I heard about a recent mass murder in Arizona and assumed it was just some crazy random anti-immigrant psycho. Four people murdered (including a young child), and one suicide.
I was partly right.
What I didn't realize was that the murderer, a guy named J.T. Ready, was someone I'd already heard about.
I closely followed Arizona's extreme anti-immigration laws. The creator of the laws, Russell Pearce, was fortunately voted out last election. He's LDS, but his stance on immigration is the exact opposite of the LDS church.
A few newspaper articles have pointed out in the past that Pearce was politically and religiously affiliated with J.T. Ready. Ready had been affiliated with neo-Nazis, so anti-immigration stuff was right up his ally. Pearce, of course, distanced himself from Ready due to the neo-Nazi stuff once the media found out about it, despite the fact that the two had almost identical stances on immigration.
But it seems that Ready and Pearce had been fairly close--both politically, and religiously. Ready was baptized a member of the church and was eventually ordained an Elder by Pearce.
Now Ready went and murdered four people before killing himself.
My point isn't that Pearce needs to be careful in who he associates with--Pearce is already a scumbag, and I could care less who he associates with. (I apologize if my language here is a bit strong, but I really don't like this guy. He gives Republicans, and, more importantly, the LDS Church a bad name, and there is no politician I like less).
My point is that perhaps the Church should be a little more selective in who it baptizes and ordains to Elder.
Of course no one could foresee the path Ready would take. No one knew he would gun down innocents. But they did know he was an extremist when it came to politics--that he was fervently anti-immigrant. That should have at least set off warning signals, and someone should've looked into his history a bit before his baptism and ordination to the Melchizedek Priesthood. His views of white supremacy should have been discovered beforehand, and they should have prevented him from becoming a member of the church.
It wouldn't have prevented this tragedy, this senseless killing, but it would have kept the church's name away from this monster.
Perhaps it's time for baptism requirements that keep out the monsters like J.T. Ready.