Was he an “evil atheist”? No, he was clearly mentally ill, and was influenced by fundamentalist Christian teachings that no matter what people do, no matter how awful, this God is going to forgive them and take them to that “better place”. Of course, Christians will say he was not a “True Christian” and will not want to claim him, disregarding that is exactly what their religion teaches. You don’t get into heaven via good works, but just by saying the magic words.
In his online journal, the killer wrote:
Maybe soon, I will see God and Jesus. At least that is what I was told. Eternal life does NOT depend on works. If it did, we will all be in hell. Christ paid for EVERY sin, so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid. People judge but that does not matter. I was reading the Bible and The Integrity of God beginning yesterday, because soon I will see them.
It’s so sad that lives turn out like this. He was clearly mentally ill and suffering tremendously and extremely lonely. What he needed was psychiatric help. Again, like the woman who killed her little baby “at the devil’s request”, this man’s actions is an example of how religion affects some who are mentally ill. In this case, he thinks there will be no consequences. But yet he was so wrong. He gave up his life, he is dead and sadly so are three of his victims…and life goes on.
PZ Myers at Pharyngula also posted on this story.