Thou Shalt Not Catch The Church Bearing False Witness

It’s a miracle—or nearly,
But it cost the skeptic dearly
When he pointed out, it merely
Was a problem with the drains…
See, the statue wasn’t weeping;
It was merely water seeping
Now the skeptic will be sleeping
In the hoosegow for his pains

It is chilling—nearly numbing,
Though we should have seen it coming
That a problem with the plumbing
Should have led a man to jail
With the drainage system leaking
(Not the answer they were seeking)
When an honest man comes speaking
It will be to no avail.

When the Indian sensation
Couldn’t pass investigation
Did the church accept hydration
Once the evidence was in?
His conclusion was contested
And the skeptic? Was arrested.
See, the church must not be bested…
You see, lying is a sin.

Via Hemant, the story of the James Randi of India, Sanal Edamaruku:

The miracle in question involved the dripping of water from the feet of a statue of the crucifixion, a miracle that that seems to crop up all around the world… at least when pieces of toast with Jesus on them are in short supply.
Edamuruku was quickly able to pin the cause on a leaking drainage system, with water being drawn up through the nail holes in the statue’s feet by capillary action. Needless to say, the locals and the church were not happy.

Because bearing false witness is a sin sacrament, when it fills church coffers.

Edamaruku accused the church of exploiting people for money, a tactic that did not go down well. Edamaruku later participated in a heated debate with the pastor of the church, Father Augustine Palett, on national TV. Father Palett had little time for actual debate and instead spent his time threatening action, by way of a blasphemy complaint, if Edamaruku refused to apologize. Edamaruku welcomed this, as it would be a chance to present his evidence in court with the priests and bishops on the witness stand. Of course, no apology was forthcoming and Palett has since made good on his threat.
Following the TV appearance, a group called The Association of Concerned Catholics (Think Bill Donohue, but Indian) lodged a complaint against him with the Mumbai police. They have now arrested him, charging him with “hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community.”

Hemant has links to the petition calling on the Catholic Church to intervene. If I thought for a minute they could be shamed into action, I’d put those links here. If you are less cynical than I am, please go, sign, and prove me wrong.

Oh, and (gentle nudge) don’t forget about the SSA widget over there to the right. Seriously, every donation helps–no matter how small. And hey, if you donate a grand or more, I’ll custom-write you a sonnet, on a topic to be mutually agreed upon. I don’t promise it will be any good, but I don’t promise it won’t be, either. (I don’t expect anyone to donate a grand–I don’t have time to write, anyway.)


  1. Timberwoof says

    Wasn’t there something about how the Church is proud that it no longer tortures people for blasphemy or imprisons then for heresy? The response from rationalists was, “Yeah, but only because the law won’t permit you.”

    Here’s a case where the law permits the Catholic Church to imprison someone for blasphemy … and so they happily do it. Ethics? Morality? The tears are a lie, and the church now knows it. Yet rather than support the truth, they imprison the one who brought it out.

    This makes their apology to Galileo meaningless.

  2. carpenterman says

    On my wall I have a reproduction of an English war hammer, circa 1430. It’s clearly designed to be used against a heavily armored man, when something like a broadsword would be pretty well useless.
    In my truck I have a framing hammer. The strike face is milled in a criss-cross pattern, to better “grip” the heads of nails and prevent the hammer from skittering off.
    In my shed I have an eight pound sledge hammer. It is jokingly refered to as the “trim hammer”.
    This story makes my so angry, so disgusted, so frustrated,that all I can think to do is take any one or all of those hammers and start hitting people. I know that’s wrong. I know why it’s wrong. I won’t do it. But this is so twisted it makes me physically sick. It is a violation of all that is worthy in the human heart. It is a triumph of ignorance over knowledge, delusion over reality, lies over truth. It is foul. It is base. It is vile.
    I’m sorry. I’d like to contribute a rational, calm, reasoned voice to this. But this time, screaming is all I’ve got.

  3. mikeym says

    This is the same church that has the unmitigated gall to claim that their anti-contraception rallies are “rallies for religious freedom.”

  4. Die Anyway says

    It’s so easy, sitting here in America, to take jabs at the churches and at people’s silly beliefs. Pretty much nothing is going to happen to me. I may distance some co-workers or neighbors but it’s unlikely I’ll be sued for libel (as in England) or taken to court and risk jail time (as in India) or be stoned/shot/beheaded (as in some Muslim countries). Would I be so brave were I in one of those places? Probably not. :(

  5. Dennis Brown says

    Dear carpenterman, I pretty much want to do the same.However, I do;t have the weapons like yours ad I might just get frustrated. But yes, the intent is there.

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