Had a wonderful weekend with Michaelyn. Now I’ve done all my chores for the morning and am ready to write about what’s going on in the world, good or bad.
Thirty-year-old Eder Guzman-Rodriguez was sentenced Monday in Floyd County after pleading no contest to first-degree murder. His daughter, Jocelyn, was found dead in November 2011.
Prosecutors say Guzman-Rodriguez told police that his daughter had a demon inside of her and that he had attempted to exorcise her of the demon.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Shortt said the first deputy who arrived saw “several Hispanics holding Bibles” standing on the deck of the mobile home.
The toddler’s body was found on a bed in the master bedroom, wrapped in a blanket and without a pulse. The room was in disarray with several Bibles and “other religious literature,” Shortt said.
According to Shortt’s summary of the evidence, Guzman-Rodriquez told police that a “bad spirit” had entered him. He said that he saw his daughter gesturing to him, as if she wanted to fight and that he punched her “over and over” with his bare hands, Shortt said.
Ok, bad it is.
Nobody, not even Christians, can argue that this guy wasn’t sincere. That leaves believers needing to argue that he was wrong. But how do they do that?
If you believe in Satan (or that the bible tells the truth), you already believe that demons exist and have an interest in affecting the world. Hell, if you’re a Catholic then you bow to the Vatican which has special agents just for this type of job. So how can you argue that the girl was not, in fact, possessed by a demon?
Or was it just what he believed about demons that was the problem? That you don’t kill their host, but instead must say the proper words? The thing is, if your criticism of this man is that he should’ve been more reasonable, it dilutes your criticism to follow up “you don’t beat someone possessed by a demon” with “you say the right magic words”. The two are certainly different, but they are not different in terms of credibility.
This is what bugs me about trusting liberal religious people to be our ambassadors to the fundamentalists. Those discussions always take place between people saying they have greater trust their own personal “revelations” about what a guy who rose from the dead really wants us to do. If the soundness of one’s reasons were a player in the conversation, both sides would abandon concern for the will of someone who rose from the dead.
Essentially it’s different sides, both of which who have been made unreasonable by the same mechanics (mechanics that encourage people to rebuild houses but also to murder their children/neighbors), keeping those mechanics alive. Other religious people can only criticize this monster of a father by saying that his faith was not theirs (sure Jesus is real and so are demons, and they really do influence people, but this dad just went about fixing it the wrong way). Champions of reason can criticize him because what he did made no sense, and we criticize moderate believers for the same crime. The crime was not being unreasonable in the right way, the crime was simply being unreasonable.
Demons don’t exist. Killing your child is never ok, whether you’re a bible-loving man in a mobile home, Abraham, or Jephthah. Nobody ever rose from the dead. While their opinions about demons may differ, there’s not a Christian on earth, no matter how liberal, who is more reasonable about demons and people rising from the dead than this man. That should bother them, but it won’t.
The demon that killed this child was irrationality, and nothing does more for keeping that demon alive and in power than religion.