If Ron Lafferty were deemed mentally ill because he obeyed the voice of God, isn’t everyone who believes in God and seeks guidance through prayer mentally ill as well? In a democratic republic that aspires to protect religious freedom, who should have the right to declare that one person’s irrational beliefs are legitimate and commendable, while another person’s are crazy? How can a society actively promote religious faith on one hand and condemn a man for zealously adhering to his faith on the other?
Under the Banner of Heaven - A Story of Violent Faith by Jon Krakauer is a work of non-fiction exploring two main stories: the origin of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the 1984 murders committed by Ron and Dan Lafferty, two brothers who subscribed to a fundamentalist version of Mormonism. The Lafferty brothers believe God commanded them to murder another brother’s wife and her 15 month old daughter.
This investigative book explores all aspects of the Mormon and Mormon Fundamentalist faiths and the extremes surrounding both. Jon Krakauer is a brilliant writer, and although this book contains an incredible amount of information, it was still an interesting, albeit unimaginably shocking, read. One that forces the reader to think and ask questions....
excellent qualities in a book, in my opinion.