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Archive for July 18th, 2010

Not learned much in 600 years, have we ... ?

Lest anyone get the idea that I am inclined to chew on the ass of only one religion, I’ll range more widely today and slam effects of worship all the way to witchcraft.

Subscribing to a bit of the old double, double can seem nothing more than a giggle, but as is the case with all who take hocuspocus as gospel, be it the Eucharist or “He turned me into a newt!”, it always results in damage to some innocent bystander.

Today’s example comes from the BBC in this report on an increasing number of kids in Africa being accused of witchcraft, and the horrible consequences of those accusations.

A new Unicef report warns that children accused of being witches – some as young as eight – have been been burned, beaten and even killed as punishment.

(… burned, beaten AND EVEN KILLED … What the hell sort of sentence is that? Oh … never mind … )

In rounding up the usual suspects, it’s orphans, street kids, albinos and the disabled, mainly boys between the ages of 8 and 14 who are victims.

Unicef … always so good at counting atrocities, but not so hot on preventing them … reports that 20,000 street kids have been tarred with the black magic brush in Kinshasa, DRC alone.

The agency [Unicef] said there was little it could do about the belief in witchcraft itself, and that it was not trying to eradicate the practice. But it said violence against children was wrong, and that it would do everything it could to stop it.

Well … isn’t that special?

Urbanization and war are fingered as prompts for a shift from picking on old crones and focusing on kids as harbingers of evil sorcery as more and more children fend for themselves in ways that just might make some uncomfortable. Of course, there’s always a few folks who have figured there’s a buck or two to be made, as well.

It is reported that some evangelical preachers have added to the problem by charging large sums for exorcisms. One was recently arrested in Nigeria after charging more than $250 for each procedure.

When some of those rituals involve petrol being poured into the eyes, one must wonder at the price of fuel.

As logical as it gets ...

Being me of little faith, the whole disambiguation song and dance has always been a puzzler. I get that paganism, being an outdoor activity that didn’t make a lot of dosh, was an unpopular option to offer potential church members, but didn’t anyone twig to the fact that anyone with the sorts of powers accused could easily avoid the horrific demise those devout Christians so relished?

But it’s never been about sense. As Nietzsche so aptly put it, “’Faith’ means not wanting to know what is true.”

True is that tens of thousands of children are being tortured and murdered over something that J.K. Rowling has made a mint from.

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