TAE still pedantic?
The “religious zealot” characterization strikes me as odd. Reading on, the “cult” reference seemed reasonable (tyrannical control over the family, forbidding contact with the outside world, presenting himself as divinely inspired). But there was nothing to suggest that Wesson was driven by an excessive commitment to a particular religious doctrine. He is just plain disturbed. He seems more like a Charles Manson type figure, who himself headed a cult and even referred to himself as Christ, but who, as far as I am aware, was never characterized as a “religious zealot”.
A US court has convicted a man of killing nine of his children, many of whom he had fathered through incest.
Marcus Wesson, a 58-year-old religious zealot who ran his family like a cult, could face the death penalty.
I checked into other sources on the story – the AP and Reuters seem to be the primary source for all of them – and while all of them made the “cult” reference (as did the prosecutors at the trial), not one of them characterized Wesson as a “religious zealot”.
Am I being too pedantic, or is the BBC, in its general suspicion of and hostility towards religion (except, of course, Islam), vaguely laying the blame for this on religion rather than simply on a warped mind?