Religion has problems

Now lots of “militant atheists” are happy to talk about how religion is the cause of all the worlds troubles, but personally I think it is going a bit too far. People do good and bad things independently of their religious beliefs, no matter how much the religious apologists try to claim religion is not the source of morality and “goodness.”

For me, where the problem with religion comes in, is the almost automatic assumption amongst the “faithful” that others with the same beliefs will be good people. This is reflected in the oft quoted statistics about how many people in the US would vote for an atheist. Here in SecularUK, while we may like to think it, things are not massively different. While the average person on the street may be pretty much agnostic there is a preference for the Faithful in positions of power. More importantly, there is the false assumption that a persons “belief” means they will be good and should be above suspicion. This has been shaken in recent years with the scandals of Catholic priests but you only have to watch Sunday morning television or listen to a radio 2 phone in to see it is far from gone.

This brings me to my current point. There is a woman called Eunice Spry, she is a 62 year old devout Jehovah’s Witness. She is a bit funny looking as you will see in a bit, but she looks normal enough (for a crazy pensioner). During her life she has acted as a foster parent for numerous children. She sounds like a pillar of the community and a good example why the Church is opposed to the government having any say in who can become foster parents.

However, as the article in the Evening Standard points out, Eunice Spry is an evil, sadistic torturer who systematically abused the children in her care for Thor knows how many years. A couple of paragraphs from the online edition show a new face of Ms Spry:

A foster mother was found guilty today of subjecting three young children to a “horrifying catalogue of cruel and sadistic treatment”.

Eunice Spry, 62, routinely beat, abused and starved the youngsters in her care over a 19 year period. The devout Jehovah’s Witness forced sticks down their throats and made them eat their own vomit and rat excrement.

As punishment for misbehaving, she would beat them on the soles of their feet and force them to drink washing up liquid and bleach.

Spry, a pillar of her local community in Gloucestershire, staunchly denied all the claims made against her and insisted the only physical punishment she ever used was “a smack on the bottom”.

It really is a shocking catalogue of abuse. It is made the more disturbing by the phrase “a pillar of her local community” – I am aware that newspapers say that all the time, but some background reading into the local papers suggests that prior to the abuse becoming news, she was actually considered sane and capable. I mean, she is a devout Jehovah’s Witness…

Victim A told how when she was a young girl her foster mother had fixed a sign to the back of one her dress to cause embarrassment in public. The message read: “This child is evil. Do not look at her or talk to her. She wets the bed and is an attention seeker.”

Obviously Spry is evil and probably insane. I suspect that goes without saying. She is not an evil, or insane, person because of her religion but because of the deference the devout get, her evil insanity was allowed to carry on for 19 years. Her religious fervour meant there was less questions about the home schooling, less questions about the lack of medical treatment, less questions about odd things which happen. People, even in the UK, have an unfortunate tendency to give the devout the benefit of the doubt.

Hat tip: Black Sun Journal where this excellent commen resides:

If a church community could have this kind of mayhem going on under their noses, what does this say about their usefulness to society? Religions make all sorts of noises about creating “standards” and norms to “protect the children.” Such a spectacular failure of a “pillar” of a church community should make us question these false mandates.

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Britain eats its own young

In a timely tribute to the Wire Series 4, which is supposed to be shown on an obscure satellite channel from tonight – although I can’t find it – Britain has decided to model itself on Baltimore’s East side. Teenagers shooting or stabbing each other has become a staple item of every day’s news. Today, the police announced a new task force after three teenagers in South London have been shot within a few weeks.

There have been too many reports about the the horror of British childhood recently to ignore them all.

Britain was bottom of a UNICEF league table of European children’s well being. The Netherlands came top. Anyone who has been in the Netherlands and the UK will probably agree to the truth of this. Walk round most English housing estates and you’ll see enough semi-feral children to make you fear for the future.

There could be an infinite number of blogposts about the reasons for the difference, although my favoured one is that adults in the top-ranked countries often actually treat their kids with respect and talk to them and spend time with them…

The BBC quotes Paul Vangeert, a Dutch psychology professor:

Much of this, he says, comes from the relationship that Dutch parents have with their children. And, from the fact that less pressure is put on them at school.,,,,One of the strong points of the Dutch family, he says, is that it is very open and communicative. Relations are generally good between parents and children and they can talk about almost anything.

This analysis seems like pure common sense to me but it fits very badly with the current child-rearing fashions. There are any number of TV programmes (SuperNanny, etc) to tell us that acting towards our offspring as if we are paid dogtrainers will work wonders.

Just in case you doubt the truth of the survey result, there is a story so repellent and sadly all too imaginable that it makes you start thinking there must be a missing link species living in the UK. In case you ever wondered about the home lives of the type of people who go to watch cage-fighting shows or illegal dog-fighting, here they are. And these are females. This is a story to make you reach for the culling apparatus.

Four Devon women goaded a boy and girl toddler to fight and filmed the result. (That’s only a link to the BBC story, not the film.) Some quotes:

The boy, aged two, is seen crying after being punched in the face by the three-year-old girl and is told by one of the four women in the room “not to be a wimp or a faggot” and to hit her back.

The court heard that when interviewed by police, one of the women said: “I didn’t see any harm in toughening them up. I done the same with my own children.”

(The kids are now in care. Which doesn’t really inspire much confidence that they’ll end up any better off, the care system being well known for turning out stable and balanced human beings… )

The whole thing makes you wonder about how many more of these gangrenous morons there are. Well, listen to this, from the police Detective Sergeant :

“Locally this is something that is new to us, but we are aware that similar incidents have occurred elsewhere in the country and it is something people need to be aware of.”

PS. If you don’t know the UK, Devon is almost as far from inner-city squalor as you can get. It’s mainly rural and one of the most popular holiday destinations for the few English people who still take holidays in England.