“I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” interviewed on Today Show

If you haven’t read Liza Long’s essay dubbed “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother,” you need to. Long is the mother of a child with mental health issues, and she identifies with the tragedy in Newtown like few others can. She will be interviewed on “The Today Show” tomorrow morning. An excerpt from that interview was released earlier tonight (see above).

4 Responses to “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” interviewed on Today Show

  1. Leslie December 17, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    I want to start by saying that apart from the mercy of God, every single human being is capable of the same degree of evil that was witnessed by Adam Lanza–it is by God’s grace that it wasn’t me or my son that committed those crimes.

    But having said that, I have to admit that I really struggle with the term “mental illness” and whether or not that term has any meaning in a biblical worldview.

    I don’t see mental illness as a category in any Biblical author’s mind; I only see the categories of sin and depravity. Mental illness is often referred to in our culture as something that one can come down with, kind of like coming down with leukemia. Often, there is an underlying assumption that the person can’t help it. The healer to this mental illness is “the mental health system” and we in America need to get a better one with “better treatment,” whatever that looks like.

    I feel that this worldview is preaching both a different core problem and a different savior. There is one core problem with Adam Lanza–he is related to Cain, the first murderer, son of Adam. Herod would certainly have qualified as mentally ill by modern-America’s standards, so paranoid of his throne that he mercilessly slaughtered baby boys left and right. But the Bible does not lead us to think of these men as merely ill; neither does scripture employ us to provide them with “treatment” as the writer of this article begs us to do. Instead, we are shown that there is one name under heaven by which men may be saved, the man Jesus Christ.

    Woe to us if we heal the wounds lightly–with more mental health treatments that keep people from seeking the only answer to life’s most horrific problems.

    • Monica Henderson December 17, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      I agree with Dr. Mohler’s description (referenced in the next comment). But, to dismiss the term “mental illness” here is as un-biblical and to assume that effective diagnosis and treatment is not part of the story, is to ignore a very large portion of God’s grace–the common grace of medical and neurobiological advancements. We’d not tell unbelievers that if they just submitted to Jesus Christ as savior their diabetes would be cured. So, why would we tell someone with a diagnosed mental disorder that is actually attributable to neurobiological chemical problems in their brain the same thing? I don’t believe drugs and treatment are the answer in all cases–but to dismiss all medical treatment as unwarranted and un-biblical? It has to be both-and (treatment and the Gospel). I agree that the shooter was related to Cain. But aren’t we all? Cracking open the Roman Road wouldn’t have worked when I had to swear out a mental inquest warrant on a loved one who had become a danger to herself back in February. Treatment is what has kept her alive. And, by the way, that person is a believer, and her faith colored her mania–she’s believed at various times that Jesus was coming back to take her home, to mend her flowerbed, and that he’d cure her. In her stable state, we frequently talk about theological questions, and she frequently brings me meaningful devotionals. She still needs medication to think clearly about these matters–and it is a treatment I would never deny her because she literally loses brain cells each time she’s psychotic.

    • Kristin Richardson December 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      I think this is a very obvious example of where we need to be careful not to judge the hearts of others. I do have a hard time with our justice system giving a “pass” to those who plead insanity. At the same time, while I do not believe mental illness excuses anyone from sin, I also do not believe sin negates the reality of mental illness. Did Mr. Lanza act in evil intention or was he mentally unaware of his actions? Likely, it was a mixture of the two, and mental illness was “fuel to the fire” of what was going on in his soul. In the end only God knows what portion of his actions were carried out in rebellion against the creator and what he will be held accountable for.

  2. Kelley Kimble December 17, 2012 at 3:58 pm #

    I have volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (for foster children) for a number of years. I became acquainted with a teenaged girl whose mother and grandparents were seriously mentally ill. She became a Christian in foster care, yet still suffers from a long list of symptoms, so much so that the foster parents who led her to Christ had to let go. She is now in a facility. They feared she could become dangerous during these breakdowns that she has. I don’t know the answer.

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