Religion is no excuse to murder, let alone to kill your own son. (Even in the Bible, God stops Abraham from doing just that to Isaac.)
A man in Utah was arrested on charges that he stabbed his 10-month-old son to death, then threw him in a trash can, all because he thought the boy was “possessed.”
The victim’s mom had returned from running errands when she found Alex Hidalgo — who was later accused of aggravated murder, abuse, desecration of a dead human body, and obstruction of justice — sitting and reading the Bible while watching religious videos.
Her baby wasn’t there.
When the mother asked Hidalgo about the boy, Hidalgo “told her he had built an altar like they had talked about,” according to the statement.
Police said when the mother asked where her son was, Hidalgo told her he was dead. He then began “talking about (the baby) having 666 on him,” the statement said. The mother started looking for the boy and couldn’t find him, police said, and she picked up her phone to make a call. Hidalgo told her not to or “she’ll send him to prison,” police said.
The boy’s mother ultimately found her son in a closet, inside a trash can, with three stab wounds to the neck. She left the apartment crying and screaming, and a neighbor finally called the police.
Hidalgo reportedly fled the apartment, but he was found Saturday night and brought in for questioning. It turns out he has a history of violent crime.
Hidalgo has a string of misdemeanor convictions dating back several years, including domestic violence in front of a child, intoxication and DUI. He most recently pleaded guilty to misdemeanor drug possession in April, according to court records in Utah.
This case is heartbreaking, but it’s also not the only case of its kind. People who torture and kill children who are supposedly “possessed,” or pose some other issue in conflict with their religious beliefs, seem to be popping up with greater frequency.
In fact, just last week we covered a similar story in which an Illinois couple locked their 10-year-old daughter in a basement because they believed she was “possessed by a demon.” Likewise, you may remember the story of a California woman who was arrested for attempted homicide after she stripped her 11-year-old daughter naked, shoved sand in her mouth and eyes, and choked her to try and remove “the demons” from the girl.
How much is the result of mental illness and how much is a religious delusion taken too far? Either way, these people need serious help. That starts with the rest of us constantly pushing back against the delusional belief that the devil exists. Pastors who suggest Satan is the cause of any problems in society aren’t helping.