Earlier I was watching the back and forth on social media between an atheist and someone who professed to be a member of religion; the atheist had posted a video of two muslim women discussing what level of domestic battery is permitted between husband and wife and how to do one’s wife-beating properly. The atheist decried this and the religious apologist went on the defensive and made the point that many atheists also commit wrongs and that the non-religious assault people too. In my opinion and based on my experience this is apples and oranges, though many people don’t understand clearly why this is a false equivalency.
The best way I can think of to explain it is this way: if the atheist, whom I’ll call person A, goes out and punches someone in the head, he’s not an agent or representation of anyone but himself. If asked to explain himself, he will simply respond, ‘I wanted to do it, so I did it’, or ‘I was in a bad mood’, or ‘that person made me angry’ and so on and so forth.
However, the muslim ladies in the video were talking about domestic battery as part of religious law. Corporal punishment of children is also something that is recommended by religious texts, and genital mutilation of both boys and girls is done for religious purposes, though muslims who are predominantly the faith that practices this are wont to deny that this is a faith-based practice; the more publicity this practice receives the more frequent the protestations that it is not ‘islamic’ despite the fact that muslims are far and away the most active practitioners of this torture and maiming of female children. They are not denying it to the little girls who are mutilated though; one survivor, model Waris Dirie, makes this religious incentive explicitly clear in this interview about her own experience of FGM, during which she was told the procedure was being done for God.
Here is where the big difference between secular crimes and religious depravity comes into play; religionists are invoking Gods. Having had some experience on a legal dissociative with these deities or spiritual beings or whatever you want to call them, I can attest that they do fit much of the descriptive language sometimes used of them; they are incredibly pure, loving beings, so much so that to encounter them feels as if one has encountered something that is not even existent on earth, at least at this period in time. Not only are these beings incredibly holy in the most clear sense of the world, but they are deeply conscious of the state of religious practice and it is clear beyond what is probably within my capability to express how much they are appalled and deeply disturbed that these horrific crimes are being committed against children in their names. Anyone who has ever experienced the overwhelming sense of lovingness that these beings exude will instantly understand that all crimes of violence committed in the name of religion are human motivated in origin and have nothing to do with any God beings, who by their very nature would never commit such acts.
But the religionist invokes the names of these beings in order to justify their own depravity. It is as if I blamed the atheist for the fact that I personally committed a violent act; though the atheist had no foreknowledge of my intent and claimed no responsibility for it and was outraged at my suggestion that he somehow was responsible for motivating me to commit the crime against another. The atheist would take every opportunity to distance himself from any suggestion that he had anything at all to do with my criminology and this is how the God beings seem to regard acts of religious depravity, though as creators of our planet and everything on it including us they can’t really abandon their creation. But to suggest that they have something to do with anyone committing violence against anyone, such as acts of domestic violence and child abuse, well, that just does not fly with them. And it is far worse to commit a violent act and invoke the name of a deity or spiritual being than to just admit that one wanted to do violence to another and did, which is what the atheist in my example did. The crime of the religionist in this example is far greater and far more profoundly abusive, because not only do they do violence but they evoke the name of the most profoundly loving and benevolent beings in the universe to do so, beings that are so good-willed they seem almost not only to radiate love but to *be* pure love. To attribute one’s own desire to do evil to those beings in the name of religion doctrine is quite frankly an evil act, far worse than person A punching someone in the head and then admitting they just felt like doing it.
Copyright 2017 Starshine Kerr. All Rights Reserved.