Man Faces Death Threats and Jail for Pointing Out That Weeping Jesus “Miracle” Is Just Faulty Plumbing

Science and skepticism are under constant attack around the world; climate denial here in the United States, magic bracelets in Australia, and geologists in Italy being punished for not magically predicting earthquakes. Despite the strides of rationalists like Sanal Edamaruku in India (famous for disproving a tantric guru’s ridiculous claims), the law of the land still often sides with the religious zealots.

Picture: Koshi Koshi (CC)

via AlterNet by Henry McDonald

When water started trickling down a statue of Jesus Christ at a Catholic church in Mumbai earlier this year, locals were quick to declare a miracle. Some began collecting the holy water and the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni began to promote it as a site of pilgrimage.

So when Sanal Edamaruku arrived and established that this was not holy water so much as holey plumbing, the backlash was severe. The renowned rationalist was accused of blasphemy, charged with offences that carry a three-year prison sentence and eventually, after receiving death threats, had to seek exile in Finland.

Now he is calling for European governments to press Delhi into dropping the case. And on the first leg of a tour around EU capitals on Friday, he warned that India was sacrificing freedom of expression for outdated, colonial-era rules about blasphemy.

“There is a huge contradiction in the content of the Indian constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and the blasphemy law from 1860 under then colonial rule,” Edamaruku told the Guardian in an interview in Dublin.

“This blasphemy law can affect anyone in India – even a girl recently who wrote on Facebook against closing down a city because of the death of a famous local politician. She was prosecuted under the blasphemy law and another girl who ‘liked’ her comment on Facebook was also arrested and then charged with blasphemy.”

Edamaruku, who has the support of rationalists and atheists such asRichard Dawkins, is well known in India for debunking religious myths, and was already unpopular among Indian Catholics for publicly criticising Mother Teresa’s legacy in Kolkata.

Read more at The Guardian

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  • http://twitter.com/raychristlTHC ray christl

    How could India allow such foolishness in law ???

  • kowalityjesus

    I think there are enough genuine miracles in Catholic history that we don’t need make ones up. Why is it that someone would persecute another for pointing out the truth? Because they are insecure. It is distinctly UN-Catholic, and not at all emulative of Christ.

    • jhkljgh

      genuine miracle? …..idiot.

      • kowalityjesus

        I have the hardest time understanding your type of philosophy, does Christianity represent a mass delusion to you? You dont think of the 10s of thousands of documented miracles there was not ONE that was actually unexplainable?

        ignorant, incredibly ignorant.

        • Simiantongue

          Lets just say that out of the “10’s of thousands” of explained “miracles” there was one that was unexplainable. What you’re essentially saying about that one unexplainable event is that if something is unexplainable, it is explainable. Or in your case unexplainable = christianity. Which is very circular reasoning.

          Unexplainable means exactly that, not to be accounted for or explained. If masses of people believe that the unexplained automatically equals an explanation, like christianity, judaism, islam or pastafarianism, then yes, it’s a mass delusion.

          • kowalityjesus

            unexplained according to secular rationality, to clarify, so revise your entire statement.

          • Simiantongue

            It’s just good ‘ole fashioned common sense. Your notion is ridiculous on the face of it. You’ll have to try harder.

          • kowalityjesus

            Me, try harder? Your previous statement was barely even lexically cognizant, let alone rhetorically substantial!

          • Simiantongue

            Noted that instead of responding you’re posturing. Instead of addressing what is posted you provide some nonsensical critique. Does that qualify as a red herring, distracting from the issue being discussed? I’ll take that disposition as an indicator that you have no response and the conversation is over.

          • kowalityjesus

            let me restate your argument in order to embarrass you into shutting up:

            What you’re essentially saying about that one unexplainable event is that if something is unexplainable, it is explainable. Or in your case unexplainable = christianity. Which is very circular reasoning.

            if there were anything for me to respond to, I would be happy to.

          • Simiantongue

            It’s a shame really. Because even if you had gotten as far as demonstrating that some phenomenon really were inexplicable, which you didn’t, you still have all your work ahead of you. This unexplainable event is somehow supposed to be linked to some christian dogma. Since you have some aversion to secular rationality I guess you would come to this conclusion using some theistic reasoning. But we would never know what that is because you even fail to provide that. You just state that such and such is unexplainable, therefore christian miracle. Though in all your highly suspect examples of miracle healings there is nothing there that denotes the work of ANY kind of reasoning or rationality theistic or otherwise. You don’t do any better than saying “Isn’t this strange, must be god”. Which doesn’t even rise to the level of apologetics.

            Even if someone were “miraculously” cured of cancer how does that = Jesus? In fact it doesn’t, all that means is we don’t know what happened.It’s all very convenient that when some type of event that a theist has no explanation for happens, there is already some ready made explanation for the unexplained. Ha ha what rubbish. It may very well have been some magic spell cast by a shaman from the the ninth dimension a thousands of years ago for all you know. Which is precisely the point, you know nothing. Which is not a bad thing in itself, but you also claim full knowledge of unexplained events. That is where theism is full of shit.

            People like you make up these strange stories like “The Doctor said she had six months to live and that was four years ago. It must be god.” Well in fact it’s just that you make the mistake of thinking a doctors prognosis is infallible. It’s not, they make mistakes all the time, it’s really just as simple as that.

            You can’t be blamed for falling into that authoritarian infallibility trap. It’s basic theology 101. Can’t expect everyone to think outside that theistic box.

          • kowalityjesus

            I like your strawmen, where instead of responding to the clear examples of miraculous recovery which are scientifically anomalous yet dogmatically consistent, you invented less convincing ones and pinned them to my chest for me. great job.

            I think both of the events I mentioned show very clear correlation between Catholic belief and observed phenomenon. In the case of the girl who had the brain hemorrhage, she was on life support. Two priests came in to perform an age-old tradition of baptism and last rites. When the holy water touched her head her arm shot up. She went on to make a complete recovery. Yes there is the possibility that there was some other unexpected explanation for that, but clearly the strongest explanation is that her recovery was consistent with Catholic dogma.

            People like you are so wholly incapable of creating any kind of rhetorical or ideological concession. It is closed-minded and pathetic and it makes your position so much weaker. I hope you realize that.

            To answer your question though, the reason why praying to Jesus sometimes results in miraculous recoveries is because Jesus as the Son of God had the power to heal and raise the dead. A Christian who has the living spirit of Jesus powerfully invested within him also has the power to do such things. That’s why they invented ‘saints.’

            There are thousands and thousands and thousands of documented miracles that have occurred since the birth of Christ. It is so ignorant to say they are a hodgepodge of tall tales recounting naive and delusional people. No doubt some of them have more explainable causes like the one in the article above, but as I said before there are enough genuine miracles in Catholic and Christian history that we do not need to make them up.

          • exterrestrial

            I wonder how many civilizations, religions and peoples have witnessed ‘miracles’ attributed to their own gods? How many other worlds exist in the cosmos with life of their own, witnessing miracles and attributing it to their own deities? It is a logical leap to declare that because something miraculous has occured, the agent responsible is represented by the largest church in the land. Food for thought.

        • JaceD

          Miracles such as people growing limbs back before the masses very eyes? Or quadriplegics learning to walk again by the grace of God? Please supply some evidence of these “documented miracles” because we’ve all heard some serious bullshit from your camp about documented miracles, which were never actually documented.

          • kowalityjesus

            “…most men judge by the credibility of what they hear according to the measure of their own experience, and what is beyond the power of the hearer they insult with the suspicion of falsehood, as outside of the truth.” St Gregory

            How about Jack Traynor who was miraculously cured of his war injuries for which the British War Pension Ministry granted a 100% pension, including a paralyzed left arm, partially paralyzed legs, and epilepsy. in 1923 he was totally healed after a pilgrimage to Lourdes (a site in France where the virgin Mary appeared to a girl in 1858) After his healing, which caused many conversions near Liverpool, Traynor went to work in the coal industry which involved lifting 200lb sacks of coal. There have been THOUSANDS of miraculous cures at Lourdes.

            Or Lucy Hussey-Bergonzi who at 13 years old collapsed with a brain hemorrhage When a priest came in to baptise and give last rites, her arm shot up. She is now a Junior at Bishop chancellor school in London. According to her mother, “When I asked the doctors why she had come back to us they said they can’t explain how it happened and to this day they don’t know how or why she recovered.”

            Medical miracles are not to mention the Catholic relics that are oddities to science, for example the shroud of Turin which apparently can only be replicated with ultraviolet lasers (in the 13th-14th century wtf?), and contains soil samples particular to Jerusalem and pollen samples of flowers that bloom in Jerusalem in spring, not to mention blood from a scourged man, anatomical impeccablility, and coins on the eyes issued by Pontius Pilate around Anno Domine 20-25. (my current opinion is that the atoms surrounding the body of Christ were caused to radioactively decay at an accelerated rate during the moment His body was resurrected to Heaven, but that is just my opinion not incontrovertible fact).

            For someone to say, “its all delusional, its all in your head” is ignorance, flat out. Miracles are not a required part of Catholic theology but they are a demonstration of God’s grace and enforce the faith of many who believe in Christ, the Holy Trinity, and the Holy Virgin Mother. For people that seek miracles where God has not granted them, shame. I sympathize because they live in a land where their faith is embattled on many fronts, but it has often been so for those carrying the flame of true Christianity.

          • Simiantongue

            God hates amputees. lol

      • “Big” Richard Johnson

        umadfgt

  • druniversalis

    Just to clarify, Edamuruku was charged (sadly) because he “accused the Church of exploiting the worship of images, and of “creating the miracle” to make money, finally, he also accused the pope of being anti-science.” He was not charged for speaking out against the miracle, which the archdiocese there has not officially recognized and seems to doubt. Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Water-from-the-cross-of-Irla.-Indian-atheist-accuses-Church-of-manufacturing-miracles-for-money-24218.html

  • allah

    so much for “forgiveness”

  • http://www.facebook.com/weee12 Zach Morgan

    forgive those who trespassed again’st us, atheist seem to have an easier time geting this concept than yall do.

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