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 â€œstandardsâ€ and norms to â€œprotect the children.â€ Such a spectacular failure of a â€œpillarâ€ of a church community should make us question these false mandates.
Couldn’t have said it better myself.