More religious tragedy

Your average, moderately religious person is deathly afraid of cults. It’s not the brainwashing they are afraid of, but rather the type of brainwashing that is used. After all, the most distinguishing characteristics of cults is that they usually take a very literal approach to their religion, and this uncomfortable reality often reminds the faithful there is a dark side to their own belief system.

Consider the following case in Baltimore: a mother denies her 16 month old son food and water because he did not say “Amen” at mealtimes. This of course may seem harsh by modern ethical standards, but in most old world religions, this type of stuff happened all the time. It’s not uncommon for parents to commit filicide (murdering your own child has a name, so you know it happens quite a bit), and the Bible has special rules about disobedient children that demands they be stoned to death.

If this was the end of the craziness, it would be only another sad tragedy brought to you by religion, but this case is special: The mother along with other congregants of the ‘One Mind Ministries’ prayed over the boy’s body for days thinking they could resurrect him. The court psychiatrist concluded before the trial the mother was not insane since she was following religious doctrine, and her beliefs were shared by others who also participated in the neglect of the child (see, if one person believes they are Napoleon, he’s crazy. If 20 people agree with him, he’s a prophet). If this sounds like a massive cop out, consider what their ‘expert’ psychiatrist said before the trial:

Although an inability to think critically can be a sign of brainwashing, experts said, the line between that and some religious beliefs can be difficult to discern.

“At times there can be an overlap between extreme religious conviction and delusion,” said Robert Jay Lifton, a cult expert and psychiatrist who lectures at Harvard Medical School. “It’s a difficult area for psychiatry and the legal system.”

It’s only difficult because we refuse to admit all religious convictions are a form of delusion. Most of the time these delusions are benign, but when books like the Bible are suddenly taken literally, the result is often sad, tragic, and terrible. To some degree or another, all religions are cultist in nature; how much devotion and uncritical thinking they encourage will determine whether or not they can coexist with society. Personally, I find them all equally revolting, but for vastly different reasons.

Another sad death caused by religious stupidity, gullibility, and the unenlightened words of the Bible. Why are we still reading this fucking book in the 21st century? If it’s any comfort, the woman in this story agreed to cooperate, but asked that the sentence be reduced if her son is resurrected during her incarceration. Yep, totally sane woman here, doc.

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Comments (2)

  • avatar

    Karla

    I think this trumps the case in Wisconsin or Minnesota of the woman who had died on the toilet and her daughter was under the “guidance” of a cult bishop & told her the woman would come back to life so they left her there to rot on the john.

    How in hell is a 16 month old supposed to say “Amen” anyway? It’d just be imitating sounds and would mean nothing. But God apparently doesn’t want cognitive ability in followers anyway. Blind parroting works just fine.

    “1 Mind Ministries” – well, at least they’re honest with the Borg Principle. But this girl seemed to have it good – she wasn’t in apparently dire straits or anything so that she’d need this as a crutch. Just how do supposedly “smart” people fall in with these crowds? Needing to have an answer, ANY answer?

  • avatar

    Tom

    You’re allowed to stone disobidient children? I wouldn’t have any kids left in my swimming group if I followed that.

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