Horror Show Sunday: Tithed to Death

More religious violence, is anyone surprised?  In Erwin, Tennessee, a 76-year old man fatally shot his wife, believing that she had stolen the money, hidden in his Bible, that he had intended to tithe to his church.  Because I guess God needs the money more than his wife does.

Norman McKinney was arrested for attempted murder after his wife was found in the couple’s bedroom with a gunshot to the head.  She was airlifted to Johnson City Medical Center but later died and the charges against McKinney were upgraded to first degree murder.

McKinney was convinced that she had stolen the money he was going to give to the church from his Bible.  According to Unicoi County Sheriff’s chief investigator Ronnie Adkins, “Mr. McKinney had the gun pointed to her head because he thought she had stolen his tithe money and hidden it.”  Investigators searched the residence and found no money.  McKinney is being held on $300,000 bail pending trial.

This is what happens when people put religious convictions before the importance of other people, but that’s exactly what religion encourages.  Don’t worry about this life, it isn’t important!  Just give your money to the church and buy your way into heaven!  That’s what matters!

What’s even more unfortunate is that religion appeals more to the elderly, people who are terrified of death and anxious to do whatever it takes to guarantee their supposed eternal reward.  They are also more likely to be mentally and physically unstable, as was the case here.  Sheriff Mike Hensley reported, “You have to understand his mental state was not good. The man has medical issues; he is elderly, he has had two or three strokes and he was shook up.”  So whether or not he intended to shoot his wife or not, the fact that he was in ill health, mentally and physically, certainly added to the potential for tragedy.  Had he not been so worried about propping up a religious institution with his bribe money for God, this wouldn’t have happened. But it did happen and does happen with alarming regularity on Horror Show Sunday.

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