'Communicating with God' = Insanity

911 tapes show alarmed family in exorcism case

Ronald Marquez and his 19-year-old daughter believed they were communicating with God and deceased relatives before they performed what family members described as an exorcism on Marquez’s young granddaughter, according to 911 tapes obtained Monday. Family members called police three times in a one-hour span on July 28.

Officers arrived at the home near 24th Street and McDowell Road in Phoenix, and said they found Marquez holding his 3-year-old granddaughter in a headlock. As Marquez choked his bloodied granddaughter, the girl’s mother, naked and bloody, looked on, chanted and held a religious picture, police said.

Officers stunned Marquez, 48, with a Taser and he later died at a nearby hospital.

Many others have already posted on this story, and Ronald Marquez gets a Darwin Award for sure. Because he caused his own death through religious insanity, I’ve also tagged this story as a religion inspired murder. Clearly, he would have killed his young granddaughter if police hadn’t intervened. Then he would have been eligible for what Aaron Kinney calls the “Offspring Murder Club.”

But seriously, folks. When we see something like this, some people will say “Oh, he was insane to begin with.”

I want to challenge this for the lie that it is. When ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, the president, or anyone else claims to speak for god, they are expressing insanity. Because what is sure to follow, like night follows day, is some outrageous claim or action. When the claimant prefaces a remark or action with “god said,” what they are really saying is: “I want you to accept what I’m doing (saying), and I don’t want to have to explain why.”

How would you explain choking your three-year-old grandaughter while her naked 19-year-old mother who was covered in blood looked on while chanting and holding a religious picture?

Insanity. There is no other word for it. Think about that next time a friend or relative says “God wants me to…”

Comments (8 comments)

Doris Tracey / August 14th, 2007, 12:46 pm / #1


These people were definately separated from reality and the God they were praying to was not a positive God thats for sure. That poor 3yr. old may be traumatized for a very long time, if not for life. Do the majority of people who have religion commit these horrifying acts or do the people in the name of religion commit these so called religious crimes? When an individual is inner directed to do something and doesn’t call it God or anything like that, would that still be considered insanity? Or is insanity being directed to doing something negative, like murder?

BlackSun / August 14th, 2007, 1:08 pm / #2


This has nothing to do with “which” god a person is praying to. The problem is when someone uses communication with invisible voices or beings to justify their actions. The goal seems to be to keep their decision making process immune to argument.

“Inner directed” is another phrase for intuition, which should not be given any sort of privileged status. Acting on intuition alone can lead to just as absurd results as “talking to god,” which for all intents and purposes is the same thing. Calling it ‘god’ tends to make other people ask fewer questions, so it’s a strategy which gets employed fairly often for manipulative purposes.

Sane people base their actions on facts, logic, and reason. If they experience intuition, they check it against the facts. And when their actions affect others, they don’t mind being called to account for them.

Vince / August 14th, 2007, 1:47 pm / #3

Clearly these morons are insane but it is sanctioned insanity. If you told someone you spoke to Benjamin Franklin and he was providing you with “answers” and guiding your life, pepole would label you as insane(rightly so) and you would be treated accordingly. However if your imaginary friend is god, well…then, it’s all OK. This is how so-called religious moderates who don’t practice this type of medieval barbarism feed the delusions of the more religiously afflicted.

I posted about this incident 2 weeks ago on my blog

as a matter of fact it inspired me to start writing a blog to express my own vies on religion: Non Credo Deus

Great site by the way! Keep up the good work.

John P / August 14th, 2007, 3:09 pm / #4

Since he’s already produced offspring, his genes are back in the gene pool, so he may not be technically qualified for a Darwin Award. :)

Anyone who’s been to my blog may have seen my favorite quote, which is apropos to your insanity allusion:

The President of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God. Now, if he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim more ludicrous or more offensive.- Sam Harris

BlackSun / August 14th, 2007, 3:15 pm / #5

@ Vince, like your site too.

@ John P :-) Yes you are technically correct about the Darwin Award, though I think he still qualifies since, left to his own devices, he would have snuffed out his granddaughter at least. And who knows what he had in mind for the naked daughter?

Doris Tracey / August 15th, 2007, 6:27 am / #6


The day before yesterday I went to the Media District Court and heard many hearings. There was one man who said to the Judge I heard voices telling me to do the crime he was there for and the Judge said to him that it was not normal to hear voices tell you to commit a crime and he laughed and said that he must be special and she then ordered him to go to counceling and if it happens again he will go to prison for a long time. Most sane people know you should never listen to any voice telling you to do anything negative. I believe your conscience can give you constructive Inner direction and what is wrong with listening to that? I’m not talking about hearing negative voices directing people. That’s where critical thinking comes into view. Let your conscience be your guide and of course one can hear the still small voice from within directing you into clear direction.

BlackSun / August 15th, 2007, 9:13 am / #7


The point is this: Your conscience is what you use to check your impulses, whether you consider them to originate from your own thoughts, from ‘god’ or from voices in your head.

People who think ‘god’ is talking to them end up bypassing their conscience since ‘god’ or the voices have become effectively their conscience. So if the ‘voice of god’ tells them to do something, even if it’s negative, they do it without hesitation. This is symptomatic of mental illness.

Healthy critics and censors are essential to the functioning of the human mind. And they involve acknowledgement of social norms and boundaries. It doesn’t matter where a thought originated; a healthy person will figure out on their own whether or not it’s a good idea.

Fallen_Angel / May 9th, 2008, 8:16 am / #8

Just for the record…everyone is mentally insane to a ceratin extent…wheater or not you let yourself fall further into insanity is totally up to you…and yes we all are…you can’t tell me you never told yourself something to remind yourself or say” shit i forgot the eggs again damn it why can’t i ever remember one simple thing”…second….wheather you believe me or not on this one is up to you just don’t try pushing your belifes of me….there is always deceased loved one near us at all times wheather we can see them or not they are there like”ghost or spirits” when we are ready to believe that then they will show themselfs to us…yes we are truly never alone…but then again someone might read this and call me insane…well guess what…i already am…and im not afraid to say it…if you have anything agains what i say because im not afaid to so to extremes myself…well it just goes to show how unsure of yourslef you truly are…you believe what others tell you to believe…DON”T…believe in what you choose to…

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