Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parenting. Show all posts

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Woman tries to kill children after hearing phone messages from estranged preacher husband that the world was ending. Religion makes everything better, don't you think?

Courtesy of the Chicago Sun-Times:  

A Montgomery woman accused of trying to kill her three children told police she was sending her daughters to meet Jesus Christ, according to court records. 

The children were dressed all in white when Montgomery police arrived at the family’s Patron Lane home at around 10: 20 a.m. Sept. 25, after dispatchers received two hang-up 911 calls. 

When they arrived, police said Pamela J. Christensen, 47, answered the door wearing a white shirt covered in blood. She got down on her knees before police and told them she had tried to kill her children. The girls were upstairs, and two had suffered stab wounds to the chest. According to Kendall County Court records, Christensen had also stabbed herself in the chest and abdomen. 

In an affidavit to secure a search warrant for the family’s home, police said Christensen told officers that she was sending the girls home to “meet Jesus Christ.” 

The three girls, ages 12, 16 and 19, told police that their mother held a knife to them and asked them if they accepted Jesus Christ as their savior. Two of the girls were stabbed. 

Police recovered a poisonous liquid in the home’s kitchen, which Christensen said she had concocted out of dishwashing detergent in an attempt to subdue her children. 

She told police she had hoped they would fall asleep so she could stab them. Police said the children refused to ingest the poison. 

On the scene, police said they found a cell phone which belonged to Christensen. The woman told officers that her husband, Vaughn Christensen, had left messages on the phone telling his wife that the world was ending, and that she needed to prepare the family to meet Jesus. 

Vaughn Christensen is a former pastor at a Sugar Grove church.

The three girls were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries and then released.

The mother has been charged with attempted first degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint. All of which are felonies, and her bail is set at one million dollars.

An interesting side note is that the reason that the woman is estranged from her pastor husband, and has an "order of protection" filed against him, is that she claims he was acting erratically and in a threatening manner.

But after that he simply calls her, tells her the world is going to end, and she then tries to murder her own children? WTF?

And my question is, if the world was about to end anyway, why bother killing your kids? Aren't they going to get to meet Jesus anyway?

Man I'll never understand this new Christian religious fad. I certainly hope it never catches on.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Mother whose daughter died of cancer while she was attempting to save her by using faith healing, wants her child neglect charges thrown out. I agree, instead she should be convicted of manslaughter at the very least.

Courtesy of The Tennessean: 

An East Tennessee woman convicted of child neglect in her teenage daughter’s cancer death is asking the state Supreme Court to declare that she is innocent because she relied on prayer to heal the girl. 

Jacqueline Crank was sentenced to unsupervised probation after her 15-year-old daughter died of Ewing’s sarcoma in 2002. 

Despite the light sentence, Crank has continued to pursue the case, arguing that faith-healing should be legal for everyone. 

The Tennessee Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case in Knoxville on Thursday. 

State law makes it a crime to fail to provide medical care to children, but there is an exception for those who rely on prayer alone for healing. However, the Spiritual Treatment Exemption Act applies only to faith healing performed by an accredited practitioner of a recognized church or religious denomination. 

In turning to prayer for her daughter’s healing, Crank relied on the advice of Ariel Ben Sherman, who called himself the girl’s “spiritual father.” 

Testimony showed Sherman was accredited by the Universal Life Church, which will accredit anyone who fills out an application.

Damn this shit infuriates me!

And what the fuck is an "accredited practitioner" of fucking faith healing?

This is 2014 you superstitious inbred assholes!

You know if Tennessee would stop fearing religious people, and grow a pair, they could start charging these frauds with murder and believe you me suddenly all kinds of people would start receiving legitimate medical service for their health problems.

I swear the next person who dares to ask me what harm religion has done, is going to get hit so hard it will put bruises on their ancestors.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

New details emerge concerning nine year old shooting her instructor with Uzi.

Courtesy of MSN: 

Her family members were focused on the girl because they thought she was injured by the gun's recoil and didn't immediately realize instructor Charles Vacca had been shot until one of his colleagues ran over to him. 

The shooting set off a powerful debate over youngsters and guns. Kids going on hunts with their elders is a rite of passage in rural America, but many people wondered what sort of parents would let a child handle a submachine gun. 

The family, whose hometown hasn't been revealed by investigators, had taken a shuttle on Aug. 25 from Las Vegas south to the Last Stop range in White Hills, Arizona. 

The report did not say why the family had gone to the range or why they let the girl handle the Uzi. 

After arriving, the girl, her parents, sister and brother took a monster truck ride before heading out to the shooting range. 

The girl's father was the first one in the party to handle a weapon. After he fired shots, Vacca instructed the girl on how to shoot the gun, showed her a shooting stance, and helped her fire a few rounds. 

Then, he stepped back and let her hold the Uzi by herself. She fired the gun, and its recoil wrenched the Uzi upward, killing Vacca with a shot to the head, according to the report. The girl dropped the Uzi, and Vacca fell to the ground. 

The girl ran toward her family, who huddled around her as she held her shoulder. Another instructor rushed over to help to Vacca. The other children were then taken away from the range, according to the report. 

The report describes the family as shaken by the accident.

Riding monster trucks and busting a cap in the skull of your instructor with an Uzi.

Just another day in Arizona's redneck wonderland.

The poor kid did not even realize that she took a man's life, she was still freaked out that somebody had put a weapon much too powerful for her in her little hands.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

How not to react when your child tells you that he's gay. (NSFW due to language and terrible parenting..)

Courtesy of the Advocate:  

A 19-year-old gay man is safe and staying with a family friend in Atlanta, Georgia, after suffering physical and verbal abuse at the hands of his stepmother, father, and grandparents when he told them he was gay. 

Daniel Pierce filmed his family's reaction to his confirmation that he was gay in chilling first-hand look at the violence and rejection that can result when parents don't accept their child's sexual orientation. 

I don't think I have heard of too many episodes of a child coming out to their parents that has gone much worse than this one did. They actually hit this young man and called him a "queer."

Though perhaps the most chilling part for me was hearing the family say that they do not care about what science has determined because they place their faith in God, and God would not create him that way.

For those who are concerned about Daniel, and the long term effects this might have on him, this should help you to feel a little better.

Courtesy of The Daily Mail:

A 20-year-old who was kicked out by his religious parents after he came out as gay has received almost $50,000 in donations to help him start a new life. 

Daniel Ashley Pierce, from Kennesaw, Georgia, secretly filmed the moment he was disowned by his family and the YouTube video has attracted almost two million views in two days. 

The five-minute clip titled 'How not to react when your child tells you that he's gay' has prompted hundreds of supportive responses on YouTube and donations have been pouring in. 

This kind of ignorance of sexuality in this day and age is inexcusable, but when you find it you can be sure there is going to be a religious component interfering with their logic.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is this love?

So yesterday Brancy posted this picture along with this statement:

Mom sent this to me — I love Trig so much it hurts!

Really?

You know what hurts me?

That his little boy is not wearing his corrective eyeglasses and hearing aids. 

It makes me feel badly that he is so far behind developmentally, even though with the proper therapies and instruction he could be doing much, much better.

And I think it should make everybody hurt, especially the parents among us, to see a child who was used as a political pawn, being terribly neglected since he has apparently now outlived his usefulness.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nine year old girl shoots instructor in the head with an Uzi killing him. Does this mean she passes?

Courtesy of the Daily Mail:

A shooting instructor has died after a nine-year-old girl accidentally shot him in the head as he taught her how to use a submachine gun. 

Charles Vacca, a father and veteran from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, was airlifted to hospital on Monday morning after the little girl shot him with a Uzi at an outdoor shooting range in Dolan Springs. 

'Vacca was standing next to the girl while he was instructing her how to use the weapon when the accident happened,' a Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told BNO News. 

'Further investigations determined [that when] the girl pulled the trigger on the automatic Uzi, the recoil sent the gun over her head, and the victim was shot.' 

I am completely lost as to the  logic of teaching a nine year old how to fire an Uzi.

When in the hell would she ever need to utilize this skill?

I am sorry this man died, but honestly he brought it on himself.

The one I really feel sorry for is this young girl, who will have to go through the rest of her life with the memory of this man's brains splattering all over the walls after she pulled the trigger.

Traumatizing your nine year old at ten in the morning. Now THAT is great parenting.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Guess which famous Teabagger's daughter might be a skank. Good guess, but no not that one. (At least not this time.)

Courtesy of DListed:  

According to Us Weekly, 57-year-old Ray Donovan actor (or Manny from Scarface, whichever brings up less of a “??????” for you) Steven Bauer attempted to out-creepy Woody Allen by showing up to the premiere of Magic in the Moonlight with his 18-year-old girlfriend Lyda Loudon. According to her Twitter bio, Lyda is a “part-time nightmare-inspirer, journalist, host of Sarcasm Overdose, ceo, actress, unsalvageable degenerate film/music/cigar/espresso addict” aka she’s unemployed. But Lyda is not just a barely-legal J-list star fucker (yes she is, but go on); she also founded Tea Party Youth and the L3 Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to “educate millennials with the tools it will take to turn America’s future around”. 

Of course, it gets better (it always gets better). Lyda’s parents are former Missouri Republican senator John Loudon and Tea Party founder and author “Dr. Gina“ (she sounds like a no-nonsense discount gynecologist). Meanwhile, Steven used to be married to Melanie Griffith, and they have a 28-year-old son together. You know your girlfriend is too damn young if she can’t remember Melanie before the Antonio tattoo. Hell, your girlfriend is too young if her age is anything that ends in “-teen“!

Wow, and people say my writing style is aggressive, with no holds barred.


Of course those of us at IM know "Dr. Gina" as a Sarah Palin pal, who once famously quit the reality show "Wife Swap" after her husband complained that "dark forces" had invaded their home.

Of course Loudon is a fundamentalist Christian, who homeschooled her daughter which adequately explains why Lyda now identifies herself as an "unsalvageable degenerate" and is currently dating a man old enough to be her creepy pedophile uncle.

Look kids will do what kids will do, but if you host a radio show and write books that gives advice about about raising children and maintaining strong relationships, it might help to have a child who actually makes moral and ethical decisions.

And by the way, the same goes for Loudon's crazy friend in Arizona.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Breitbart freaks out, over the fact that TMZ "freaks out," over Sarah Palin's speeding ticket.

Click one or more chins to play video.
Courtesy of that dead guy's defunct blog: 

Wednesday during TMZ's segment on former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) getting a speeding ticket, they thought it would be entertaining television to, without provocation or explanation, have random staffers openly attack the Tea Party firebrand as a "bitch," "dumb," and a "horrible mom." 

TMZ opened the segment by reporting on when Palin was given a speeding ticket in her hometown for driving 63 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone, and she said, "I wasn't speeding I was qualifying." 

But then it quickly turned ugly, when, without justification, the staffers launched into a nasty, random, name-calling attack. One staff member exclaimed out of nowhere, "She's a bitch." Another chimed in, saying, "She's a really bad mom," while another added, "She's a horrible mom." 

A third concluded, "She's not evil. She's too dumb to be good or evil."

You know I listened to the original TMZ report,  and read the transcript, and all I can ask is where did the TMZ crew say anything controversial?

"She's a bitch?" Check, everybody knows that.

"She's a really bad mom?" Seriously, is their ANY doubt?

"She's not evil. She's too dumb to be good or evil." Okay here we might have some point of disagreement.

Is she dumb? Yes.

But is she too dumb to be evil? No, I don't think so.

I think she is just intelligent enough to be evil, while also almost being too dumb to qualify as an actual homo sapien.

And that will be proven by the fact that when she reads that last part she will be convinced that I just called her a lesbian.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fundamentalist parenting versus secular parenting.

You know when I visualize terrorism I am really mostly thinking of the kind of parenting demonstrated on the left.

Threatening to blow somebody up or shoot them in the face cannot really ever hold a candle to the threat of eternal suffering and being denied access to your loved ones in the afterlife.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Levi Johnston/Bristol Palin child custody case gets moved to September.

So Tripp's custody case has been moved from July 31st, to September 8th.

Not only that but it will now be a settlement conference instead of an evidentiary hearing which means it will be closed to the public, which is of course what Bristol and her mother have wanted all along.

(Anything to keep that nosy blogger out of the courtroom.)

I can't say I am happy about this since I really wanted to be there and make sure that the Palins did not pull any shit, but this is Levi and Sunny's decision so I am going to trust their judgement.

I have heard that Levi is going for a 50/50 arrangement and I hope he sticks to that as I believe he has plenty of ammunition to demonstrate that Bristol is not a very competent mother.

Tripp deserves to see his dad at least half of the time, and Levi deserves to know that nobody will ever take his boy away from him again for an extended period of time unless he agrees to it, and unless he is compensated with equal time himself.

This is has been a long five years for Levi, and it is well past time that he broke free from the control they have been exerting over him by using access to Tripp to keep him in line.

Monday, July 07, 2014

New study finds that children raised by same sex couples are actually doing somewhat better than those raised in traditional families. Ooh, you know this is going to be controversial!

Courtesy of Think Progress:  

It’s the rallying cry for opponents of same-sex marriage: “Every child deserves a mom or a dad.” But a major new study finds that kids raised by same-sex couples actually do a bit better “than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.” 

The study, conducted in Australia by University of Melbourne researchers “surveyed 315 same-sex parents and 500 children.” The children in the study scored about six percent higher than Australian kids in the general population. The advantages held up “when controlling for a number sociodemographic factors such as parent education and household income.” The study was the largest of its kind in the world. 

The lead researcher, Dr. Simon Crouch, noted that in same-sex couples parents have to “take on roles that are suited to their skill sets rather than falling into those gender stereotypes.” According to Crouch, this leads to a “more harmonious family unit and therefore feeding on to better health and well being.” 

The findings were in line with “existing international research undertaken with smaller sample sizes.”

A group called  Family Voice Australia discounts the study because it does not provide data on what happens once the children reach adulthood, but personally I think they are just desperate to undermine its findings.

I can tell you that in my job I see just about every possible type of family.

What I have noticed about same sex couples is that, as a rule, they are somewhat more attentive to the children, simply because they are more determined to get it right, and because they see the opportunity of being parents as a gift that they will not squander.

That is not to say that I have not seen some truly screwed up same sex families, just like I have in traditional families, but overall I would say that the percentage is smaller.

But any time you are being raised by loving parents, who put your needs ahead of their own, and sacrifice to give you a good life, you are going to have parents that you can be proud to call Mom and Dad, or Mom and Mom, or Dad and Dad, of whatever. After all the names don't matter, only the love.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Today's "holy crap can you believe this became the world's largest religion" biblical passage.

Jepthah apoplectic that his only child greeted him at the door, and now he has to set her ass on fire.
So the other day I happened across a passage in the Bible that damn near made my head explode.

The passage is Judges 11:30-39.

In that passage the protagonist Jepthah, a man driven from his home for being born illegitimately, is offered the opportunity to become the chieftain for the people of Gillead if he can defeat the Ammonites.

Jepthah is apparently not terribly sure of himself so he asks God to assist him in the battlefield, in exchange for a human sacrifice. And not any sacrifice mind you but "whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering."

Now mind you there is no verbal response from God cementing the deal, however after Jepthah returns victorious from the battle, he is greeted by his only daughter and immediately has a small nervous breakdown because it apparently never occurred to him that though she is his only child that she might be the person who would greet him at the door.

Jepthah becomes inconsolable so his daughter takes one for the team, "My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth."

All that she asks is that she be allowed two months to "bewail" the fact that she will die a virgin, and afterward she obediently returns at which time she is killed by her father, and her body burned.

Now keep in mind that this is offered up as an example of great morality in the Bible, much like the story of Job. Though in that parable God did at least spoke to Job AND spared his son.

However in this case Jepthah made the offer of the burnt sacrifice of a family member all on his own, assumed that the victory in battle meant that God had kept up his side of the bargain, and then slaughtered his only child to pay off a debt that most likely was all in his head.

This is why whenever anybody suggests to me that without God there can be no morality, I always answer that morality exists DESPITE the belief in God, not because of it.

In fact despite this horrible lesson on morality I would be willing to bet that there are very few Christians who would murder their children and burn their bodies as an offering to God, even if they believed with all their heart that God had intervened on their behalf in some way.

Like I have often said before, I am continually amazed that a religion based on Biblical stories of this type has gained the overwhelming acceptance that it enjoys today.

You know I really need to avoid reading the Bible for awhile. That thing gives me nightmares.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Study finds that child abuse damages the development of grey matter in the brain.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

A recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry concluded that child abuse contributes to a reduction in the volume of grey matter in the brains of its victims. 

According to Lena Lim, Joaquim Radua, and Katya Rubia, child abuse — or “childhood maltreatment,” as it is called in their study — leads to lifetime-long alteration in brain structure. 

“Childhood maltreatment,” they write, “acts as a severe stressor that produces a cascade of physiological and neurobiological changes that lead to enduring alterations in brain structure.” 

Using an imaging method that allows them to compare differences in brain anatomy between groups of individuals called “signed differential mapping,” the researchers studied structures of 331 individuals with a history of child abuse, and 362 without. 

They discovered that individuals who had suffered abuse had reduced brain matter in areas of the brain related to the cognitive process of decision-making. 

The most salient reduction in grey matter volume among victims of child abuse occurred in the ventrolateral prefrontal and limbic-temporal regions — areas of the brain linked to cognitive control.

I have no difficulty at all believing these findings.

I have worked with emotionally disturbed and cognitively impaired children for years, and one thing that is universal to all of the cases is abuse and some form of neglect.

I also suffered some fairly life altering abuse when I was a child.

Considering that I am fairly high functioning I am not sure how much brain matter was beaten out of me, but it certainly fucked up my ability trust or interact with people for quite a number of years.

Trust me when I tell you that no matter how extreme the behaviors might be, using violence as a behavior modification tool only creates far more problems than it appears to solve.

I have worked with kids who called me every name in the book, spit at me, pulled my hair, and even threatened to kill my whole family. In the end the techniques I utilized brought them out of crisis and put them on the path toward becoming contributing members of society.

Hell more than one of them now works with troubled kids themselves.

If you want to create loving children then love them.

If you want to create future guests of a Federal penal institution then by all means beat them into compliance.

It's Monday so let's start it off with something sweet.

A little girl was bothered that her daddy worked too hard, so she wrote a letter on his behalf to his employer, who happened to be Google.

Just in case you can't read it clearly: 

Dear Google Worker, 

Can you please make sure when daddy goes to work, he gets one day off. Like he can get a day off on Wednesday. Because daddy only gets a day off on Saturday. 

 From, Katie 

P.S. It is Daddy's BIRTHDAY 

P.P.S. It is summer, you know 

Yeah, it's summer you know. 

Believe it or not, Katie's dad's boss at Google wrote back.

Wow, he got a whole week off for vacation. Nicely done Katie!

You know the only time my daughter got me out of work was when I had to use vacation days to stay home with her when she caught chicken pox.

We still kind of had fun. You know in between the itching and applications of calamine lotion.

(H/T to Business Insider.)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Quite possibly the greatest dad of all time.

Courtesy of WTVR:  

McKenzie Michelle Carey was born weighing just over eight pounds, 12 years ago on April 20, 2002. 

Eighteen months later she was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease identified as Mitochondrial disease. Mitochondria are considered the cell’s power producers, and the work they do helps generate fuel for the cell’s activities. But McKenzie’s mitochondria can’t do what they are needed to do; sustain life and support growth. 

The disease damages cells of the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidney and the endocrine and respiratory systems. 

McKenzie isn’t paralyzed, but she can’t walk and she is non-verabal — though her mother says she understand everything said to her. 

But her condition didn’t keep her off the stage for the summer pageant, thanks to her awesome dad, Mike Carey.

Let me honest and admit that I saw this video two days ago but was so overcome with emotion I could not type up a post. 

I'm doing better today, but still struggling to see the keys.

However if this man can do this for his little girl, I think I can manage to power through and help him share it with the world. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Worst advice for dealing with a gay child ever! Update!

Courtesy of The Friendly Atheist:  

His advice is broken up into two parts. 

First, if the child is still a Christian, then you have to confront the child and get him to repent! If he doesn’t repent, bring a couple witnesses along. If he still doesn’t repent, tell the church! If he still doesn’t repent, kick him out of the church (and, presumably, out of the family): 

If they profess to be a Christian, you have to alienate them. You have to separate them. You can’t condone that. It’s inconsistent with a profession of Christ. So you isolate them. You don’t have a meal with them. You separate yourself from them. You turn them over to Satan, as it were… 

But if the child is no longer a Christian, then forget it. There’s just no hope.

My daughter went through something similar in the fundamentalist church that she attended with her mother in Georgia. 

They kept telling her how much they loved her and wanted her to be happy with the Lord, while shaming her and telling her that she mush repress her love for those the church did not sanction.

My approach was somewhat different.

I told her I already knew because I had been paying attention to her life, and that on the day she was born I had promised to always love her, accept her, and support her, and that nothing had changed.

I have seen too many parents try to mold their children into idealized versions of themselves, only to drive them away and spend their later years in regret and frustration.

There is no worse fate for a child than to have their parents tell them to change who they are or leave, and there is not worse fate for a parent than when their child choose the latter.

Update: And let me just add that part of my support for my child was helping to elect a President who has done more for the LGBT community than any other President in history.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day.

Like the President I also grew up without a father around. Which is why I take my role as Dad very seriously.

In fact for Father's Day today my daughter is expressing her love for me by allowing me to clean that stain out of the carpet in front of her bedroom door, rinse off her dishes because she overestimates the cleaning power of the dishwasher, and buy her dinner later on tonight because she is in between paychecks again.

She shouldn't have.

But you know I love her, and I love having her living with me.

Well, today at least. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Couple claim 6 year old son possessed by demon, mistreat him horribly.

Edward and Krystal Everett.
Courtesy of the Daily Mail: 

An Oklahoma couple was arrested last week after authorities found their 6-year-old son covered in burns and bruises and locked in a bedroom with no furniture other than an egg crate for the boy to sleep on in what the local sheriff has described as one of the worst cases of child abuse he'd ever seen. 

When asked why they allegedly abused the boy, 28-year-old Edward Everett and 32-year-old Krystal Everett told authorities they believed he was possessed by a demon. 

The Canadian County Sheriff's Office says it received a call alerting them to the conditions in which the 6-year-old boy was living at the El Reno home he shared with his parents as well as three other children. 

The boy's relationship to the other children found in the home is unclear. 

When authorities went to the Everetts' El Reno home, they found the young boy wearing nothing but his underwear and laying in the fetal position in the small, locked room that had no furniture other than a tiny, foam egg crate. 

Apparently the parents only fed this child once a day, and used a belt and cattle prod on him to discipline him and control his behaviors.

The child had two black eyes, and was covered in bruises and burns.

This article does not go into the religious beliefs of the parents, however if they immediately thought "demonic possession" rather than mental illness, chances are they were indeed members or believers in a fundamentalist type religion.

Hearing voices and self harm are as common to mental health professionals as near sightedness is to an eye doctor. There is nothing supernatural about them, and they are often easily treated with medication and therapeutic interventions.

What happened to this child is disgusting, and undoubtedly makes every parent, nay every human being, who reads this feel overwhelmed with anger at the ignorance of the parents and sympathy for this innocent six year old.

One of the reasons that I rail against fundamentalist religion so aggressively is that it promotes disrespect for science, and foments distrust in its ability to solve problems.

What happened to this child, happened in the 21st Century, and that should shame all of us.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Mother convicted of killing her two children tells judge they are "alive and enjoying everything and anything heaven has to offer."

Courtesy of KTLA5:  

After deliberating for just two hours, a jury of eight men and four women in Hillsborough County, Florida, found Julie Schenecker guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for charges related to the 2011 shooting deaths of her two children. 

Schenecker, 53, was charged with murder in the deaths of her daughter, 16-year-old Caylx, and her son, 13-year-old Beau. The state did not seek the death penalty. 

Schenecker addressed the judge before he sentenced her to two life sentences without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 25 years per count, to be served concurrently. 

“Your honor, I’m prepared and I accept your sentence. I apologize to everybody in this courtroom who have broken their lives,” Schenecker said through tears. “I know our children are in heaven. I want people to try to find comfort in believing as I do that they are in no pain and they are alive and enjoying everything and anything heaven has to offer,” she added. 

The mother, who had a long history of mental illness, wrote out a plan for her "Saturday Massacre," with a gun she bought two days before the killings. She apparently  tried to arrange for her husband, who was in the military, to find the bodies.

In an interview with police, Schenecker said she shot her son to death while driving him to soccer practice on the night of January 27. Afterward, Schenecker said, she returned home, parked her van in the garage and shot her son one more time in the mouth — “his mouthy mouth,” she told authorities. 

Still armed with the handgun, Schenecker told investigators, she went inside the home and shot her daughter twice in the head while Calyx was doing homework on her computer. Schenecker said she then wheeled her daughter’s body over to her bed and covered her body with a blanket. 

This story really hit home for me, especially the part about the children living in heaven now, which of course serves to alleviate a portion of this woman's guilt.

Many years ago I worked with a young boy who had a potpourri of mental health difficulties, and who would often talked about just wanting to go to heaven now, in order to deal with the pain he felt trying to cope with his mental disabilities.

His parents were fundamentalist Christians, and had once taken him to an exorcist in order to deal with his problems.

The young man was on suicide watch the entire time that I worked with him, and at times was not allowed to be alone under any circumstances unless he was heavily medicated and asleep in his room.

One time during a team meeting, when the suicidal ideation came up, his mother suggested that it might not be the worst thing to simply turn our heads for a moment and allow him to act on his impulse. "After all then he will be with Jesus in heaven, and all of his pain will be taken away."

Today this young man has graduated high school, holds a job, and has an actual relationship. His medications were altered over time through trial and error and he is in a much better, and happier, state of mind. In other words no more talk of killing himself.

One of the truly terrible things about the Christian religion is the focus on the perfection of the life that follows this one. For individuals who are struggling with constant mental health issues this seems like the best of all possible solutions.

This mother callously shot and killed her own children. But in her mind she simply sent them ahead to a better place.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

New book about Purity Balls attempts to defend and legitimize the practice. Yeah, good luck with that.

So the book by David Magnusson, called simply "Purity" contains photographs of fathers standing with their daughters in the kind of poses that would make the hair on Chris Hansen's stand straight up, and an explanation from the author about why our perceptions are all wrong.

Here is a taste: 

“When I first heard about the Purity Balls I imagined American fathers terrified of anything that might hurt their daughters or their families honor. But as I learnt more, I understood that the fathers, like all parents, simply wanted to protect the ones that they love – in the best way they know how. It was also often the girls themselves that had taken the initiative to attend the balls. They had made their decisions out of their own conviction and faith, in many cases with fathers who didn’t know what a Purity Ball was before first being invited by their daughters. 

The more I learned, the more I was surprised that I had been so quick to judge people I knew so little about. I was struck by the idea that what set us apart wasn’t anything more than how we had been influenced by the culture we grew up in and the values it had instilled in us. In Purity I wanted to create portraits so beautiful that the girls and their fathers could be proud of the pictures in the same way they are proud of their decisions – while someone from a different background might see an entirely different story in the very same photographs. 

To me, Purity is about how we are shaped by the society in which we grow up and how we interpret the world through the values we incorporate as our own.”

Uh huh. Well I guess you can blame my background but I am not picking up anything sweet, or nurturing from the photos.

And what I am picking up is more about obsessive control and an unnatural interest in a young girl's sexuality. Must be my background.

(H/T to The Godless Place.)