Indian skeptic charged with "blasphemy" for revealing secret behind "miracle" of weeping cross

Sanal Edamaruku, an Indian skeptic, went to Mumbai and revealed that a "miraculous" weeping cross was really just a bit of statuary located near a leaky drain whose liquid reached it by way of capillary action. The local Catholic Church demanded that he retract his statements, and when he refused, they had him arrested for blasphemy.

On 10th March, Sanal Edamaruku, President of the Rationalist International, flew to Mumbai. The TV channel TV-9 had invited him to investigate a “miracle” that caused local excitement. He went with the TV team to Irla in Vile Parle to inspect the crucifix standing there in front of the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni. This crucifix had become the centre of attraction for an ever growing crowd of believers coming from far and wide. The news of the miracle spread like wild fire. For some days, there were little droplets of water trickling from Jesus’ feet. Hundreds of people came every day to pray and collect some of the “holy water” in bottles and vessels. Sanal Edamaruku identified the source of the water (a drainage near a washing room) and the mechanism how it reached Jesus feet (capillary action). The local church leaders, present during his investigation, appeared to be displeased.

Some hours later, in a live program on TV-9, Sanal explained his findings and accused the concerned Catholic Church officials of miracle mongering, as they were beating the big drum for the drippling Jesus statue with aggressive PR measures and by distributing photographs certifying the “miracle”. A heated debate began, in which the five church people, among them Fr. Augustine Palett, the priest of Our Lady of Velankanni church, and representatives of the Association of Concerned Catholics (AOCC) demanded that Sanal apologize. But Sanal refused and argued against them. [The whole TV program is recorded. You can watch an abridged version of it on YouTube.]

When they saw Sanal refused to bow to their demands, they threatened to file a blasphemy case against him. And they did. Yesterday (10th April,2012) Sanal received a phone call from a Police official of Juhu Police Station in Mumbai directing him to come to the said police station to face the charges and get arrested. He also said that FIRs have also been filed in Andheri and some other police stations u/s 295 of Indian Penal Code on the allegations of hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community. Mumbai police has announced that they were out to arrest him. It is apprehended that he can be arrested any moment.

Letter from Sanal Edamaruka defence committee (via /.)


  1. Let that be a lesson to any boys in the crowd during royal processions that the Emperor is indeed wearing the finest vestments the worthy have ever seen!

    1. I thought India was a civilized nation.  I was wrong because no civilized nation has laws against blasphemy.  If any church thinks you have blasphened against their religion, they should only be allowed to ban you from their church.  Absolutely nothing else!

      1. ‘India’  and ‘civilized nation” are not words to be used in the same sentence. Every day dalits are being murdered, raped and booted off land to which they have legitimate rights. The (in most cases corrupt) police turn a blind eye; hell. they’ll probably throw you in the slammer if you try to bring any of these crimes to their attention, and these stories never /rarely make the press. I could go on but I’ll leave it there.

      2. I thought India was a civilized nation.

        I wouldn’t claim that India is uncivilized given its vast numbers of highly educated people and national pastime of philosophy, but it is one of the great world centers of religiously motivated violence.

      3. Instead of making blasphemy against one religion a crime, India makes blasphemy against all religions a crime. Its acceptable enough to be agnostic, or even even atheist, in mainstream Indian society as long as you leave other religions alone. That said, this is still pretty dumb and I hope nothing comes of it.

        1. Are Muslims and Hindus arrested for speaking their own religious dogma that is blasphemous to Christian dogma?  Are Christians and Hindus arrested for speaking the things they believe that are blasphemous to Muslim dogma?  Are Muslims and Christians arrested for speaking the things they believe that are blasphemous to Hindu dogma?  No, of course not.  That’s why blasphemy laws are *really* anti-atheist laws.  The law protects everybody who blasphemes one religion *via* another, but not those who blaspheme without their own religion to fall back on as the reason.

        2.  Hate to burst your bubble there but for example the bible blasphemes against Satan worshippers all over the place.
          The Koran is pretty explicit in that regard as well.
          So tell me which blasphemy takes precedence and under Indian law shouldn’t religious works that attack other religions be banned and the promoters of those religions imprisoned.

    1. I’m actually conflicted about this. When I ask myself: “What would an organization run by regular people for altruism and mutual benefit look like?” the answer is that it would look like a church. Churches do mission trips where they legitimately help out people who need it, and they organize free events in the community. Some of them were instrumental in winning legal equality for black people during the civil rights era. They’re potentially a very good thing for everyone. But must they come in the same package as supernaturalism?

          1. “Ideal” can refer to achievable goals (eg: “my ideal weight would be 85kg” or “we’ll ensure everyone has clean drinking water”) or it can refer to platonic ideals, which can’t be achieved (eg: the perfect society, the perfect circle, the perfect being).  

            To class the first set as “imaginary” is technically true (if you haven’t achieved a goal yet, it is necessarily imaginary) but it implies an equivalence with the transcendent goals in the second set. 

            In short, we can have ambition without superstition, so Petzl’s point was correct.

          2. Sorry, humanresource, you don’t understand what I was trying to say. I didn’t say “ideal” as a synonym for goal. I meant that a “Platonic”, imaginary ideal is necessary for ambition. It has a different meaning. Why would your ideal weight be 85kg? Health, I imagine. Why do you want to be healthy? Long life, perhaps. Why is that important to you? Track this far enough and you will approximate an ideal — that is, an imaginary you want to impose onto your world.

          3.  @Avery ‘Actually living longer’ is ‘imaginary’? Are you sure about that? ‘Living longer’ sounds like a pretty concrete goal with clear, real positive benefits in the actual real world.

        1. There are innumerable charitable organizations without an imaginary basis for existence.

          But as far as I know, none of them are general purpose and also double as social and networking clubs. That’s pretty cool to me. If there were a church for humanism, I might have been a monk.

          1.  There are sort of churches for humanism.  Many Universal Unitarianism congregations identify as humanist, and even if the local congregation doesn’t identify that way, many UU members self-identify as humanists.  There isn’t a central leadership in UU, and each congregation is a bit different.  They don’t even all use the same word to refer to themselves (I’ve seen Church, Society, Fellowship, and Congreation used).  Although, there are no UU monasteries, for obvious reasons

      1. I’m not giving churches in general credit for equality for black people in the civil rights era – I think that belongs to a group of dedicated and brave pastors. The civil rights era still exists today, as churches continue to fight to deny the civil rights of women and gays.

        1. Like the Westboro and the Taliban.

          While the majority of religious groups actually do good (with ulterior motives), there are a vocal minority of religious groups who abuse their fanaticism and undo all that good work.

      2. Missionary work homogenises and dilutes unique cultures and spreads diseases. The Missionary thinks they are doing good, but are in fact corrupting traditions.

      3. Those who do good in the church do it in the soup kitchens, hospices, and homeless shelters. Crediting the bishops, cardinals, and the corrupt mess at the vatican is stealing credit from those doing the work and laying it at the slippered feet of pharisees.

        Want to see those doing good works in the church, look to those like the Jesuit Volunteers, not to the fruitcakes prancing around in silk, velvet and gold, nor to the carnival sideshows peddling holy oil, miracles, and exorcisms.

      4. Churches were as segregated as anything in the pre-civil rights era, and they’re still pretty segregated today.

        Not that that’s particularly new – christians are happy claim the credit for the abolition of slavery, overlooking the fact that mainstream christianity supported slavery for centuries before minority sects influenced by the atheistic humanist movement played a part in the abolition movement.

        But churches have always been good at rewriting history. It’s what they do.

      5. “Churches do mission trips where they legitimately help out people who need it, …”

        Yeah, right!! Just look how the helped the Native Americans, Aborigines and Maoris out of their land, language culture and everything else.
        – – Thanks for the laugh though!   — much needed.

  2. I’m almost surprised that no one has tried to introduced blasphemy laws (no doubt snuck in in the guise of ‘political correctness’ and not giving offense to anyone) in the US. That would be a wonderful weapon to use against those pesky schoolteachers who insist on trying to teach evolution.

    1. Oh, people *have* tried to introduce them in the US. Both in the bible belt by Christians as well as by Muslims in places like Dearborn. MI where they are a major presence. Obviously, there’s the argument that they are unconstitutional, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to introduce them to gain popularity among believers.

    2. You young kids get off my lawn!  I’m old enough to remember mandatory school prayer, and at least in Delaware we had blasphemy laws until 1968.  Nobody’d bothered enforcing them in years, but somebody said something that offended somebody connected enough to get him charged.  The courts threw out the law, because it was pretty obviously unconstitutional, and while they were at it, they banned whipping, which was the standard punishment for blasphemy and other minor offenses.

      1. Well, you still have mandatory patriotism prayers (Pledge of Allegiance) so in the grand scheme of things not much has changed.

        1. I sat through the Pledge of Allegiance starting in middle school back in the 1960s.

          1. Yeah, depends on your school; some will expel your for not being patriotic enough (most kids don’t exactly have the means to fight a school over this), some just don’t care. Doesn’t make it any less of a concern for a supposedly “free” country. Just the practice of conditioning young kids that way is problematic.

            (Also, I sat through technically mandatory prayers. Same thing really.)

    3. They have. The Church of Scientology has successfully prosecuted people for exactly that. I mean blasphemy, of course, not evolution…

  3. Whenever I despair at the influence of religion in the US, I need only read a story like this and be glad that at least I can’t be arrested for making fun of someone else’s imaginary friend.

    1. You can’t explain that.

      No link to the O’Reilly jpg from me, let’s keep BB relatively free from visual contamination.

  4. Rick Santorum has just found his new policy statement. “ARREST THE UNBELIEVERS ! ARREST THEM ALL !!!”

  5. Drainwater?  That’s some really unhealthy holy water.

    I guess it fits the religion.

    1. It could be worse. There’s a story that geologist William Buckland once visited a cathedral in which a substance claimed to be the blood of saints kept appearing on the stone floor. Buckland examined the liquid and promptly identified it as bat urine.

      I don’t want to think what kind of penalty the Catholics would be demanding if Mr Edamaraku had identified their divine tears as bat piss.

  6. A “weeping” religious statue was a plot point on an episode of the classic British comedy Only Fools and Horses. Unfortunately, this case seems unlikely to have a good-hearted funny ending.

  7. This church gets its’ fangs out in the developing world, since Europe and North America is fast becoming a lost cause.  This church needs its’ miracles over there, otherwise how are they to turn a profit?

  8. I thought that India was ruled by Hindi laws, not Catholic laws. But then, Americans don’t know much about the rest of the world.

    1. You’re not kidding about that. Hindi and Hindu are distinct. Also, India has clearly decided that their society will simply not tolerate blasphemy against any religion. Different decision America made, but not the same as a theocracy.

  9. “French naturalist charged with philosophy for revealing the miracle of double rainbows.”

    Decartes was such a killjoy.

  10. It looks like he’s not facing charges for revealing the secret, but for ” accus[ing] the concerned Catholic Church officials of miracle mongering”. It’s still a ridiculous reason to arrest someone, but not quite as reprehensible as arresting him simply for finding a leak.

  11. Atheists and truth seekers have been persecuted form hundreds of years for their “religious” pursuit of the truth.  Religion wants freedom, but, when does, the pursuit of truth get its freedom?

  12. I’d read that bit about God refusing to prove his existence because “proof denies faith.”  Apparently, disproof denies faith too!   Or something.

  13. Seeing as how there are no blasphemy laws in India I wonder about the other veracity of the other facts presented in this article.  Perhaps they mean “hate speech” which is illegal in India.  See .  The Roman Catholic church rarely proclaims anything miraculous and then after only decades or centuries of study.  Considering this and the fact that the archdiocese hasn’t made a mention of it,, leads me to suspect that the complaint of a “hate crime” is not due to the debunking of the “miracle” but due to Mr. Edamaruku’s other comments such as charges of “miracle mongering”.  See for his website.

    I think the Indian laws on hate speech are a violation of a people’s natural rights and await further information on this dispute before I judge any of the parties involved.

    1. Meh, too many facts. I’m positive people will just stick with their smug First World-centric, anti-religion bigotry.

      1. Yes, we understand. India is such a strange and exotic place that any event there cannot possibly be judged by any standard whatsoever. Who can possibly understand such people? They might as well be from Mars!

        Next up: Dowery killings, and why they need to be “contextualized.”

      2. Stupid is stupid. Trying to say, “treating other people irrationally and horribly is too ‘cultural’ to be evaluated,” is ridiculous.

        Once I was traveling in Nicaragua and local authorities ripped off some of the tourists I was with. Later, while they were complaining about this, some people made an argument similar to yours, “oh its just their culture, we can’t judge (which itself is a rather patronizing notion on every front, like they’re not really human or something,)” to which I (correctly) pointed out that stealing from people is not a unique cultural trait. It’s culturally universal and it’s dickish.  Same here.
        Fundamental rule. You can never rationally have someone arrested for saying, “your religion is wrong.” If God himself were talking to them directly, that still wouldn’t be a viable social reaction. 

    2. I’m sympathetic to your skepticism, CLamb, but some cursory research suggests that the “hate speech” law in India serves as a de facto blasphemy law.

      According to The Telegraph – Calcutta, Section 295A of the IPC states:

      “Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment…which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.”

      Check out this case in which an actress was charged under the law for entering a men-only temple in Kerala:

      There is clearly plenty of whack-a-doodle religion-mongering going on in India. Leaving aside the savage Hindu-Muslim conflicts in Gujarat that left hundreds dead a few years ago, I remember not long ago when the production crew of the film “Water” was driven out of Varanasi after receiving credible threats of violence and their sets being destroyed by arson. The film made the radical argument that an eight-year-old widow should not be regarded as an untouchable for the rest of her life, and consigned to live in a virtually-cloistered community of widows.

      1. This is a good point. Britain should govern them for a few years and show them how it’s done. Oh, right.

        1. Right, we cannot criticize them because it is racist. Also, Edamaruku is racist too, for fighting European imported beliefs, being an Indian himself. What an asshole, indeed.

          Rolls eyes

          1. You can’t criticize them because you don’t know what you’re talking about. You may or may not be racist. That’s a different question. BTW, there were Christians in India from the second century of the Common Era, so this who “European import” thing is really in the details, isn’t it?

        2. I see you are going through your “let’s not even mention human rights abroad because it might offend other cultures” phase. You’ll get over it.

          1. Ha ha ha. If you only knew me you’d laugh out loud at that perception.

            In any case, my point was that I find many of the comments here to be knee-jerk reactions that have to do with the Catholic church and how “stupid” anti-blasphemy laws are. I suspect that if people walked a mile in India’s shoes they would appreciate why India might have these laws. Instead, it’s all smarty smart smart people making snarky comments.

          2. @ChigagoD:disqus  If only we had more smarty smart smart people in the world who were making snarky comments about the stupidity of religion, we would be much safer from stupidy stupid stupid religious people who try to oppress their intellectual and ethical betters.
            Regardless of which culture it’s in.

          3. …actually replying to ChicagoD

            I think I see where you’re going with this one, and I still think you’re totally wrong. Okay, so India has some social problems, like extreme poverty which causes a low value for human life. Also some challenges, like a long and continuing history of diverse, fundamentalist religious groups murdering each other en masse. So, they try to enact laws to simmer things down.

            So far so good! But, the devil is in the details. Let me construct an ordering of actions:

            1) Killing someone
            2) Burning someone’s stuff
            3) Threatening to murder someone
            4) Threatening to burn someone’s stuff
            5) Saying someone is a charlatan
            6) saying someone is verifiably factually incorrect
            7) Not smiling at someone when you pass them on the street

            Okay, now I’m going to draw a line here where I think the law should kick in. Mmmmmmm, let’s say between 4 and 5. So, you can’t threaten to commit destructive acts against them, but you can call them out on bullshit. I think most of the haters in this thread want the line to be in the same place.

            Now, depending on who you believe, the line the law draws is actually somewhere between 5 and 7. Mesocosm there makes a good case for it being between 6 and 7. 

            Okay, so your claim seems to be along the lines of: “Dude, stop hating on the Indian government. They have very real problems and they’re trying their hardest.” Breaking that down:
            1) India has very real problems
            2) They’re trying their hardest
            — thus —
            3) No hating

            Okay, so #1 is pretty unambiguously true. Based on discussions with my Indian colleagues, I’d say #2 is false, but let’s decide for a second that it’s true. 

            #3 does not follow.

            Yes, I can understand why they might, with good intentions, pass a crappy law. That does not make the law any less crappy. That does not reduce the government’s moral obligation to reform the law. The history of rulership is littered with terrible actions that people try to defend on the basis of good intentions. That is not okay. Bad actions are bad actions. I’m sure right now there’s someone in India saying “Don’t hate on the Americans for US-VIsit, they’re really afraid of terrorsim, and doing the best they can.” Even if we are doing the best we can, US-Visit is embarrassingly stupid. 

            Just because we in the US are actually doing pretty okay on the whole “hate violence” thing doesn’t mean we can’t call out other countries for poor reactions to the problem.

          4.  ChicagoD
            Yeah, because it’s full of religious violence, and the government is either sympathetic towards or finds it easier to pander to the perpetrators of these violent acts than to prosecute them. So they make it a crime to upset said violent groups. It’s just like how in the early 20th century Jim Crow laws were enforced but anti-Lynching bills kept getting voted down: legislators were members of or sympathetic to the KKK, or were cowed by their political influence.

        3. The way David Cameron has been sucking up to the Church of England lately, the UK may adopt blasphemy laws soon.

          1. We only abolished them in 2008, and that was at the request of the Church (among many other groups). I think the more general religious-hatred law was supposed to replace them.

          2. David Cameron has been sucking up to the Church of England

            He has to do that because his boss is the head of the Church of England.

            (Aussie republican here. I would be perfectly fine about getting religion out of our government.)

  14. Can we find more sources for this? I was just about to write to my local Catholic church here in London urging them to take a stand and ideally use internal channels to influence their Indian arm to moderation and tolerance.

    But as I could find no neutral data on this online I will have to wait. If someone has more sources please post below.

      1. Cheers. But Sanal’s own site is hardly a *neutral* source I can forward to my local Catholic church.

        Just checked Atheist Alliance’s webpages. Nothing. I recently donated money to them with exactly this sort of thing in mind so hope they will get on the case soon.

  15. I think it’s worth noting that something like this is unlikely to be a simple instance of error and faith, or even confirmation bias. The folks involved in this miracle were simply lying about the matter. So, it should come as no surprise that they would use any means at their disposal to harm someone calling them on their crap.

    1. Maybe when he shows up at the jailhouse he can just simply tell them the paperwork is wrong, and he’s actually due to be released.

  16. The Catholic church has done a lot of good work in India. For example,

    Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity at the time of her death had 610 missions in 123 countries including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children’s and family counselling programmes, orphanages and schools. She was the recipient of numerous honours, including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.

    It’s a shame they have to ruin it by being complete dicks over a fake miracle.

    1. From the same wiki entry:

      She has also been criticized for her view on suffering. She felt that suffering would bring people closer to Jesus.[83] Sanal Edamaruku, President of Rationalist International, criticised the failure to give painkillers, writing that in her Homes for the Dying, one could “hear the screams of people having maggots tweezered from their open wounds without pain relief. On principle, strong painkillers are even in hard cases not given. According to Mother Teresa’s philosophy, it is ‘the most beautiful gift for a person that he can participate in the sufferings of Christ’.”[84]

      “The quality of care offered to terminally ill patients in the Homes for the Dying has been criticised in the medical press. The Lancet and the British Medical Journal reported the reuse of hypodermic needles, poor living conditions, including the use of cold baths for all patients, and an approach to illness and suffering that precluded the use of many elements of modern medical care, such as systematic diagnosis.[73] 

      (edit: When Teresa herself needed care, she went to the very finest medical establishments available.)

      Dr. Robin Fox, editor of The Lancet, described the medical care as “haphazard”, as volunteers without medical knowledge had to take decisions about patient care, because of the lack of doctors. He observed that her order did not distinguish between curable and incurable patients, so that people who could otherwise survive would be at risk of dying from infections and lack of treatment. Dr. Fox makes it a point to contrast the term “hospice”, on the one hand, with what he calls “Mother Teresa’s Care for the Dying” on the other hand; noting that, while hospice emphasizes minimizing suffering with professional medical care and attention to expressed needs and wishes of the patient, her approach does not.”[85]

      Catholics do, indeed, do good work in impoverished countries. Mother Teresa was not one of those Catholics.

      1. Just goes to show you can devote your life to helping the world’s poorest of the poor and still be reviled.

        1. I believe what you mean is that you can appear to have devoted your life to helping the world’s poorest of the poor and still be wrong.

          1. And you must have an impressive litany of fieldwork in aiding the improvished people of the world to take such a dim view of someone who spent decades in the slums of Calcutta trying. I look forward to hearing your Nobel Peace Prize speech, which you are no doubt earning as we speak, so we can all learn the right way to help the needy.

            I certainly don’t subscribe to this woman’s philosophy in life. I’m not a Christian in any sense. But I do admire when people take the initiative (and she was very much on her own when she started) to make a difference in the world which, on balance, made it a better place, even if in some ways the job could have been done a little better. The world would be a much better place if more people had the courage to try.

        2. Seriously, dude.  She was a demon from hell.  She didn’t help people; she tortured them.  Do some reading.

          1. Clearly you guys want to hear you’re right on this, so fine: She was a horrible troll. I’ll never say another nice thing about her around here again.

    2.  Christopher Hitchens exposed that evil Albanian midget for the criminal she was. She prevented sick people from getting any treatment. She ensured that thousands died in pain. She took money from thieves and would not return it. She misused tens of millions of dollars in donations to the poor to build an proselytizing empire. She forgave the powerful and coddled brutal dictators while telling the powerless to submit to the abuses of their masters.

      See this interview with Hitchens about his book on Mother Teresa for more details.

  17. And I hope the justice will be swift, just and decisive. And a lesson to everybody who tells unasked how the detective story will end when I pick up the book.
    And I still can not forgive to a person who told me that Father Christmas does not exist.

    1. Thanks a lot!
      (But I know Santa Claus had good intentions when he made up the Father Christmas story, he can’t be EVERYWHERE at once [just most places], so I’ll forgive him for lying to me. That should still be worth extra nice points, catching him being naughty and lying and all.)

  18. The fact that somebody has to disprove *this* miracle implies that other miracles may be true, and gives strength to the belief in supernatural nonsense!

    I don’t have to travel to India and sample the water to prove the statue isn’t weeping holy water.

    1. As long as neither religion nor stupid uses birth control, or plans to abort any product of their coupling.

  19. If that “Holy” Water tasted delicious before, does it taste sacrilicious now?
    (apologies to Homer)

  20. Before some years there was a similar thing when people saw Lord Ganesha Idol drinking milk which viraled out and lot of Hindus started giving milk (even in my Home )and in many places it was seen that indeed the milk was absorbed by the Ganesha idol .Immediately Rationalist and Atheist did a study and said as per the Law of density and Capillary effect the milk was absorbed by the Idols which was and is indeed true.But what was the issue was that time lot of Christians and Muslims where backing the Rationalist claim and encouraged them to speak and taunt this aspect.They where seen even Criticizing the Hindu faith.I had gone to a Christian friend whose Dad was a father to a meeting(since i believe God exists every where and in every life form and every religion so i have no inhibitions in taking part in different religious discourses) and was shocked to hear a prominent Evangelist criticizing Hindu’s telling them worshipers of devil and even this Ganesha drinking milk incident.Fortunately Hindus where more scientific in approach and them selfs came on TV channels and explained the rationale behind the milk disappearing in to the idol and time passed out peacefully.
    After such a long time we see again a similar thing happening with Christ Idol but now the Christians are crying foul on the rationalist claim.This is not only shocking but utter ridiculous. It seems they are following the principal “WHAT SUITS ME IS OK  OR ELSE IT IS BLASPHEMY”. On this take if Christ had indeed cried then even the 1st claim Ganesha drank the milk is true.Ganesha gets greater prominence & superiority because he did it 1st by drinking the milk and Christ is 2nd because he cried after Ganesha drank milk.
     So it is now for Christians to decide who is Great or like Hindus who have accepted the rationalist claim of Capillary effect should also accept the truth that is Jesus cried because of Capillary effect!

  21. I don’t know where to begin… First off, India is a tremendously beautiful place, in terms of natural beauty and…that’s it for me. The people who inhabit it are another story. Yes, there are many intelligent, rational, kind and compassionate people here but unfortunately for them, they are in the minority. On the other hand, the number of people who are the exact opposite are overwhelming. I am no social-scientist [I don’t know if this is the correct term] but it doesn’t take one  to see that this place is fucked up. People keep talking about how India is developing, getting itself a place on the world top economic power list blah blah blah, but no one sees the rest, the extremely dark side of the Moon. My humble opinion; we are moving ONLY with $$ in mind, and have screwed each other royally.

    I live in what Wikipedia says is the 15th largest city [pop: 1,960,631] in India. Some observations: Every other day, some days consecutively:  1 case of Rape, 1 case of mudrer, 1 case of theft, some days multiple incidents of each. Every day. Beggars everywhere. Children without anything to protect their feet, walking the scorching earth to get some coins to fill their stomach. [When VIPs from other countries come to visit, we shove the filth under the carpet:
    Also this apalling bullshit who no one would have given a fuck about were it not for the press guys:

    We have the most corrupt “government” in the world. I say that with complete confidence. We have no concept of free speech. Say anything against anyone powerful, a religious leader, anyone in authority, any popular but irrational belief, a well liked figure from the past, etc there’s no saying what’ll happen to you. They’ll send goons to thrash you and put you in jail, if you’re lucky. Same goes for books. Every school has COMPULSARY prayers everyday, and many, many schools make you sing devotional songs afterwards too. I did and it was the most mind numbing experience I’ve ever had. All indoctrination. There’s no question of Atheism or non-religiousness. It’s taboo.

    I lived in the US brielfy. I loved it. Daily life was easy. For example: People followed the rules of the road, drivers had mutual respect, everyone’s happy. When we came back here, on the first day we were here, we heard more honks from car horns than we had heard during the course of our entire stay in the US(3 years).
    My family never, ever had to face any bureaucratic bullshit over there. Of course, that could also have been luck. But compared to here, it’s heavenly. Even Brazil was better. Seriously.

    My thoughts are all over the place. I’m sorry for that, but I lack proficiency in articulation skills and this is a topic which touches a raw nerve. My parents are moderately religious, slightly irrational, but far, far better than most and I am…I don’t know whether I am atheist, apatheist, apagnostic or agnostic.

    More info:

    Today’s wonderful news:

  22. Doesn’t the Catholic Churches reporting him for blasphemy weaken them? If they are willing to defend this “miracle” by calling in the thugs, how many prior “miracles” are shams as well?

  23. Section 295 of the Indian Penal Code is no more than a joke that needs to be reworked or, better still, be done away with completely. It seeks to incriminate people on highly ambiguous grounds and very loose bases of conviction. Here’s a direct paraphrase:”Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.— Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of [citizens of India], [by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to [three years], or with fine, or with both.]”

  24. Mind-boggling that in this day and age it is still possible to be *arrested* for “blasphemy” outside of certain theocracies mostly in the Middle East… perhaps things are not quite as bad in the U.S. as I thought they were. No, wait, they still are…

  25. The Catholic church has a lot of pratice using public policy to enforce adherence to its infantile ghost stories. Look no further than Gallileo or the Inquisition or Cortes.

  26. The sweeping generalizations about churches here is awsome.  Yes, there are churches that set and enforce dogma that have nothing to do with the teachings of their founder(s).  That does not mean that all churches are evil or corrupt, or that they will necessarily remain that way.  One could as easily argue that one knows – or has heard of – an athiest/agnostic/humanist group that was only seeking its own power and  wealth, so therefore all such groups are doing the same.

    1. One could as easily argue that one knows – or has heard of – an athiest/agnostic/humanist group that was only seeking its own power and wealth, so therefore all such groups are doing the same.

      Go right ahead.

      1. Still waiting.

        The truth is that Christianity doesn’t promote freedom, civil liberty or thoughtful exploration leading to knowledge.

        The very foundation for the purported condition of original sin came from the first man of dirt and woman derived magically from his rib bone ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

        The very doctrine of Christianity is xenophobia, eternal reward for worship and belief…while one must hate one’s own family, father, mother, sister, brother, sons, daughters…in order to be a disciple of Christ and risk the wrath of everlasting fire and torment for non-belief.

  27. religion is clearly nothing more than a socially contracted disease that kills basic civil rights

  28. I have just recently received an invitation to speak in India.  I will have to reconsider my acceptance.  If a man like Edamaruku can be so threatened by the “good Christians” of that country, I would be in equal danger.

    James Randi

    James Randi Educational Foundation

  29. He is not charged with blaspheme for claiming it is not miracle. But for falsely calling Catholics as doing idolatry. And for falsely claiming Catholics worship St. Mary as GOD where as she is respected as a great saint.

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