Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Ever wondered what religion is doing to your children or indeed yourself. Consider the following extreme case. I don't want to imply that religion is the only source of abuse, merely one form of collectivism which is undermining human progress.
In a Sussex County court room, New Jersey, the jury heard how a woman made no effort to feed her four starving children, telling them God would provide for them as they grew weaker and hungrier by the day. Estelle Walker, 50, was found guilty of child endangerment. The children, aged 8, 9, 11 and 13, were so malnourished they could hardly speak when discovered by police in 2006. The jury of eight women and four men rejected the unusual defence claim that the New York City woman was not responsible for her actions because of her strict religious beliefs and what her lawyer called an extreme reliance on God. "She was acting to her stringent religious beliefs that God would provide. She lost weight when they lost weight ... She and the children prayed together.
At one point, Walker said to Supreme Court Judge N. Peter Conforti that “God will defend me”. She also told the judge she had been directed by prayer to reject a plea bargain that would have allowed her to go free with time served, or the one year she spent in jail before making bail. She now faces up to 10 years in prison for each of the four counts of second-degree endangerment.
Walker starved the children in a mountain cabin provided by the Manhattan-based Times Square Church, to which she belonged. At the time, she claimed she needed to escape an alcoholic husband. But when Walker refused to leave in May 2006, the church began eviction proceedings and cut off financial support that ranged from $700 to $1,000 per month.
In his closing arguments, Assistant Prosecutor Francis Koch portrayed Walker as a cunning, evil woman who used her religion as an excuse to get a rent-free lake house at the expense of her children’s health. Walker, he said, could have asked for help from friends and family members. Instead, Koch said, "she did nothing".
No one could criticise this woman for a lack of Christian virtue. Sure, there is other dogma which says that you should not test God's faith, but its a game where you stack one dogma up against another, its all enough to drive you insane. Here are some reasons why:
1. Original Sin: You are evil by nature so there is no prospect of doing any good anyway.
2. Dogma has no context so there is no possibility of 'measured virtue'. There is no hierarchy of values to say you are debasing a higher or more fundamental principle for an incidental one. For this reason, people have the potential to engage in unspeakable acts justified by a certain dogma, and at the neglect of another.
Of course some of you are going to argue that non-Christians are also capable of insanity. True enough, which is why I alluded to the other types of non-mystical collectivism which are evident in the world. It is however interesting to explore the relationship between the various mental disorders and values. The reason I think its interesting is because the greater number of 'nutters' seems to be in the Bible belts of countries like America.
Back to the issue of non-mystical collectivist nutters. My mind wonders to Japan. There are people doing some really crazy crimes in Japan. i.e. The kid who cut off his friend's mothers head and put it in her post box. Japan has heaps of such stories. But the country does have a low crime rate. I guess some people are just more accepting of collectivism.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
Attention all atheists!!
In fact anyone who has had an interesting encounter with a Christian which involved manipulation, deception or blatant rationalisation. This is research or material for a forthcoming book. I am not suggesting that all Christians are criminals, dangerous or threats to society, but I am suggesting that Christianity is a basis for moral inefficacy. There is a reason why Christian nations are always at war. There is a reason why former Christians (or children of Christians) have a tendency to drift into cults and extreme religious groups. Thank you for any life experiences you can recall. ----------------------------------------------- Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com