Church bombing - the good news?

A 23-year-old Elk Grove Village, Ill. native has been arrested over his alleged plot to firebomb dozens of Miami, Okla. area churches.

“[P]olice say he planned to use [50 molotov cocktails] to destroy every church in the Ottawa County area, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The houses of worship include many different religions.”

I don’t know what they mean by “many different religions” - Baptist and Episcopalian, or Buddhist and Christian? - but apparently this was not an action of religious bigotry, exactly.

Sociopath, schizophrenic, agent provocateur, militant atheist?

Anyhow, I hope to find out more about this story.

The article has a statement saying that his family reports he is mentally ill. So I suspect that’s the answer right there.

Well, possibly, but I wasn’t looking for an answer, I was hoping for a discussion.

“Mentally ill”, especially as used by family, is a very broad term.

And, now that I think of it, assembling and plotting to use enough incendiary devices to destroy “every church in the county” does not sound like something a person using heroin or alcohol would have the energy and focus to do.

Either way, I will stipulate we have a bona fide disturbed individual here.

However, I am curious about what is being this story.

If he’s mentally ill, his motives aren’t really going to make sense. It’s not about being a militant atheist/Christian/Buddhist, whatever. It could be that he thinks that he’s a government agent and the churches are a front for Al Qaeda.

And you’d be surprised what people with a serious psychiatric illness can have the “energy” to do. Look at some of the crap Charles Manson came up with – about how the Beatles were sending secret messages about a race war through the White Album.

That’s weird.

No, I wouldn’t be, sadly. But it’s not the illness I find doubtful, but the heroin and alcohol. Other drugs - methamphetamine? - I might accept, but this does not sound like the work of a person who abuses narcotics.

Not necessarily; his motives could make sense, but his methodology could be completely out of what because of his disorder. Or his motives might make sense, but be based on delusion. A plan to shoot your neighbors because they are Martian subversive agents makes sense internally; it’s irrational because the neighbors aren’t Martian agents, not because shooting them if they really were would necessarily be a bad idea.