Faith Crimes

Aunty Beeb is carrying a piece on protecting children from the abusive effects of ‘child exorcisms’. On its face this seems to be just another case of cruel acts committed in the name of religious beliefs. We don’t need another example of that; everyone just uses the crusades or the middle east or Northern Ireland as their primary examples of evil in the name of God. The counter-argument from theists—and a valid one at that—is that those situations are essentially political and/or ethnic at their root and that the various religions involved are used as a more convenient Us-versus-Them dividing label. Theists argue that people will divide themselves by any available label, be it race, colour, class, or religion. They’re right.

In contrast, the situation described by the BBC piece is one that can only have the fairy-tale-like mythology aspect of religious belief at it’s heart. It can not be the result of using religion as an excuse or as a convenient delimiter. This is an evil that only exists because of the wonky world-view of its perpetrators. Whether that constitutes an argument against religious belief per-se is left as an exercise for the reader.

I hope that those involved are not let off lightly in the name of religious tolerance.