Andrea Yates pleaded innocent by reason of insanity in the drowning deaths of her children Monday as she made her first court appearance since her 2002 capital murder convictions were overturned.
Chairwoman of the Offspring Murder Club, Andrea Yates, is trying once again to avoid jail time by pleading insanity. She was already convicted for the drowning deaths of 3 of her 5 children (She actually drowned all 5, but for some reason they convicted her on only 3), but the conviction was overturned when a doctor testified that a Law and Order episode recently aired that portrayed a drowning children/insanity plot, when in fact no such episode existed.
Yates was suffering from two mental problems that, when combined, caused her to kill her children. One of those mental problems was an extreme case of postpartum depression. The other mental problem was an extreme case of Christianity. The Christianity served as a catalyst for her postpartum depression, and sent Yates into an underwater-breathing-lesson frenzy with all 5 of her children, ages 6 months to 7 years.
According to the Wikipedia article on Andrea Yates, she told her jail shrink in regards to her children:
It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren't righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell.
Doomed to perish in the fires of Hell, huh? Andrea Yates obviously thought that some imaginary afterlife dimension made her children's existence in this reality pointless. Her afterlife belief served as justification for her to methodically drown each of her 5 children.
As a hardcore anti-afterlifist (I know that's a made up term but it sounds funny so I'm keeping it), I cannot help but wonder: Would Andrea Yates have killed any of her children if she were a materialist who was free from the chains of afterlife superstition and Christianity? Probably not, and there are two reasons.
The first reason that Andrea Yates would most likely not have killed her children without afterlife belief is because that even with her postpartum depression, her lack of an afterlife belief would have provided her with no catalyst or justification for the taking of her own children’s' lives. The quote from Wikipedia above explains it all too well. She believed her children were doomed to eternal torment in Hell. As I have argued time and time again, the afterlife takes primacy over this life for pro-afterlifers, and Andrea predictably believed that her children’s' existences in this reality were able to be sacrificed for something more important. Imagine assigning values so incorrectly that you think that your child's best interests don't necessarily involve actually being alive! It's hard to give life on this Earth the number 1 primary slot when you don't think that death is the actual end of one's existence.
The second reason that Andrea Yates would most likely not have killed her children is because that without subscribing to the flavor of Christianity provided by preacher Michael Peter Woroniecki, Andrea Yates would likely not have had 5 children and would not have suffered from postpartum depression to the degree that she did. You see, Andrea Yates suffered from postpartum depression before her 5th child, and Andrea's psychiatrist told her not to have another baby because of the certainty of future postpartum depression issues. But Andrea's preacher had a very pro-procreation (another funny made-up phrase) brand of Christianity, and Andrea, with all her confusion over primacy assignment, took the advice of her preacher rather than her psychiatrist. So baby number 5 comes along and Andrea acts out on her postpartum depression just as her psychiatrist predicted. Whoops!
Andrea Yates was most definitely insane when she drowned her children. She had a faith-based insanity, and she is probably still insane now. She assigned primacy to her faith and her belief in an afterlife, and it caused the deaths of her 5 children, not to mention that her own life is effectively over and her husband's life is a shambles. Personally I think insanity defenses are irrelevant and that she should be punished severely for her actions, regardless of how crazy she was or is. However, I do think it would be a pleasant irony if she won the insanity conviction, got admitted to a mental hospital, and then had her rehabilitation progress measured on how well she managed to shed her afterlife and Christianity superstitions.
Andrea Yates made the wrong choice: superstitious immaterialism. Instead of killing her children, she should have Killed The Afterlife.