Dena Schlosser cut her baby’s arms off in a bout of religious fervor on November 23, 2004. Dena was suffering from two things: postpartum depression, and afterlife/god belief. If Dena was suffering from only one or the other, her baby would likely still have all four limbs (as well as it’s life). But mix the two together, and you have a recipe for inhumane behavior.
According to the experts, religion is common among mothers who kill their children. In fact, all the mommy-slaying-baby stories in recent memory involve very religious women, and of course they cite religious factors when asked why they committed their heinous crimes.
Dena said she wanted to give her child to God. How lovely and considerate. At least, in her afterlife-tainted mind, it actually was a kind act. The afterlife is an even happier place than Disneyland! Why not save your dear child from the harsh realities of this life and send them straight to the afterlife, where it’s one big eternal Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory?
Dena confessed to the crime while talking on the phone to a 911 operator. One the 911 tape, the hymn “He Touched Me” can be heard playing in the background. During the crime-scene investigation, police took Bibles from the residence. Funny that Christian groups blame games like Grand Theft Auto for inspiring violent behavior and push to get retailers to not sell the game, but nobody is calling for Bibles to be removed from store shelves after something like this happens. I imagine that if Dena’s home were filled with copies of The Satanic Bible, the Christian groups would be pointing their fingers at that book. Why the double standard? Why don’t we call a spade a spade? In the eighties, there was a Satanic scare where false claims of Satanic-child sacrifice were being thrown around. Yet the Satanic Bible only speaks against sacrifice, and the Holy Bible repeatedly speaks in favor of many kinds of sacrifice, including child sacrifice.
Please realize that I am against all religions, including Satanism. But what I’m trying to point out here, is that people are not objectively looking at the dogma. People have false pictures painted in their heads of what they think these ideologies say, and they set up straw men to validate their erroneous beliefs. Surely, no Christian in America will agree that Dena did the Biblical thing nor did the right thing. Instead, the American Christians will likely claim that Dena was influenced by Satan or was simply crazy. They count the hits and ignore the misses, in addition to setting up straw men about these worldviews. I contend that Dena took a logical course of action in accordance with the ridiculous claims and worldview depicted in the Bible.
Afterlife-belief serves as a motivation and catalyst for inhumane behavior. If Dena didn’t believe in the afterlife, she wouldn’t have killed her baby. This is because she would not have believed that her child would go to a happier place by murdering her. Instead, she would have realized that keeping her baby happy means to provide for it and raise it properly in this life. Postpartum depression or no, Dena really did want the best for her child. She wanted her baby girl to be safe and happy. And it was her religion, her afterlife belief, that twisted her good intentions into a horrible act of infanticide.