“The Devil Made Me Do It”
I cannot believe this is still seen as a viable and believable explanation for villainous and vile acts in our modern society. No I take that back, I believe it, because it happens, I can’t deny that it does. There is no belief required.
Grown adults utter these exact words in courts of law, to psychiatric professionals, to their friends and family, all with a straight face. People accused and convicted of, often times, horrible crimes, think that somehow blaming a mental intrusion by a malicious entity is a rational and acceptable excuse to break the law. It is as if their lack of free will would somehow absolve them of the consequences of their actions. And you know the absolutely galling part?
There are people out there who believe it.
When child murderer Daniel St. Hubbard was arrested, he told the investigators, “The Devil made me do it.” He even went so far as to blame the Devil for putting his finger prints at the scene of the crime. As though the homicide detectives would throw their hands up in the air, laugh with a sigh of relief and exclaim “Oh well, THAT explains everything! Glad we got to the bottom of this one.” Presumably before they all high-fived and went out to find a confessional to absolve him and free him from his guilt. Luckily, for the moment, our court system is ruled on logic, reason and physical evidence, and St. Hubbard was taken off the streets and jailed. Though in my opinion, they could have just given him a 9mm haircut there and dropped him in a dumpster, but I digress.
My point, the whole point to this entry, is that there are people who actually, legitimately, and unabashedly believed him when he said it. They are completely vindicated in their belief and further crystallize these insane conclusions because one sick child-murderer dropped the “D” word. Men and women across the country would hear this and feel one hundred percent reaffirmed in their belief, that yes, The Devil is a real entity, and that yes, all the bad things we inflict on one another is not our fault.How could it be?
After all we are created perfect, in God’s own image. It would have to be some otherworldly power, some sinister force that compels us. We can do no wrong by our own hand, and if we do, we confess, we ask for absolution and it’s all copacetic. There are pockets of the world where blaming the Devil, or some demon spirit IS proof of innocence. In the 21st century we can basically rant like a mentally insane person about ghosts and boogeymen, and other full grown adults will nod their head somberly and buy it, hook, line, and sinker.
I cannot reconcile my distaste for a belief system that does not encourage personal accountability. I can’t respect anyone that eschews decency and responsibility in name of some cosmic force that saps their will to behave like a reasonable and rational human being. Even before I was identifying as a Satanist, I believed in the law of Lex Talionis, The law of the Talon. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.
For there are some criminals are so wretched and some crimes so heinous, that only a violent, painful, and savage death can cleanse the world of their misdeeds and their grotesque legacies.
Some would argue that, “An eye for an eye makes the world blind.” These kitschy little slogans look good crocheted into oven mitts, but have no real world application. In a literal sense wouldn’t it have to be “Two eyes for two eyes makes the world blind”? Colloquialism aside, that’s not the way the world works and if we could go back to hanging criminals from the city gates, or making a show of chopping off the hands of a thief, one cannot help but wonder if these instances of “The Devil” making people do things would decrease drastically.
Some would argue that there is some good in people that can be salvaged through treatment programs and therapy. I say why waste the effort? There are certain acts, certain crimes that there is no true compensation for.
If you steal something, you can replace it. If you do drugs, you can get help. I’m not saying all criminals go to the electric chair. Not by a long shot. In fact some personal freedoms we enjoy may be morally questionable and in legal gray areas. I don’t judge minor indiscretions. However things like child molestation, animal cruelty in the extreme, and unprovoked, cold blooded murder are examples of crimes, that once committed, should forfeit your place and resources in the world.
He was a good father… Until he killed his ex-wife.
He was such a loving child… who grew up to be a rapist.
She volunteered at the homeless shelter… then she drowned her kids in the bathtub.
Once you cross that line, there is no room for you back on the civilized side. When Old Yeller was confirmed to be rabid, it didn’t matter how good a dog he was to that point. The fact he defended his family from a rabid wolf didn’t amount to anything when the disease took his brain. He had to be put down.
This raises the moral implications of the executing the mentally ill. I maintain that rabid dogs get put down. End of story.
If you’re so insane that you can’t help but rape and murder people, all the more reason to be put out of your misery. In fact I would go so far as to say that blaming The Devil for your crimes should be seen as such mental illness, and is a one way ticket to a firing line.