and prayed with more than a dozen people inside the fire hall "whether they were traumatized by the incident or here for a loved one," he said.
Asked what he told people in such situations, he said, "Evil is real. For whatever reason, this man acted in a horrible way, and we suffered because of it. Some people blame God, but He is here in us. The Lord is with us in our suffering."
August 6, 2009; 9:24 AM ET
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Posted by: Dermitt | August 10, 2009 10:20 AM
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