Boy has 42 needles stuck in body during bizarre ritual
I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this story for hours, and I still can’t figure it out. It seems as though a 2 year old boy was the victim of a bizarre religious ritual which involved sticking “blessed” sewing needles into his body, some of which punctured his heart, his lungs, and other vital organs. His stepfather, Roberto Carlos Magalhaes, claims he did this while under a supposed trance from his secret lover, a woman named Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos. Dos Santos paid to have all 42 needles blessed by a priestess of a religion called Candomble, which I won’t go in detail about (it’s like any other form of animism: stupid and pointless). Over the span of a month, all of them were shoved in various places in his body. Fucking horrible, no?
The most annoying part of this article has to be when the director of Afro-Brazilian studies at the University of Brasilia, Nelson Inocencio, expressed concern that this incident might lead people to be prejudiced against other Afro-Brazilian religions, which he argues do not have a history of harmful rituals. I think any belief that allows you to simply make shit up is harmful, regardless of its history. I’m sure once upon a time plenty of religions didn’t have violent or harmful practices; they just evolved naturally over time (you start to sacrifice simple shit to your gods, and next thing you know you’re throwing virgins into a volcano). It’s not like Candomble is based on objective reality anyways, so why are we surprised when some of its practitioners start doing crazy shit? It would be such a shame if people stopped believing in nonsense, right Nelson?
(thanks Jeff for the link)