The articles of faith, any faith and not just the religious variety; are dangerous inasmuch as they can lead to messed up situations such as this one.
Believing that anything is possible, that the laws of nature can be circumvented by whatever imaginary deity you have fixated upon in your favour, can and does lead people to irrational behaviours they otherwise might never indulge in if they did not hold these ridiculous notions of faith.
So always, whenever a tragedy such as this one occurs, it is just not enough to mourn the young life lost or denounce whichever madman carried out the act; we must be brave enough to call out faith and dogma for what it is, and for its sometimes unsavoury side effects.
To do anything less would be akin to condoning barbarity.
A four year old boy was beheaded by a 35 year old man in a remote part of India. The death was supposed to be a sacrifice to the Hindu goddess ‘Kali’, who was supposed to bestow some divine powers upon this man for his sacrifice.
Police say the accused, P Tirumala Rao, used a sickle to carry out the wicked act, the Times of India reports. He abducted the child who was returning home from nursery school in the remote Pokur village at Valetivaripalem mandal in Prakasam district of India’s Andhra Pradesh state.
The boy’s parents and a brother of the accused rushed to his residence upon a tip off they could find him there, but all they found was his headless body lying in a pool of blood. According to the Indian website, “Rao performed black magic and various pujas as he believed he would attain divine powers and wealth by human sacrifice. The accused is believed to have filled the blood in a bottle and offered it to deities.”
Angry villagers abducted the accused, who was trying to flee the village; tied him to a tree, doused him with kerosene and set him on fire. He was rescued by village elders who handed him to the police, before he was taken to a nearby hospital.
Police say they would interrogate Rao after he recovers from his wounds. They found a rope at his residence, which might indicate he strangled the boy before beheading him.
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Bad people do bad things, we often like to say. With our without religion, people would do sh*tty stuff. True, but often we provide them a framework, a justification, and most importantly a trigger for these kinds of rotten actions. And as Christopher Hitchens used to say, try to think of an act of violence committed by someone in the name of their God and you wouldn’t have to think past five seconds.
And faith and religion always gets a free pass in these situations, where we are told a true ‘Christian’ or ‘Muslim’ or ‘Hindu’ would not carry out such an act. All these excuses, and excuses they are, often gloss over the fact that the holy books of these religions are filled with atrocities of this sort, page after page, and God sanctioned most of the time.
I asked a Christian friend what he thought of this story immediately it came to my attention, he said it was a gruesome, horrible act. Yet Christianity is the religion that celebrates the ritual, human sacrifice of one God-man, to wipe away the sin of all. I’m not seeing the difference; you kill a human being as a sacrifice to serve a certain purpose.
There are many other examples, the case of Abraham, patriarch of all three Abrahamic religions, is another. Under the histories of these three religions, human sacrifice is not necessarily a bad thing. Thankfully, most societies have moved past it, but the scriptures remain for anyone who wants to interpret them in the murderous way to do so.