Let the man kill his goats in peace!
In America you hear a lot of talk about why religious freedoms are important, and people should have a right to practice their faith as they see fit. Usually when someone says this, it’s their particular rights that are being infringed, often by other religious folks who find certain cultures and practices to be both alien and disturbing. Here is an interesting article about a Texas man named Jose Merced who believes in a very unpopular religion called Santeria, and his rituals includes the live slaughter of goats, turtles, lambs and birds (dozens of them at once) in his home. The whole thing is a bloody mess, although it seems like this guy at leasts eats everything he kills (so there’s not too much waste).
It appears his Texan neighbors aren’t too happy with his slaughterfest, and the city is trying all kinds of tactics to prevent him from doing this within city limits. Mr. Merced fought back, citing his Constitutional right to practice his religion as he sees fit. Besides, he says, Texas isn’t exactly the safest state for animals; people regularly hunt and fish, and no one is bugging them.
I find the slaughter of animals to be a disgusting remnant of a more primitive time, but I eat meat, so who the hell am I to judge? I love it when Christians are faced with the reality of what “freedom of religion” really means. Is it surprising most people actually don’t really believe all religious customs should be respected and allowed? I’m inclined to agree with them many should not, but at the same time, how do you distinguish which ones should and shouldn’t be allowed? Here’s an idea: educate people so they stop thinking cutting the throats of small animals to appease an angry and jealous god is a huge waste of time, energy, and is utterly senseless. Once you’re done with that, also teach them that the belief in God was a way for our ignorant ancestors to explain the forces of nature in a way they could understand. If you’re not willing to do that just yet, I suggest you let that crazy bastard kill and eat all the damn goats he wants!
(props to James for another great find)