James Holmes

Did the Devil Make Him Do It?

A Catholic priest has suggested that Satan may have driven accused killer James Holmes to open fire at a Colorado cinema, continuing the religious debate over a shooting that claimed 12 lives and wounded 58 more. 

“Was he demon possessed? Maybe. It happens,” the Rev. Dwight Longenecker wrote on Patheos, where the Catholic priest from Greenville, S.C., is a columnist.

Religious leaders and public figures have sparked some of the most heated discussions in the wake of the tragedy as they have offered various explanations for the violent outburst and spiritual guidance for dealing with it.

Colorado Massacre: Faith Leaders Call for Prayer, Tighter Gun Control

RNS photos by (left) Roger Barone (TRNS)/Flickr, (right) Flickr

RNS photos by (left) Roger Barone (TRNS)/Flickr, (right) Flickr

President Obama and his likely GOP challenger Mitt Romney called for prayers and reflection after a deadly shooting at a Colorado movie theater, while liberal religious leaders called for stricter gun control laws.

Police have identified James Holmes, 24, as the man who opened fire at a midnight showing of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, killing at least 12 and wounding 59 others in Aurora, Colo.

President Obama cut short his campaign trip in Florida, instead delivering a brief address in Fort Myers. “There are going to be other days for politics,” Obama said. “This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection.”

Obama touched on the fragility of life, his concerns as the father of two young daughters, and urged Americans to "spend a little time thinking about the incredible blessings that God has given us."

What Makes a White, Middle-Class Man Kill?

James Eagan Holmes. Image via the University of Colorado.

James Eagan Holmes. Image via the University of Colorado.

Like many others, I was shocked to hear this morning about the mass killing in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater at the hands of (according to law enforcement authorities) suspect James Eagan Holmes — a 24-year-old California native and neurosciences graduate student at the Univeristy of Colorado in Denver.

Having recently moved from Colorado to Oregon, the Aurora shootings tapped into old feelings as I recalled the Columbine High School killings in 1999. My wife, Amy, was a youth minister at the time, and one of the girls who had previously been a part of her group had helped the Columbine killers buy their guns.

Then there was the attack at New Life Church in Colorado Springs. And now this.

It got me thinking about what all of the killers have in common, and for that matter, what they seem to have in common with many of the mass murderers at the focus of such tragic stories.

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