One of the problems that sometimes develop when you have people who honestly believe they’re receiving instructions from God is the lack of good judgment this belief sometimes causes. When you honestly think God told you to do something then no act becomes too horrible to contemplate whether that act involves killing abortion clinic doctors or unusual methods of punishment for your children. Take for example the parents in Olathe, Kansas who believed God had given them an effective method of punishing their children by stuffing socks in their mouths and wrapping them up, mummy-style, in duct tape.
Brian Edgar was already dead when his adoptive father, Neil Edgar, brought him from the family’s rented Overland Park home to University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., early on Dec. 30, 2002. He had vomited while a sock was stuffed in his mouth, witnesses testified last week.
Neil Edgar, 47, and family baby sitter Chasity Boyd, 20, are being tried in Johnson County District Court on one count each of first-degree murder and two counts each of felony child abuse. Edgar’s wife, Christy Edgar, pleaded guilty before testimony began Thursday to first-degree murder and child abuse.
On Monday, the Edgars’ 16-year-old adoptive son gave the following account of Brian’s final days:
Christy Edgar and Boyd wrapped Brian in duct tape from his feet to his shoulders on Dec. 28. Neil Edgar saw what was going on but did not participate, the older brother said.
The women also placed a sock in Brian’s mouth because he was gnawing at the tape. They left him to sleep in a basement utility room.
The next night, after a day at the Kansas City, Kan., church run by the Edgars, Brian again was in trouble, and again Boyd and Christy Edgar wrapped him in duct tape, the older brother said.
They ran out of tape when Brian was wrapped up to just above his waist. Neil and Christy Edgar went to get more, and when they returned the women continued to tape Brian, this time wrapping it completely around his head, leaving only an opening for him to breathe through his nose.
“Now try to get out of this one,” the 16-year-old testified one of the women told Brian.
The next morning, Brian was not breathing. Neil Edgar took him to a hospital.
Oops. Guess she wrapped him up a little too well, eh? The papers are filled with news stories like this all the time where someone acting under the belief that God is speaking directly to them goes off and does all manner of horrible things. This isn’t limited to any one particular faith as you’ll find such examples in all religious backgrounds. After all, it’s what the September 11th hijackers used to steel their courage.
I’m often told by believers that with God “all things are possible” to which I usually reply: “Yes, I know. And that’s what frightens me.”