Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear was a doomsday Christian who believed his religion gave him the right to do anything he wanted. This is what one of his three ex-wives said about him in divorce documents dated in 1993. Raw Story reports that the accused shooter's interpretation of Christian dogma emboldened him to commit various crimes over the course of his life -- and, ultimately, the shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood that killed three innocent people.
In the divorce documents, Barbara Mescher claims that her husband, whom she was divorcing at the time, was abusive and had an explosive temper. She said he "erupts into fury in a matter of seconds," and she "lived in fear and dread of his emotional and physical abuse." Mescher also said that Robert Lewis Dear was an "extremely evangelistic" Christian who had a very dangerous view of his religion.
"He claims to be a Christian and is extremely evangelistic, but does not follow the Bible in his actions. He says that as long as he believes he will be saved, he can do whatever he pleases. He is obsessed with the world coming to an end."
This was back in 1993, several years before Dear killed three innocent people at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood location. However, his life of alleged crime did not begin his life of alleged crime. Back in 1992, he was accused of violently raping a woman who worked at a mall in Charleston. The case never made it to trial, but statements regarding the alleged rape still exist. The police report pertaining to the incident alleges that Robert Lewis Dear stalked and raped the woman, who eventually declined to press charges.
"The suspect then allegedly put a knife to the victim's neck and forced her back inside her residence. The suspect then allegedly forced the victim down into the couch, struck her in the mouth with his fist, and then sexually assaulted her."
Another ex-wife has also accused him of domestic violence. Back in 1997, she called police after Dear allegedly beat her. However, she also declined to press charges on her then-husband.
Alleged Planned Parenthood shooter once faced animal cruelty, Peeping Tom charges https://t.co/HT4QWQcd0q pic.twitter.com/TpRf7irgq8
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) November 28, 2015
These latest details being released about the man paint a portrait of a religious zealot who felt emboldened by the "forgiveness" of his chosen deity to commit acts of cruelty against people without fear of punishment. If what his former wife has said about him is true, then he truly felt that he was above even the laws of his own biblical scripture, much less the laws of man. This dangerous worldview may or may not have contributed to last Friday's shooting at Planned Parenthood.
If his ex-wife's allegations are true, Robert Lewis Dear wouldn't be the first rampage killer fueled by religious zealotry. In 2012, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin was singled out by an apparent white supremacist who may have believed he was eradicating a building full of Muslims. There have even been serial killers -- known as visionary killers -- who have claimed to be guided by their religious beliefs. One such killer is Herbert Mullin, who believed he was preventing a major earthquake by committing murders. Ultimately, he claimed the lives of at least 13 victims over a span of just three to four months.
Planned Parenthood has long been a target of attacks by Christian or far-right extremists who espouse the ideology of being "pro-life." This fact has been addressed multiple times in the media since the tragic shooting that took place last Friday. Robert Lewis Dear has become a living symbol of Christian and far-right fanaticism, which many people on social media and in some news reports are referring to as terrorism on the same level as ISIS.
Do you think Robert Lewis Dear was powered by his belief that the Christian God would forgive him for everything he's done?
[Image via Colorado Springs Police mugshot]