Thursday, December 16, 2004

How the Bible helps

Marx observed that religion is the opium of the masses, but the bible-belt version appears to be somewhat more akin to the PCP of the masses.

Dena Schlosser, who cut off her baby's arms last month, cited Matthew 5:30 as the reason for her action:
And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell....

I guess that's what you get when you take a literalist approach to the Bible.

What's really disturbing, however, is that there have recently been several other similar cases of highly religious families whose mothers have slaughtered their children. Remember Andrea Yates, who drowned her five children saying she wanted to "give them to God"? More recently, there was Deanna Laney, who said the Lord told her to bash her child's brains in with rocks -- giving a whole new sense to the term "bible-thumping."

The (religious?) authorities have gone to pains to claim that in each case these women were suffering from post-partum depression. But as the Dallas Star Telegram puts it drily, PPD is "difficult to prove in court." Why not take the simpler explanation, namely the one that the women offer themselves?

Funny, us left coast pinkos don't seem to do this sort of thing to our children. Maybe it's because we say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

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