One Less Demon in the World

English: Demon "Andras" in Dictionna...
 Demon "Andras" in Dictionnaire Infernal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I saw the title of the article Terry Firma posted at Friendly Atheist, "Ax-Wielding Father Vanquishes the Devil, Who is His Son," I was intrigued. Now that I've read it, I just feel relieved. We are all safer now that there is one less demon in the world, especially a demon that might have eaten people.

According to azcentral.com, 51-year-old Gary Sherrill has been charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly killed his 13-year-old son with an ax. According to police, Sherrill killed his son because he thought he was a demon. They told reporters that Sherrill confessed to the murder, noting "he was scared of his son and believed his son was a demon and was going to eat him."

The case against Sherrill sounds fairly solid, especially with the confession. There was no mention of it in the article, but I would not be surprised to learn that he might have some mental health issues. You know, because he acted on the sort of thing many Christians claim they believe.

When I hear about incidents like this, I naturally feel bad for the victim and their surviving friends and family. The boy's mother must be devastated. It is a tragedy to be sure. But I also find myself wondering, particularly on days when I have consumed more cold medicine than is healthy, how many of the Christians out there who claim to believe in demons might hear about something like this and conclude that Mr. Sherrill might have done the right thing. I mean, what if his son really had turned into a demon? My guess is that virtually none of the demon-believing Christians would conclude this. And that's what I find most fascinating.

How do they know Mr. Sherrill's son didn't really turn into a demon? What if he did? What then? And if these Christians agree that it sounds like Mr. Sherrill may have been psychologically impaired, do they realize how that makes them sound? Why, it almost makes them sound as if they don't really believe in demons after all!