The Indian founder/president of the Indian Rationalist Association, one Sanal Edamaruku, is facing arrest and trial on a charge of; ‘deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community’. The reason? He proved that the water dripping from the feet of a statue of Jesus at the Roman Catholic church ‘Our Lady of Velankinni’ in Mumbia wasn’t actually a sign from God, just due to a blocked wastewater system and seepage (New Scientist, 30 June 2012, pp 27). Believers were collecting the water and drinking it in the belief that it would cure all ailments.
When asked; ‘Why do people so readily believe in miracles?’, he responded; ‘For many, the regressive belief in superstitions and miracles is an escape from the hardship of life. Once trapped into irrationalism, they become more incapable of mastering reality. It is a vicious circle, like an addiction. They become vulnerable to exploitation by astrologers, godmen, dubious pseudo-psychologists, corrupt politicians and the whole mega-industry of irrationalism.’
- Indian Rationalist Still in Hiding After Debunking ‘Miracle’ (patheos.com)
- Sanal Edamaruku’s situation worsens: still facing arrest over debunking of Catholic miracle (newhumanist.org.uk)
- En Passant #4: Australian Politicians – ‘And, Who Knows, Perhaps The Horse May Sing’ (deknarf.wordpress.com)
- Debunk a “Miracle” – Go to Jail for Blasphemy In India (reason.com)