Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Warning - the subject of this post will sicken you!

I haven't posted anything about religion and my opposition to it in a while.  I've tried in the past to explain that my opposition to religion is NOT a criticism of all religion as practiced by many people, but the way that a whole lot of folks do practice it is in no uncertain terms sick, twisted and often simply insane.

I know that a lot of folks do a lot of good through their religion, and believe good things.  Kudos to them, and I mean that.  Please understand that what I am about to reveal to you is one of those sick, twisted things that some people do, and we are fortunate indeed that none of this is practiced in this country - or at least not that I know of.

But I want to make clear that the very existence of these practices, anywhere in the world, at least to me and a lot of other non-theists is plenty of reason to oppose religion of any kind and to work to reduce its influence wherever possible.   Because, you see, without the excuse of religion, this kind of cruelty would have at least one less reason to exist.

This article by the Huffington Post tells it all.  Children, some as young as eight, are denounced as witches, and their families often pay the accusing pastors as much as a year's wages to perform an exorcism to "remove" the influence of witchcraft.  These exorcisms often involve beatings, starvings, administration of such things as acid or being forced to eat cement.  Some children have even been buried alive.

As the article notes, these denouncements are driven by the need for churches to complete for attention, and being able to detect witchcraft in a society which believes in it is a valuable "skill".

All of this, of course, is nonsense.  Witches, like gods, do not exist.  Magic is merely the observance of natural forces unknown or not understood by the observer.  People, by nature, tend to see causation where none exists, and this is why man invented the scientific method to cut through the fog of our natural inclination to assign a cause where none exists.

As I noted above, however, this manifestation of religious fervor is beyond the pale.  To accuse innocent children is easy - they have no defense of their own and depend on the adults in their lives to protect them.  How can they protect themselves if those very adults are the ones perpetrating the violence against them?

Yes, these are extreme cases, and most christians or even practitioners of other religions, do not practice such horrifying activities - but were it not for religion and the superstitious beliefs that come along with it - especially in an ignorant and uneducated country - this would not happen.  I wish I could say that Americans were involved in trying to stop these practices - but the fact is that these things occur because of the spread of Evangelical Christianity - and it is the Evangelical churches in this country who are spreading their venom abroad.  Witness their active sponsoring of the "kill the gay" legislation in Uganda, for example.

All of this because of the christian imperative to spread the "word".  It is spread without concern or even knowledge of what the consequences are to primitive societies with already superstitious beliefs, which often destroys that society and combines in these horrific ways with these primitive superstitions to bring real harm to millions.

I am sorry, but missionary work to Africa should be illegal.  Period.

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