I’m sitting in LAX reading the NYTimes. On page A8 there is a snap shot of religion at its worst:
Item A: Salvador Court Denies Abortion to Ailing Woman. A woman with lupus is pregnant and her doctor tells her that carrying the baby to term may well kill her. The court denied her an abortion saying that the life of the mother cannot trump the life of the unborn baby. But wait, there’s more. The mother has another young child to care for at home, so her death will impact not only her unborn baby who will born without a living mother and her already born child who will be left motherless. But wait, there’s more. The unborn baby is missing most of its brain and will not survive once born. So the mother’s life is forfeit for a baby whose life is also forfeit. Is this really a moral dilemma? Is a grown woman equal to a brain dead fetus? Somebody’s God thinks so.
Item B: Israel is moving ahead with plan to draft Ultra-Orthodox Israeli Jews. The fact that Haredi Jews feel they have no obligation to defend their country while their country is obligated to take care of them, and their non-Haredi cousins are obligated to die to protect them is mindless. Read your Torah, people: God is always ordering the faithful into battle, and while there are exemptions, being religious isn’t one of them.
Item C: The Parliament of Papua New Guinea has just repealed that country’s Sorcery Act that made killing witches ubiquitous and legal. The new law will make the killing of witches a capital offense punishable by death. Will this law stop the murder of witches? Of course not. Why not, because witches are convenient. When we want to eliminate someone all we have to do is claim she is a witch and kill her. It isn’t that people will believe in anything, but that people will believe in anything that allows them to do what they want to do. But at least the government is trying to free itself from its religious fanatics.
Add to these items the never ending slaughter of Muslims by other Muslims, and we have to wonder if religion has anything of value to offer. Sure not all religions do evil today, but this is only because they don’t have the power to do so.
If we wait for people to grow beyond religion, nothing will change. If we work to strip religion of power, we have taken a big step toward positive change.