Son of Sam is Saved

As I’ve pointed out several times on this site, the justice that Christianity espouses is that you can be a serial killer, do your vicious deeds and then find salvation in Christ and clear the slate. Ted Bundy did it and so did Dahmer. The latest to live his life for Christ (post murder spree) is Son of Sam killer David Berkowitz. Christians are of course proud to add him to their flock. He’s been born again apparently since 1987 and ministers to other inmates. By all accounts he has asked to remain in prison, which is admirable, but is this the individual you want representing your religion? I guess it’s like an infomercial showing the salvation product works.

Berkowitz may be more insane than the serial killers we usually think of. Remember that he claimed a dog told him to kill and people are still debating whether he acted alone or whether they can trust his claims of being involved in a satanic cult that assisted in the killings. So if he thinks he was possessed by demons is it possible for him to live a fantasy and believe that he’s been exorcised  in order to live for Christ? Inside the prison world, I think this might work. In the outside world, without professional help I think he would fall apart. Fact is, I have no confirmation if he is regularly being treated with prescribed drugs by a prison psychiatrist.

Watch part one of the video and feel free to continue at YouTube with the rest of the series. This is from Inertia Films who highlights testimonies from celebrities to unique individuals to criminals. Am I being critical of featuring Son of Sam as a Christian? Yes, I think it is exploitative and a bizarre thing to do considering that Son of Sam has a mental disorder. However, if you study Christianity it’s a bizarre religion that has been mainstreamed (remember Paul was Saul and Saul was a killer). What this video really does is “creeps me out.” Trying watching part 2 of this series where they give the history of the crimes which then leads to Berkowitz’s testimony where he essentially starts out by blaming the devil or demons.

A quote from Berkowitz from the video, “I wish I could just tell every person how much God loves them. That he cares about them. That he has a plan and a purpose for their very lives.” So God’s purpose was for you, Son of Sam, to kill at least 3 people (may have been 6 by his first confession) and terrorize and injure others for what purpose? So you could convert to Christianity in prison, make a video for Inertia Films and your victims could be sent to their deaths or have psychological trauma for the rest of their lives. Isn’t God’s plan beautiful?

This is one of the sick aspects of Christianity, a twisted sense of justice. David Berkowitz kills 3 people, is forgiven and goes to heaven. I as an atheist who got my first speeding ticket this year and have no other offenses on the books am going to hell.

The other sick aspect is that Inertia films seems to accept that Berkowitz’s problem was demon possession and not a psychiatric problem. So we’re back to the dark ages! If only some Christ-like figure would have come along in the seventies and sent Berkowitz’s demons into a bunch of pigs.

SIDENOTE: What do I believe should be done with serial killers? I’m actually against the death penalty for various reasons at this point in my life, so basically it comes down to locking them up and while I don’t want to turn them into lab rats I think the more we understand what makes a serial killer the better chance we have to prevent it or cure it early on in other individuals who exhibit those tendencies. Berkowitz, for example, is thought to be a paranoid schizophrenic.

I believe even as murderers are inhumane we have to act humane towards them as our society continues to evolve towards nonviolence. It does not mean we have to forgive them as a society though. Restrain them, yes. In fact, forgiveness should be left up to the families he hurt and not up to religion or some invisible god. Berkowitz has now fulfilled his fantasy role-playing through salvation and enjoys a life of ministry and even advocates on the behalf of murder victims. The fantasy is fine for Berkowitz as it keeps him busy, productive and prevents him from being violent. Christians, however, should not be suckered into thinking this is Christ. The man has an obvious mental disorder.

Demon Dog’s Ancestor

I think one of the best stories in the Bible is where Jesus sends demons into a herd of pigs and they all run off a hill and into a lake. I mean, what the hell did the pigs do to deserve that? Talk about animal abuse. And what was the point of the demons wanting to go into the pigs if the pigs were just going to die anyways? Strange, strange story.

‘The Last Exorcism,’ for the Second Time

I guess exorcism films aren’t dead after all. I figured people would have tired of them by now, but much like vampires, ghosts and werewolves they seem to be a staplemark of horror films. I have to admit, demons do make for good villains and are fun to watch, therefore Hollywood Reporter has announced that a sequel to The Last Exorcism is in the works. That means they should change the title of the first film to The Next to the Last Exorcism.

The original film did well on a budget of 1.6 million dollars and grossed 62.5 million worldwide. The plot involved an evangelical priest who invited a documentary crew to film his “last exorcism” to show how phony it was. Later, the priest has to face down the supernatural as it appears demons are indeed real.

A good horror story is a good horror story–I don’t knock the producers for wanting to make more money off the premise. I think a much more original premise would be to show the horrors of priests, pastors and self-professed experts who do actually believe in exorcism and try to perform them…or maybe that would be a comedy.

David Letterman Threatened by a Really Dumb Jihadist

Jihadists are going to have to pick realistic targets when they make their threats because does it really make sense to go after David Letterman? Muslim extremists may be able to get away with scaring away cartoonists like sending Seattle Cartoonist Molly Norris into hiding for starting “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day,” but when they pick targets with money and resources they may end looking more foolish than usual.

Per The Huffington Post, the threat is already a joke as jihadist blogger Shumukh al-Islam called David Letterman a Jew without actually verifying that he was a Jew. Letterman is not Jewish and was raised Presbyterian.

What prompted the blogger’s threat was part of a monologue Letterman made with some humor about the death of Ilyas Kashmiri who may have been the next Osama if he had lived. As Mark A. Perigard of The Boston Herald points out in his editorial, how much TV do Muslim extremists watch? American TV defies everything nuts like Shumukh al-Islam stand for. Some of it in bad taste, of course, but I would say much of the quality programming shows women equal to men, villainous religious extremists and people who are happy without Allah. I’ve seen at least two Law & Order SVU episodes that featured radical Islam leading to murders that were condemned, a MAD parody of sleeper cells where the terrorists decided that America was too comfortable to destroy, and then of course you have South Park. I’m sure if I had time to do the research I could pull out hundreds of examples of TV moments that don’t agree with the lifestyles of stuck up Islamic fundies.  It’s surprising to see Letterman threatened considering what else has been aired.

This could be a chance for late night comedians to show that jihadist bloggers are simply bullies of free speech and to follow up with so many jokes that it becomes pointless to threaten just one comedian (sort of like Molly Norris’ idea with inspiring as many cartoonists as possible to draw Mohammed). There is a risk in pissing off these nuts, but I’m tired of seeing the media cave towards those threats as if these religious wannabe tyrants should be taken seriously. Oddly enough, one example of “caving” may be that CBS has declined releasing the transcript for that Letterman joke in light of this news (per the AP video at Huffington Post).

SIDENOTE: I found the clip of joke from a CNN story, embedding disabled but you can see it at YouTube.

Tea Party Entertainment, ‘Courage, New Hampshire’

The Tea Party isn’t just interested in politics, they want to entertain you with TV shows and movies too. Per, Colony Bay Productions has released Courage, New Hampshire, a one hour drama that premiered at a theater in Monrovia, CA. It’s described as having a soap opera like feel set in colonial America and will promote the values of The Tea Party (which is sometimes hard to pin down since it is fusion of Libertarianism and Christian conservatism). quotes one of the founders of Colony Bay Productions as saying that Hollywood tends to “depict conservatives and traditionalists and people of faith as halfwits.” I wouldn’t necessarily argue with that, but you have to admit that the faces bowing to or trying to represent The Tea Party haven’t really done much to market intelligence. Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin (who shows up everywhere these days) come to mind. Ron Paul is about as good as it gets even though his anti-abortion stance seems to contradict his anti-government stance and it seems most Tea Partiers don’t understand the idea of legalizing all drugs.

But is historical America underrepresented or is a certain Christian America ideology underrepresented?

Hollywood has put out numerous American historical epics over the years, but maybe they have been more on the violent side as we are obsessed with The Civil War and Mel Gibson’s The Patriot was just Braveheart in America (god, that movie sucked).  America’s past does include Christianity but it also includes a variety of leaders who were hardly what you call Christian like Jefferson or Franklin. They didn’t embrace Christ, they embraced reason or deism. Our historical past is also checkered with injustices towards American Indians, African Americans, the Chinese–oh hell, almost every minority that immigrated or was already here before Columbus. I don’t want to say America is not worthy of praise in many aspects, but let’s balance the praise with some perspective as the truth is much seedier than the illusion usually presented by conservatives. I really hate the idea of Colonial America revisionist propaganda. Historical truth is darker and more interesting.

With that said, the promotional website for episode 1 of Courage, New Hampshire is a trial with what looks to be some conflict about a “bastard child.” In soap opera mode maybe this could be good. I’m suspicious, though, that we could see a bastardization of history for the sake of political or Christian ideology. The past isn’t necessarily reflective of Republican ideals or the ideals of the Democrats or modern Christianity, it’s just different. I think you can dig out some basic principals but you have to be careful not to lay your beliefs on top of history. You’d be surprised at what people believed and advocated because things change and tradition isn’t always a good thing. Even Tea Party women don’t want to give up their birth control and voting rights as an obvious example.

As usual, I’ll wait for Courage, New Hampshire on Netflix, but if you want to see it sooner you can visit their site.