These two stories I saw this week outraged me equally, yet differently. In one case, the issue is brought about by ignorance, opportunism, and is nominally Christian--in the other instance, it is brought about by cruelty, politics, and is nominally Islamic. Religion is used as an excuse for horrors against children. I can appreciate where anyone claims the myths and legends and lore and all that pertains of their faith culminate in brotherhood and peace and well-being. I appreciate that they feel that.
I also appreciate where it absolutely does not. To my mind, children are to be protected, educated, made strong and self-sufficient, and they should not be abused. They are the future of our species. They are also generally awesome, uninhibited and genuine little people. Children are precious. But ideology, politics, human stupidity--hurts these innocents. So both these stories reminded me why I am also sometimes anti-theist--or rather, anti-religion: it excuses harm to even the littlest victims, and still calls itself just.
Child Witch Abuse
Afghan schoolgirls sprayed with acid
I don't consider these stories necessarily typical of religion, but that they exist at all is an especial failing. It is believed that atheists have no morality. That we have no precepts, no authority, to guide us. But if children are treated in this way, by people of any faith--what did they learn from their religious study? That some children are evil? That girls having an education is an absolute evil worthy of punishment? Yet punishing, abusing, alienating, abandoning, burning children--can be good, if it serves some religious end?
I can't buy that. I can't hold that as reasonable, much less holy. I can't even stomach it, really. I can really only note that these things occured. And religion was mentioned. And I confess I think religion is used both as an excuse--and yet is no excuse. Not at all.
And that's all I have to say about that.