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Has Jon Venables found God?

The sadistic child murderer Jon Venables has turned to religion. But has he turned to God? Here is the answer.

Venables tortured and murdered two-year-old James Bulger in 1993 together with Robert Thompson. Last month, in June 2010, Venables was jailed for breaking his parole after child pornography was found on his computer.

Prison sources said Venables has met with a Roman Catholic priest, at his own request, and now also spends hours reading the Bible in his cell. He says that now God will forgive him for his crimes.

If Jon Venables has turned to God, then God will forgive him for his crimes, there is no doubt of that.

However if he is only spinning a yarn in a sensation seeking pity party then he is worse off than he was before. At least before he was merely a despicable measly sinner. He now risks adding religious hypocrisy and taking the Lord’s Name in vain to his list of crimes that will be rolled up in front of him on Judgement Day.

Spending hours making crucifixes out of lengths of string is not enough to placate an angry God. For that there is the added requirement of repentance. True repentance is more than saying sorry. It is sincere remorse for the thing done.

Venables is not the first murderer with behaviour that reminds one of a certain personality disorder that has claimed he has “Seen the light,” and turned to God. Those who do not really believe in God, or any other deity, do so to make life easier in prison. They are there and accept the fact, and then need to show they have changed to justify getting better treatment.

Maybe I am cynical, but I think Venables is privately relieved that he will not need to attend Mass. He is excused, as he is kept segregated from other prisoners for his own safety.

The reason for my cynicism is that Jon Venables’s new found religiosity is self-centred; it is about him finding God and his sins being forgiven. A true repentance would focus on, and show remorse for, what he did to that poor toddler James Bulger and the grief he has caused the little boy’s parents.

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