This was originally published on Liberal America on June 8, 2017.
Trigger Warning: Disturbing content.
Michelle Carter, the woman who texted her boyfriend urging him to kill himself, goes to trial this week. She has waived the right to a jury trial, so her sentence will be decided by a judge directly.
Conrad Roy III killed himself in July of 2014. She sent him text messages such as:
“If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it.”
He died of carbon monoxide poisoning inside of his pickup truck nearby. Carter is being charged with involuntary manslaughter.
This case raises many questions. Can she be charged with murder if she wasn’t even with the victim? Can a person be found guilty of murder just based on what she said in text messages?
The prosecutors have dozens of text messages urging Roy to kill himself. The prosecutor’s opening statement said Carter played a “sick game” with Roy’s life. Carter was seeking the attention of being the “grieving girlfriend.”
Carter first urged him to get help. Then, she brainstormed ways for him to commit suicide. Carter even got impatient urging him to get the generator for the carbon monoxide. She kept telling him to quit pushing it off and just do it already. Here are some of the messages from the day that he did it and the days before his body was found:
On July 11, 2014, the day before Roy died:
CARTER: “ … Well in my opinion, I think u should do the generator because I don’t know much about the pump and with a generator u can’t fail”
On July 12, 2014, a day before Roy’s body was found:
CARTER: “So I guess you aren’t gonna do it then, all that for nothing”
CARTER: “I’m just confused like you were so ready and determined”
ROY: “I am gonna eventually”
ROY: “I really don’t know what I’m waiting for. . but I have everything lined up”
CARTER: “No, you’re not, Conrad. Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action”
CARTER: “You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off, you just have to do it”
CARTER: “Do u wanna do it now?”
ROY: “Is it too late?”
ROY: “Idkk it’s already light outside”
ROY: “I’m gonna go back to sleep, love you I’ll text you tomorrow”
CARTER: “No? Its probably the best time now because everyone’s sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck. And no one’s really out right now because it’s an awkward time”
CARTER: “If u don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it”
CARTER: “And u can say you’ll do it tomorrow but you probably won’t”
With the stream of undeniable texts, it is no surprise that she waived a jury trial. I don’t think I could sit at a table with 12 astonished faces staring at me wondering what kind of a monster I was for encouraging another human being to end his life.
Do you think she feels remorse? Or are the tears just for the cameras?
When he was campaigning, President Donald Trump campaigned hard among white Christian voters. An overwhelming number of the people who voted for him identify as Evangelical Christians.
As the Washington Post reported:
“White evangelicals are the religious group that most identifies with the Republican Party, and 76 percent of them say they are or lean Republican, according to a 2014 survey. As a group, white evangelicals make up one-fifth of all registered voters and about one-third of all voters who identify with or lean toward the GOP.”
So, I guess it’s no surprise that Trump quickly moved to relax restrictions on churches’ political activities.
This push toward religion is likely to piss off a growing portion of the American population: atheists. One study found that up to 20 percent of the American population is not religious.
Another survey found that roughly a third of Americans feel warmly towards atheists, while another third of Americans believe that an atheist should be banned from becoming president.
The stigma surrounding people who don’t believe in God is crushing the freedom of belief in this country. We are supposed to have freedom of religion, but it doesn’t always apply to atheists.
As an atheist, I think we should fight back against Trump’s Evangelicals and the religious policies he is trying to enact. The repeal of the Johnson Amendment goes directly against the Constitution under the guise of “religious freedom.”
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is suing the Trump administration over this new executive order. This allows churches and other religious organizations to endorse political candidates without losing their tax-exempt status.
This is the kind of fighting back I like to see. Churches shouldn’t be allowed to get involved in politics, especially since they don’t pay taxes.
Annie Laurie Gaylor, an executive director with the FFRF, said:
“Trump is communicating to churches that his administration will not enforce the Johnson Amendment. The IRS needs clear direction that it must enforce the law equally.”
This is the kind of fighting that I like to see.
Here is Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, on why he couldn’t vote for Trump in the election: