Ariel Castro, 53, apparently took his own life on September 3, 2013, at the correctional center in Ohio where he was serving a life sentence for kidnapping and raping three girls over a ten-year period. In an article titled, “Ohio man who held 3 women captive found hanged” (September 4), Associated Press writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins wrote that Castro had told the judge at his sentencing, “I’m not a monster. I’m sick,” claiming that he suffered from a pornography addiction.
However, addictions are a result, not a cause, of evil behaviors. In today’s culture it seems to be the norm to look for something or someone to blame rather than to take personal responsibility. The bartender didn’t stop me from drinking too much, and an accident resulted. Someone texted me and I had to read it—that’s why I wrecked the car. My teen is not purposely defiant—he has ADD (or any of a dozen other Behavior Disorders).
So whether or not Castro had a “Sociopathic Disorder,” at some point early on he made the choice to view pornography and then yielded to the temptation to do so repeatedly, so that it built deep neuro pathways in his brain. He could have resisted the urge to act on his perverted passions, but evidently he did not, and so sin escalated, which it always does when not denied.
James 1:13-16 NASB says, “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God,’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.”
Every one of us is capable of gross evil. We all are sinners by nature and by practice. That is why we need an eternal relationship with a forgiving God. His forgiveness is offered by grace—a free gift—not by merit, and is thus available to anyone, even the Ariel Castros of the world. We receive this gift by believing what God says (John 3:16; John 5:24; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23). See God’s Message of Hope for a complete understanding.
Meantime, Ariel Castro is gone from this world, but his three victims live on and must deal with what they suffered and with the reality of what Castro stole from them. In my next post, I will give hope to everyone who endures loss, victimization, and pain. The Bible has a formula for it: Grief here = Glory there. You will be amazed.
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 For an excellent and captivating study on neuroplasticity, see Dr. Norman Doidge,’s book, The Brain that Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Penguin Books, 2007.