Mississippi Shooting: Moral Depravity Justified by God
Note: This post does not reflect my spiritual beliefs. Reading and understanding the point here will not reveal anything about my personal spirituality, even when you’re certain it does. If you comment on this post, please direct your comment to the concept represented, not me, personally.
Daily Mail reported Godbolt was trying to take his children when a neighbor called the Sherriff’s Department. Deputy William Durr was first on the scene.
Willie Cory Godbolt’s killing rampage was apparently OK in God’s eyes. His belief in ultimate forgiveness enabled the slaughter.
Godbolt reportedly said:
I ain’t fit to live not after what I’ve done, not in your eyes, not in nobody else’s eyes. But God, you know, he forgives you for everything.
Moral Values vs. the Moral Depravity of a Forgiving God
Moral values in a humanistic sense are the inner principles that guide behavior. Values develop naturally through our experience with others, parental examples, and a growing sense or moral reason as we age and develop.
Moral values determine what’s right and wrong – they coalesce to form what’s been classically called conscience. When you act in accordance with your individual values, you feel good. When you act against your inner values, doing what you believe to be wrong, you feel guilty. This is healthy.
The Holy Bible agrees, equating moral lapses – applied to the context of each individual – with sin: James 4:17 says: So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
In psychology and life coaching, clients are often encouraged to discover their values through a life values inventory. Knowing your values is a great place to start a conscious moral journey, as we are often unaware of the various forces that shape our decisions.
Moral values point toward good behavior. This is how William Cory Godbolt knew his actions made him unfit to live among people any longer. He knew within himself it was wrong to murder innocent people.
One wonders what might have happened if Godbolt absolutely knew God would never forgive him for murder. Would he have proceeded with no prospect of redemption? And what if Godbolt were an atheist, believing this alarmingly precious life is all we have? Would he have honored the special sanctity of life that some atheists seem to enjoy?
Either way, justifying atrocities by virtue of God is a morally bankrupt act, as the belief in a God who sits idly by while it happens. It’s a cold slap in the face to anyone who cares about the rule of law or those so tragically affected by these crimes. Here’s how it sounds to me: Yeah, I ruined lives, but God forgives me, so fu** you!
I don’t know the Mississippi shooter. I can only imagine what he’s been through in life. He appears to be a deeply traumatized and lost soul. His life almost certainly has been a cacophony of trauma and struggle and misfortune. He may not even be in control of himself, but that isn’t the issue we’re addressing here.
Believing in God’s forgiveness did not serve Godbolt or those he killed.
The wildly dangerous assertion that your eternal welfare is never in jeopardy as long as you believe in a God that justifies you is the problem. There’s no end to the things you might do to make yourself unfit for life on earth. If you’re inclined to do any of them, doesn’t an all powerful Justifier Of Your Wrongdoing make it that much easier to let go your last moral impulse and proceed?
Bundrant, M. (2017). Mississippi Shooting: Moral Depravity Justified by God. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/nlp/2017/05/mississippi-shooting-moral-depravity-justified-by-god/