Here’s the short version:
- Back in March of this year, the Jesus statue at Our Lady of Velankanni in Mumbai began “weeping”.
- Devout Catholics in the region – and even the priests during services – began collecting it, saving it, drinking it, thinking it has healing powers.
- Sanal Edamaruku comes along and shows that the apparent weeping is caused not by God, but by water running through the statue from a leaking sewer line.
- The Catholic Christian Secular Forum filed a complaint and now he’s being charged with “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage religious sentiments”.
My favorite part of the video is at 1:35, where a spokesperson for the group expresses his outrage that his “rights” are being infringed:
“Sanal should realize that his rights to expression must not encroach on my right to freedom of faith, of belief, of religion which is guaranteed in the Indian constitution.”
Telling people that they’re drinking poop water thinking it’s God’s tears isn’t “freedom of expression”; it’s a fact. It’s also a public health menace! The only reason why the distribution of untreated water for consumption is still being carried out is because these people have fooled themselves into thinking it’s a sign from God even when the facts clearly show otherwise.
Nothing like a perfect example of how faith works.
Sanal is currently in exile in Finland for his trouble. He tried appealing the law and even went to the Prime Minister … nothing. At the end of the video, the narrator says that this may eventually come down to a “question” of fact versus faith. Sorry, but there is none. Saying it that way makes it sound as if the two points of view – when in direct opposition like this – are of equal merit; they’re not. To keep inferring that they are gives encouragement to those who feel they can just ignore whatever facts they don’t like if it comes into conflict with their beliefs. If we are to finally outgrow our superstitions and ignorance, we need to stop acting as if faith holds a candle against rational explanations when they’re staring you in the face.