A young man who idolized the Columbine killers was preparing to kill dozens or hundreds of people at a Minnesota high school.
Multiple news sources (The Examiner, Daily News, The Blaze, and more) are mentioning that 17-year-old John LaDue, who was preparing a deadly mass attack on his family and school, was a passionate admirer of Harris and Klebold – the killers who launched the modern era of senseless mass killings in 1999 on the school grounds at Columbine High School in Colorado. Photos from that attack showed Harris with a T-shirt during the rampage labeled, “Natural Selection” in large letters. His writings showed that he believed the planned mass shooting would “boost natural selection by a few notches.”
LaDue apparently hid his hate well. Friends and teachers described him as quiet, nice, and a good student. But materials gathered during LaDue’s arrest showed him to be deep into the Columbine shooters and other perpetrators of school shootings. The Blaze notes, “LaDue’s Facebook page, identified in the KARE report, notes that he likes Stephen King novels, metal bands Machine Head and Deicide, as well as a TV show called ‘The Atheist Experience.’” According to Wikipedia, The heavy-metal death-rock group “Deicide is not only known for their music, but for their lyrics, which cover topics such as Satanism and anti-religion. Their lyrics have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticism from religious groups and the public.”
Officers believe he would have killed his parents and shot up the school with guns and bombs within two weeks, had he not been stopped in time. Originally, he had planned to commit the crimes on April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, but put it off. It was his intent to “best” the Columbine shooters, whom he “idolized” according to the Waseca County News. The town is shocked, and asking “Why?”
Update 6/29/16: See what happened at the trial on CNN. LaDue may get off scot free, “as if this never happened.” His parents had no idea what was going on in their son’s dark mind, embracing atheism, idolizing Klebold and fantasizing about death. Yet they would have been his first victims.
It would be unfair to scholarly supporters of Darwinian evolution and to good-citizen atheists to blame them for this troubled kid’s evil plans. It would also be unfair to portray LaDue as equipped to understand natural selection theory or atheist arguments. It would also be unfair to assume there were not other motivations for his plans besides atheism or Darwinism. More information about his mental state should come out as this case undergoes more scrutiny.
It is fair, however, to use this as a reminder that ideas have consequences. LaDue was heavy into death-of-God music, atheist TV, and Eric Harris. It would be highly improbable that LaDue was unaware of Harris’s views about natural selection, or at least of the T-shirt he wore emblazoned with those words. Would LaDue have hatched a plot like this if his world view included “Love your neighbor as yourself”? How about “But now abide faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love”? As we shared on April 30, Darwin (and Malthus, whom Darwin admired), believed competition was the driving force in nature. Instill into students’ minds the hopelessness of life, no God or consequences for evil, and the idea that the only purpose of life is to vanquish others, and why would anyone be surprised at the fruit? Drowning out the cynicism with music drenched in death themes, then dreaming of going out with a bang, taking as many with you as you can, almost makes sense in that kind of world view – a world that makes no sense.
If you doubt any of this reasoning, look at where the mass shooters come from. They are not emerging from Bible-believing churches where people pray and sing “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow.” No; those people are the targets of the guns, not the ones with their fingers on the trigger. What is it about Christians, who preach love and mercy, that makes them targets of such vicious violence at home and abroad? (See recent WND story.) Why would Deicide write songs with blatant anti-Christian themes like “Kill the Christian” and “Death to Jesus”? Could there really be a Satan behind this? Maybe Christians are doing something that Satan hates. Jesus warned His disciples that they would be hated by all men for His name’s sake, but were to return good for evil.
Diverging lines end up very far apart.