As Halloween was approaching, my friend Secular Scarlet suggested that I retweet the link to my post from earlier this year entitled “Suffer Not a Witch To Live“. Apropos of the link between witches and the candy-coated, party atmosphere of Halloween.
If you read it, you’ll know that the post was not at all fun or happy in any respect, but I decided to Tweet it anyway.
Now, I’m not one to drop names, but I was gratified to see that the well-known singer, Alison Moyet retweeted it, and I am grateful for the exposure that her tweet will have provided. Not for any personal aggrandizement I hope you understand, but because it is too important a story to be forgotten.
Basically, it’s the story of a clearly mentally ill woman who was attacked and set on fire by a baying mob in Nigeria after accusations that she was a witch.
If you watch the video, you will clearly see a police officer standing by and doing nothing to protect her, in fact only one man tried to help by using a stick to try and keep the crowds back.
It was truly horrifying.
So, Ms Moyet’s initial tweet:
Started a short twitter exchange:
Which culminated in that beautiful tweet by @crowcorvine. I’ll show it again:
I think @crowcorvine has encapsulated the problem with religion in one sweet sentence.
Now don’t get me wrong, I have no problem at all with you believing in any mythological deity figure you wish. Really I don’t. As long as your personal beliefs don’t impinge on others. After all, some religions required sacrifice, both animal and human. Whilst others seek to curb the human rights of those who follow them.
Not only that, but they also seek to actively push their religious beliefs on me, sometimes with double talk and leaflets, but also at the point of a sword. We’ve all seen the videos of beheadings and torture carried out in the Middle East in the name of Islam, the “Religion of Peace”
Christianity too has a long and bloody history that goes back even further into antiquity than Islam, and many say that it has grown beyond this sort of behaviour. After all, the usual is to mention the Crusades or the Spanish Inquisition when talking about the horrors inflicted on the masses by the Christian church.
And then we see images like this:
A sick, old woman beaten and burned alive in 2014.
Yep! Christianity has clearly shown itself to have matured into a kind, loving and tolerant religion.
Now it could be that there was an ulterior motive for the accusation and subsequent brutality. Maybe she owned land that her accuser badly wanted and this was the most efficient means to get her out of the way. Or perhaps her eccentric behaviour was upsetting the children in the neighbourhood.
But that would be missing the point. The point is that religion was so easily used as the excuse for this brutal murder. A murder that has never seen any of the guilty face justice of any kind.
What does that tell you about religious ideologies?
It tells me that it can be and is used to promote violence and hatred for the most ridiculous of reasons against innocent people.
And before anyone accuses me of picking on Christianity and Islam, but ignoring other religions such as, for instance, Buddhism, that bastion of peaceful love and cosmic transcendence…
So you see, regardless of how a religion may paint itself as tolerant and peaceful, it can always be used to promote violence, brutality and terrorism.
The sooner religion is consigned to history, the better!