Most of the time when I write these entries the people I’m talking about aren’t too crazy. As in they’re not holy-shit-I-hope-they-don’t-live-near-me crazy. Often I’m just poking a little light hearted fun at their silliness while pointing out that we really have no reason not to accept their claims that God told them to do something stupid like the ladies in the last entry I made on this topic.
Unfortunately not everyone who is pushed over the edge by their faith is so harmless. In Chile four people have been arrested for burning a 3-day-old baby to death because they believed she was the anti-christ:
The 3-day-old baby was taken to a hill in the town of Colliguay near the Chilean port of Valparaiso on Nov. 21 and was thrown into a bonfire. The baby’s mother, 25-year-old Natalia Guerra, had allegedly approved the sacrifice and was among those arrested.
“The baby was naked. They strapped tape around her mouth to keep her from screaming. Then they placed her on a board. After calling on the spirits they threw her on the bonfire alive,” said Miguel Ampuero, of the Police investigative Unit, Chile’s equivalent of the FBI.
Now when push comes to shove I really don’t give a shit if you believe in a God or Gods until your faith starts to interfere in the life of others. You can’t really interfere much more severely than by throwing someone onto a bonfire. The fact that it was a 3-day-old child just makes you that much more of a waste of life.
It would be easy to write these barbarians off as ignorant assholes who are probably too stupid to breathe without written instructions, but that’s clearly not the case here:
“Everyone in this sect was a professional,” Ampuero said. “We have someone who was a veterinarian and who worked as a flight attendant, we have a filmmaker, a draftsman. Everyone has a university degree. “
These weren’t ignorant, backwards peasants falling victim to their lack of education. These were otherwise intelligent people who allowed their faith in the apocalypse to drive them to commit what can only be described as an atrocity. The fact that the mother was a willing participant just boggles my mind.
At least with folks like the followers of Harold Camping that went around telling us how the world was going to end in May of 2011 they only people they really ended up hurting was themselves and that was mostly in the form of embarrassment with a little job quitting/giving away all their money to drive the point home. They didn’t burn any babies alive.
The truly sad part is that the point I made in the previous light-hearted entry still stands: If you accept the idea that there is a God who speaks to his followers and gives them instructions then how can you justify questioning the actions of these true believers? Especially given some of the stories in the Bible in which such murderous decrees from God are not only accepted as OK, but held up as great examples of people being truly faithful?
As for these folks, my knee-jerk reaction is that they should meet the same end as that child. Let them have a taste of their own medicine so they’ll truly understand what they subjected that infant to. That would be cruel and inhumane and would reduce us to their level, but damned if it’s not a tempting thing to call for.