Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mormon Bishop murdered

Kenneth James Ward, murdered the LDS bishop in charge of his former church. Ward did not know the victim.

…he drove 140 miles south to his childhood town of Visalia, walked into his former church and opened fire on Clay Sannar, 40, a lay bishop with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints....

Ward blamed the Mormon church for his troubles.

"When my brother had one of his episodes, he conjured up in his mind that he thought that the Mormons were sending him to hell. He would tell me that," Mike Ward, 44, said in a phone interview from his home in Bakersfield.

Clay Sannar was a father of six children.  How horrible. I offer my condolences to the family.

It is odd that Ward would travel down to his old church to murder a man he did not know. It speaks of deeper issues. He was trying to settle the score on something from his past, some injury amplified by his mental issues into something that could only be addressed at its root. He could have walked into any Mormon church and opened fire, they are a ubiquities feature of most towns. There are plenty to choose from.

Religious violence intrigues me. I often wonder about the link between dogma and violence. Ward’s fixation on being cast into hell has its roots in something he experienced as a Mormon. Perhaps his atypical ranting could have been used as a reason to get him help? But what would we say? “My brother thinks he’s going to hell?”

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