Thanks for your thoughts, Big T.
I totally agree with your comment about “relationship”. That comment is very “UU” and of course that the church I attend.
I’ve always had an open door policy during my child-raising years, and I like to claim that I have about 3.75 “spare” children that I’ve collected over the years. One stayed here regularly for about 9 years!
I also like to use the Socratic method and/or some Street Epistemology techniques to try to lead someone to the logical conclusion of their position(s) if possible and people won’t move on a position if you are condescending, angry, rude, mean, etc.
So I guess that’s why I’m willing to engage this kid. My thought is that this guy doesn’t really want to shoot people or live in a theocracy. I think he’s an awkward, lonely, introverted, heavy internet user living in a small town* and that he probably just found himself surrounded by supportive on-line “friends” who reinforce whatever biases, grievances, and unhappiness they all share together.
I was hoping that at best, provided what I think I know about him is true, that I could be an “outside” voice and ask some (gently and some not so gently) pointed questions that would lead him to the logical conclusion that he things he is doing are not likely to lead him to the things he says he wants in life.
And of course, being a skeptical person by nature, I also have to keep in mind that the whole thing could just be BS so make sure to not get terribly invested in it.
*Very religious family, few church visits due to family Bible studies, hometown of 3,000, homeschooled until 4, a reader, awkward with few friends during public school years, no girlfriend, etc.