The New York Times has unearthed much more from the checkered past of Robert L. Dear, Jr., the man who killed and maimed seemingly indiscriminately at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado last Friday.
Ms. Micheau [one of his ex-wives] described Mr. Dear as a serial philanderer and a problem gambler, a man who kicked her, beat her head against the floor and fathered two children with other women while they were together. He found excuses for his transgressions, she said, in his idiosyncratic views on Christian eschatology and the nature of salvation.
The suspect appears to believe that, on account of being Christian, he holds a ticket to heaven, and therefore has carte blanche for his immoral, violent acts.
“He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but does not follow the Bible in his actions,” Ms. Micheau said in the court document.
Well, I never.
“He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases.”
… an angry and occasionally violent man who seemed deeply disturbed and deeply contradictory: He was a man of religious conviction who sinned openly, a man who craved both extreme solitude and near-constant female company, a man who successfully wooed women but, some of them say, also abused them. …
One person who spoke with him extensively about his religious views said Mr. Dear, who is 57, had praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work.” In 2009, said the [source]…, Mr. Dear described as “heroes” members of the Army of God, a loosely organized group of anti-abortion extremists that has claimed responsibility for a number of killings and bombings.
Dear, who was arrested and convicted in 1991 for possession of illegal weapons, fathered at least two children out of wedlock, and is a self-confessed serial philanderer. He also has a persistent gambling problem.
In addition to all the betting and womanizing, Dear developed a dubious predilection for haranguing women on adult-dating and marijuana websites. He posted
… brief and emphatic messages about Jesus Christ — usually in caps lock, the online equivalent of yelling — or to post sparsely worded solicitations for female companionship. …
He argued with users of the [cannabis] site who disagreed with his religious posts, deriding them as “slaves” and “demons” who would suffer at the end of the world. … [H]e wrote, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that JESUS IS LORD.”
Much darker than any of those things is that Dear has been credibly accused of rape.
According to [a 1992] police incident report, [a] woman told the police that a man named Robert approached her at her job at a Sears store in a mall and asked her out on a date. She refused. The man proceeded to call her two or three times a day, she said, “saying he wanted to see her,” according to the report. On the afternoon of Nov. 29, 1992, the woman said, the man turned up at the front door of her apartment, put a knife to her throat, forced her inside and sexually assaulted her.
A witness withdrew her testimony, and the victim and her husband, avoiding a he-said-she-said legal battle, moved away; the suspect in the matter, Robert Dear, beat the rap.
Without any doubt, Dear is an extreme (and extremist, and non-representative) example of a Christian. But the part where he thinks that, despite humankind’s “sinful” nature, he can ultimately do no wrong because he has Jesus on his side… Surely there are millions of god botherers who have very similar delusions of grandeur, and dozens of millions more who believe that they’re above their country’s secular laws.
If I were a praying man, I’d pray that none of them will ever again express their divine dispensation with a holier-than-thou attitude and a semi-automatic rifle.
(Image via CNN)