A Canadian man has killed his entire family along with himself:
An Agassiz man posted a chilling confession to social media after allegedly murdering his wife, sister and daughter in homes in Langley and the tiny Fraser Valley community of Rosedale on Thursday.
He then allegedly killed himself after setting fire to the family home.
Police haven’t yet confirmed the identities of those involved, but Randy Janzen, the owner of a home that exploded on Llanberis Way in Rosedale, wrote a disturbing confession on his personal Facebook page on Thursday claiming he had shot his family.
It’s easy to imagine what might compel a man of low moral character to kill people he hates. However, it strains the limits of the mind to imagine what could get a person to kill the people he loves, without provocation. One of the only ways I can imagine it being done is if their love were twisted in some way, so that they were convinced that killing the people close to them was the best possible expression of that love.
And what better way to accomplish that than with promises they’d be in Heaven. From the Janzen’s confession on facebook (grammatical and spelling errors intact):
She had shown unimagineable strength through a lot of migraine pain over the years and always seemed try and look on the bright side and always loved talking about things “When I get better lets do this and let’s do that”.I wish sweetheart 🙁 Emily had tried everything to get better but nothing seemed to help her. I took a gun and shot her in the head and now she is migraine free and floating in the clouds on a sunny afternoon,her long beautiful brown hair flowing in the breeze,a true angel. Then I shot Laurel because a mother should never have hear the news her baby has died.Then a couple of days later my sister Shelly because I did not want her to have to live with this shame I have caused all alone.Now my family in pain free and in heaven.
Can you not empathize with Randy Janzen? I can. He was willing to make tremendous sacrifice, perhaps even at the expense of his own soul, to ferry his family away to paradise. Hell, I reckon most Christians would even tell you that if the victims believed in Jesus then Randy Janzen succeeded. I’m a person who’s willing to make personal sacrifices for those I love. I’ll bet you are too. I know it feels dirty, but can we not understand Janzen at least on that one level?
But that’s where the similarities stop. There is no heaven. His family isn’t there. Janzen and his loved ones had one life, made better through knowing and loving each other, that much is clear in Janzen’s message – and Randy Janzen, out of a combination of love and bad ideas, took it all away. You want to know why I fight religion with all that I am? There it is. It teaches people to embrace bad ideas, to believe because you want to believe, to cast aside critical thinking in favor of faith. This allows bad ideas to live, to spread, and bad ideas have the power to twist perfectly sane love into destructive madness.
People with the courage to say the obvious will exclaim he should’ve known better. Yes, he should have. So should every Christian. There is no heaven and god does not heal migraines. Humans can sometimes heal migraines, and where we can we do. If things are going to get better, they’re going to get better here, on earth, and not because we waited for god to find the motivation. There’s no other world to which we can escape, and we can only make this one a better place. For those who believe that heaven is something we build, that can exist only in our own backyard, we know we must make this world a better place. In this case that outlook is the difference between a man who donates money to migraine research and a man who tries to ship his family off to a land without migraines or pain by murdering them and any happiness their future may have brought.
“But religion gives people hope” they’ll say to defend the further propagation of the falsehood of heaven. Other Christians want themselves and their family to go to heaven just as much as Janzen did, so it’s no surprise they cling to any justification to keep putting it into other people’s heads, often chidlren’s when they’re too young to know better. Yes, religion does sometimes give people hope. False hope, but hope none the less. But it seems obvious to me that we can acquire hope without untruths, and without the negative consequences that arise from large swaths of people holding untrue beliefs. That’s why we invented medicine in the first place, isn’t it?
The culpability for this is, at least in part, on the people who filled Janzen’s head with promises of heaven – even if, like Janzen, they did it out of love.