June 18, 2008

Deer in the Headlights: Sergio Aguiar Probably Not on Drugs, Had no History of Mental Illness

An article appears in today's San Francisco Chronicle that focuses on the reaction of witnesses to the beating death of the "demon-possessed" son of Sergio Aguiar. A couple of law enforcement people and others talk about the inability of witnesses to the crime to intervene due to their being in a kind of shock. It's a good point; I've noticed a lot of internet people faulting witnesses for not doing more than calling authorities and these same people are particularly fond of bragging about what heroes they would have been in the same situation.

More interesting to me, though, is that authorities themselves appear to be having some trouble with Aguiar's motive in this atrocity. The perpetrator stated his reason for beating his son to death; the boy had demons in him. So far, there has been no evidence that Aguiar was on drugs. While toxicology test results are still two weeks away at least, the article states that no evidence of drug use was found either at Aguiar's home or in his truck. People who knew Aguiar and had interacted with him right up until the time of the murder didn't see any changes to his personality and, again, he hadn't ever been treated for mental illness nor been arrested before.

Inaction in boy's killing called justified
Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer

...Sheriff's investigators are still trying to determine why Aguiar, a grocery store worker who recently split up from his schoolteacher wife, killed his son so savagely. The boy's name still has not been released.

Investigators have learned that Aguiar left his home near downtown Turlock before the beating, but they don't know why he drove about 10 miles into an area of cornfields and dairy ranches, Singh said. He said investigators had found no evidence of drug use at Aguiar's house or in his pickup, though results of toxicology tests have not yet come back.

Aguiar's wife, who was in Southern California at the time of the slaying, and others have told investigators that Aguiar "wasn't acting differently than how he normally acts," Singh said. Aguiar's family members, who live in Mexico, were traveling to Stanislaus County to talk to deputies, Singh said.

"As of right now," Singh said, "nobody's saying he was having problems at all. It's baffling. It sounds like there was nothing anyone could have done."
I would consider belief in demonic possession itself a form of mental disorder, but since mental illness is to a large degree a product of cultural definition and the culture in which Aguiar committed his horrific act of brutality is currently in the throes of the Disenlightenment, there are a lot of people — perhaps a large majority — that would disagree with me on that point. Surely cling2Christ, a commenter on the Modesto Bee website whom I cited previously, would disagree. Here's another True Believer, this time from that bastion of spittle-spewing madness known as Free Republic, who also disagrees:
After being in the ministry for over 10 years and leading hundreds of deliverances, I can tell you for an absolute fact that demonic oppression and possession is unfortunately very real. Demons are nothing to be afraid of if you are a born again Christian (1 John 4:4, Luke 10:19), but are very scary to those who haven't asked Jesus Christ to live in their hearts as Savior and Lord. They are simply fallen angels who serve Satan and do all they can to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) from God's highest creation - mankind.

There are many instances of the Lord Jesus casting demons out of people. One example is found in Luke 13:10-17. In this passage a woman was afflicted for 18 years by a demon of infirmity sent from Satan. You can't get much plainer language than what. Jesus prayed for her and the woman was instantly healed.

May the Lord bless you and keep you!

Lions Gate, June 16, 2008

So maybe Aguiar was right; clearly his two-year old son hadn't been "born again" and couldn't have "accepted Jesus in his heart." The religious right and affiliated sorts often like to protest that, for example, public education is a form of indoctrination and that there shouldn't be laws about corporal punishment of children because parents know what's best for their offspring. How would anyone who believes in possession and these other things as well even begin to go about making an argument that Aguiar's child wasn't possessed by demons and that Aguiar, as his father, could tell? Many of these same people are making the assertion, after all, that Sergio Aguiar was possessed. The only justification that seems to be used for doing so is a revulsion over the crime itself.

Luckily for the rational segment of American society, the assignment of guilt for a crime is assigned based upon evidence and not upon beliefs. Still, I shudder to think of what would happen to our legal system were those who believe in demonic possession ever to have their way with it. Sometimes it seems to me that we may find out one of these days.

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