July 30, 2007

Strangle Your Daughter for Jesus: An Exorcism in Arizona

My, but the lethal woo is flying thick and fast these days. Not long ago, we had the incident of a woman in Arizona dying after liposuction performed by a "homeopathic surgeon." Today comes word of an attempted exorcism in the same state which resulted in the death of one would-be exorcist and very nearly in that of his granddaughter... but not even in the arrest of the girl's mother, even though she was clearly an accomplice and assisted in the near-slaying of her own offspring.

Fatal end to exorcism attempt
Man dies after struggle with police checking on girl's welfare

A 48-year-old Phoenix man whom authorities say was choking his 3-year-old granddaughter during an exorcism early Saturday died after struggling with police officers who went into the home to investigate, Phoenix police said.

Police reportedly found Ronald Marquez, of Phoenix, shirtless and choking his granddaughter as her 19-year-old mother, naked and bloody, looked on. The bloodied girl was gasping and screaming as her mother chanted and held a religious picture of some kind, police said...

A relative reported she thought an exorcism was going on at the family home after one was performed two days earlier, police said...

The man held the girl in a headlock with one arm as he was squeezing her torso with his other arm, causing her to gasp and scream, police said.

Investigators later learned the man was trying to "squeeze the demons out of the young girl," Tranter said.

One officer made his way into the room, confronted Marquez and touched him with a Taser, which apparently had no effect...

Tranter declined to identify the girl's mother because she was not arrested...

So, let's get this straight; this wasn't even the first time that these wackos decided that their toddler was possessed by demons and tried to exorcise them. The girl fought for her life as her relative asphyxiated her and her mother helped out in the ritual of squeezing out the demons... but the mother wasn't arrested.

Do I have this right? Am I really seeing this? Is this really happening in 21st century America? Just what does a three year old have to do to convince her mother that her body is inhabited by fallen angels, anyhow?

This is an extreme form of child abuse. What possible reason there could be for not locking the mother away for this crime I cannot fathom. More to the point, belief in demons and the accompanying exorcism nonsense is increasingly common in the US. This kind of thing probably happens every day somewhere in this country thanks to the rising tide of religious literalism, and one could point to any number of fundamentalist churches that practice some form of exorcism as a matter of routine.

Exactly because of this belief, one founded in ignorance, fear and superstition regardless of who practices exorcism and why, there's a segment of our population who see this incident not as a case of police stopping the murder of a child, but of the authorities impinging on the religious freedom of those performing this disgusting rite. Look, here's one now:
wow! A man is killed by police. what was he doing? He was practicing his constitutional right of Freedom of Religion. (Source: "Brian," comment in The East Valley Tribune)

And the "out" that true-believers use here? Well, the person who died was named Marquez, so he must be an illegal immigrant. A "real" American would never do something like this!
Used to be that America let the finest and most capable people ofthe world emmigrate to our nation.

Now it's any loon who can sneak across the border. (Source: "barns," comment in The East Valley Tribune)

I guess "barns" has never heard of Andrea Yates, who was certainly both an American and a true-believer Christian. As readers may recall, Ms. Yates murdered her five children to prevent them from "stumbling" and winding up going to hell. Note that nowhere in the article is any mention made of the citizenship of Marquez, nor indeed of the mother of the girl.
Then we get the theories that maybe it was the demons that killed Marquez. Woo upon woo!
It is every true parent`s worse nightmare to see their child being possessed by demons whether this child may have them or not. Exorcism is dated back in ancient times during the infancy years of Vatican Church. But I wondered if the demons killed the old man who exorcised them? (Source: "Horror of Horrors," comment in The East Valley Tribune)

There's a little search for justification, no? In this person's eyes, these religious lunatics were doing what was best for the child; better she have her ribs crushed than be claimed by Satan, after all... and Marquez might have successfully driven the demons out and been killed by them. Clearly, we have a real idiot in this case who can't see simple cause-and-effect and has to concoct ridiculous hypotheses about disembodied evil spirits rather than simply acknowledge that police accidentally killed someone they caught attempting to kill a child. Marquez good, police bad! Support your local exorcist, people!

Let's face facts here; for so long as a significant and increasing percentage of America's population buys into the lie of fundamentalist Christianity (or indeed a fundamentalist and literal form of any religion), and for so long as the populations ignorance grows as science, reason and the principles of the Enlightenment are pushed away in the hope of escaping a "trial run" existence for the promise of a utopian afterlife, there will be more and more of this kind of filth. You cannot have a "culture of life" founded upon the notion that something better awaits us after death than what we can turn the world into right here and now. This form of religion is always, always, always anti-life, regardless of the nonsense mouthed to the contrary when it's a question of an embryo or a coma patient. When reason and logic go away, superstition and lethal woo rush in like venom into a snake bite and you wind up with exorcism and geocentrism and attempted homicide in the name of Jehovah... and the police not arresting a naked, blood-covered mother presiding over the smothering of her own daughter.

Will "real Christians" now express their shock and outrage over this "non-mainstream" exorcism? Of course they will!
I would advise anyone with a closed mind to religion to seriously study them from their own perspectives rather than glance at them with a biased perspective. The individuals in this sad case do not seem to be following any mainstream religion that uses exorcism (Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise), so using "religious practices" as a defense may not be applicable. (Source: "Examples of what," comment in The East Valley Tribune)

But, as you see, they'll justify the underlying beliefs that lead to this behavior in the first place so long as the procedure is carried out by an authority in whom they place faith. This is what happens when there is no empirical way to quantify cause-and-effect; anyone can justify anything, and anyone can find an opinion to bolster whatever nonsense in which they've decided to believe.

This garbage is not going to stop until America experiences a new Enlightenment somehow. I hate to say it, but seeing people dying in the name of the nonsense of homeopathy, exorcism, and every falsehood under the sun because they no longer have the ability to evaluate the world around them, and seeing our population becoming more and more superstitious, I think that somehow there has to be a new awakening of rationality in this country. I've become cynical enough in the face of all the Ken Hams and Deepak Chopras whose garbage holds so much sway these days that I have come to believe that we've gone too far now to go back to the old Enlightenment; we must have a new one.

Sphere: Related Content