That venerable gray lady of the London press, The Sun, has printed a sober and thoughtful piece on a series of Satanic crimes in Russia, titled "Knifed 666 times each and eaten". It explores the nuances of Satanically inspired murders and teenage violence with its characteristic reserve, while conveying only the most salient facts.
"The pals, three girls and a boy aged 16 or 17, were all Goths."
"Locals said they all knew [alleged leader Nikolai] Ogolobyak, whose grandmother revealed he had sung in the local church choir as a boy."
"The dad of victim Andrei [Sorokin] said: 'My son said he had Goths and Satanists among his friends'."
"Moscow alone has 15 [Satanic cults] whose worship is thought to revolve around symbols such as 666, an upturned five-pointed star within a circle and the swastika."
"Devil worshippers believe in putting themselves first and their core values include pride, indulgence, ambition and meeting sexual desires." [emphasis in original]
"In Britain, about 400 people list their religion as Satanism. Followers meet at a “Grotto” for rituals with candles and swords run by witches and warlocks."
Blogger Selwyn Duke at The New American, commenting on the case, warns us not to dismiss the Satanic angle of these horrific murders, as morally relativistic and "philisophically sloppy" people like me are inclined to do. "To them, these are just some bad kids who did a very bad thing. End of story."
Well, yes, it is the end of the story. The Sun and other tabloids may milk it for a few more days, but it's already clear that if these teens are guilty of killing other teens, their Goth sensibilities and half-baked attempts at Satanism had little to do with their crimes. Anyone disturbed and amoral enough to murder others in cold blood doesn't need Satan as an excuse. (Case in point: The "Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs", three non-Satanist teenaged boys, brutally tortured and killed about 20 people just for the hell of it.)
Also, there have been more Christian serial killers and mass murderers than Satanic ones. But plain old Judeo-Christian crime doesn't make suitably lurid newspaper material, just as real breasts on a Sun girl will never do.
And with that thought, I return to The Sun to read their captivating, front-page thought piece on the global implications of Katy Perry's new bikini.