Alan: Not infrequently, I ponder the phenomenon of "snapping" and wonder if it can happen to "anyone."

Could I snap?!?

Could you snap?

In my intellectual life, I am increasingly focused on the conservative Christian compulsion to stress individual responsibility as a function of "willed goodness." 

And the more I consider it, the more I wonder if this emphasis on "willed fulfillment of responsibility" is a psychological defense mechanism to forfend the untenable intrusion of "random evil." 

If "God is good"... and "His" creation is good... and "everything happens for a reason," there can be no room for randomness. 

In turn, this abhorrence of randomness feeds conservative Christianity's contempt for "statistical truth" as evidenced by denial of anthropogenic warming, a phenomenon "as statistically true as it gets" but simultaneously a truth that cannot be squared with the paternalistic goodness of God.

“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.”
Hannah Arendt

‘Fit of rage’: Father charged with suffocating 2-year-old for interrupting computer game
Two-year-old Ellie Sanders, it seemed, had fallen asleep on her parents’ bed, soon after what her dad said was a diaper change and a few moments in front of the TV.
But when her family members tried to wake her, police said, she wouldn’t budge. Doctors later found bruises around her eyes, better known as “raccoon eyes,” as well as blood behind her ear and adult bite marks on her back.
She wasn’t breathing. Police investigators suspect her father, 31-year-old Anthony Michael Sanders, pressed his hands over her nose and mouth until she died, police said, because she may have been disrupting him as he played computer games.
“Just a fit of rage-type deal — anger,” Watauga police Sgt. Jason Babcock told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
“He’s very involved in computer gaming,” Babcock added. “That’s something he did constantly. She may have interrupted him somehow. His day may have been interrupted.”
Sanders was charged late last week with capital murder in connection with his daughter’s suffocation death.
Sanders had been caring for Ellie and her 5-year-old brother one Saturday in December in their home in Watauga, Tex., near Fort Worth, while the children’s mother was at an art show, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
When she got home about 8:30 p.m., Sanders and his son were in the living room. Ellie was in the bedroom.
Shortly after, police said, Ellie’s brother went to check on her.
“He tried to wake her up and she wouldn’t wake up,” Babcock told the Star-Telegram. “He went in there and told [his parents] that she was sleeping and wouldn’t wake up.”
Sanders went to the bedroom and started screaming for his wife to call 911, saying the toddler was not breathing, according to court documents. When police arrived, Sanders was attempting to perform CPR on the child.
Ellie was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Doctors told police that the girl had numerous recent injuries, including petechial hemorrhaging in and around her eyes — commonly caused by asphyxiation — as well as bruising around the eyes, according to court documents. The blood behind her ear, doctor told police, could have been caused by trauma.
The bite marks, they said, appeared to be made by an adult.
The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death a homicide caused by asphyxiation.
Babcock, the Watauga police spokesman, told the Star-Telegram that investigators suspect Sanders killed Ellie by putting his hand over her mouth and pinning her down.
“Anthony, by his own admission, was the only adult that was in the residence during the time the injuries were inflicted upon his daughter which caused her death,” according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
Babcock said Sanders was arrested earlier this month at his mother’s home in Fort Worth. He has been transferred to Tarrant County jail, where he is being held on $1 million bail, according to booking records.
The Star-Telegram reported that Sanders was charged in July 2011 with choking Ellie’s mother, but the grand jury decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute him.
It’s unclear whether Sanders has an attorney.“It’s been a tough one for us to deal with working it and having to wait for the results,” Babcock told the Star-Telegram.