Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Ashley Smith and Brian Nichols

After murdering four people, Brian Nichols is talked into a ’purpose driven life’ by Ashley Smith.

Peggy Noonan wraps up this remarkable story in her article, ’Flannery O’Connor Country’.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Ashley Smith deserves great praise for calming her captor and for bringing him in for justice. She also did so unsurprisingly by embracing him through Christian love. However, I was a little disturbed by some of her quotes that "he’s really not a bad guy" or something to that effect. The lessons contained in the book would certainly recognize man as an inherent sinner and the great evil that man is capable of, and which Nichols acted on. We misunderstand evil when we attribute it to being an inhuman monster rather than recognizing the sinfulness of reasonable, rational men who choose evil (all of us) in small or large ways.

I think in the face of her direct experience with Nichols, she has every right to say "he’s really not a bad guy". After all he did to other people, he became human with her, and she had the insight to see it. He should be punished for his crimes, but for a moment, he was able to BE a human being and she was there to witness it.

...and apparently "embracing him with Christian love" also included sharing her stash of crystal meth. Oops! From the article:

"She says he asked for marijuana, but she did not have any, and she dug into her illegal stash of crystal meth instead."


"During the ordeal, Smith says, she pulled out Rick Warren’s book "The Purpose-Driven Life" and read to Nichols a chapter called "Using What God Gave Me" to gain his trust."

So, I wonder if God gave her the meth? Apparently, the book can really help a person, especially if read in conjunction with being taken hostage by a fugitive killer.

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