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Posted by tungtide on June 2, 2008, 7:35 pm

I don’t believe that this is representative of most religious people. I do however, wonder about the use of invoking god as a rationale for the murder of another human.

In the example above, a religious cult caused the death of an 18-month-old boy because they believed him to be possessed by a demon.

Khadan-Newton said investigators told her cult members grew angry after Javon would not say “amen” at mealtime, even though the baby was just learning to say basic words.

The grandmother was attempting to save the boy, but ultimately failed. Because of his inability to speak the word “amen” the boy was starved to death and physically abused. The three members of the cult, 1 Mind Ministries (no information was available about this group that I could find), have been arrested and bail has been denied for two of them.

There is no logical rationale for action like this. First of all, a child cannot be possessed by something that does not exist. Second, a child that can barely speak should not be denied food for failing to pay tribute to an imaginary creature. Religion, in this form, is extremely harmful because it overwhelms any sense of intelligent thought. We do, however, live in a culture that is willing and able to prosecute those responsible.

Also back in May the Guardian published a story about Rand Abdel-Qader, a 17-year-old girl in Basra, Iraq. She was murdered by her own father and brothers in an aptly misnamed “honor killing.” Her crime was speaking to a British soldier and becoming infatuated with him. This murder was actually condoned by the local police force and no charges have been levied against any of the involved parties. The mother, Leila Hussein, was unable to stop the murder and was forced to flee the area shortly after. In a compounding tragedy, Leila was also murdered, although not by her ex-husband.

Why do I link these two tragedies? They occur for the same reason, even though the punishments may differ. A false belief in god and the clinging to barbaric rituals has resulted in the deaths of people who did nothing wrong. There is no rationale for these actions, no excuse, and certainly no higher power directing these actions.

2 Responses to “Rationale”

  1. ERS said

    But dishonor killings are pre-Islamic and un-Islamic. They have more to do with culture than with faith.

    And another big difference between these two cases is that the Iraqi father who murdered his daughter was congratulated by the police and is walking free.

    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”

  2. tungtide said

    I agree completely that “honor killings” have more to do with culture than faith, still, these acts are now promoted and condoned by the faithful. The influence of religion on the culture (and vice versa) is creating a system where crimes such as these go unpunished.

    While the punishments associated with the two crimes described are completely different, my point was that they are both the result of an over-reliance on religion and faith and are easily preventable (in an ideal world, at least). Neither Americans nor Iraqis should be allowed to be responsible for the deaths of others in the name of religion.

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