The Very Weight of Shade
A child must be weaned away from playtime very slowly, else she suffers the Rapture of the Bends, I guess. Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are not suddenly outed, they simply drift away, like old soldiers.
They struggle sometimes, these youngsters, as in the famous fake report of Virginia asking a newspaper if there is really a Santa. And in later years, in order to maintain a certain bond with the spirit world if nothing else satisfies, as in the case of those who never grow up but only get heavier, a measure of patronage is available there, too.
The slavish devotion to what Carl Sagan called this demon-haunted universe allows the most grisly license to those least competent in dispensing it. The authorities in most places have clamped down on the ribald revivalist who quotes god for authority in the serial rape of children, and even the murder of a child by removing his vaccine in order to boost the cred of the parents in their cracked cult is frowned upon. But something remains.
Were you to balance out werewolves and vampires and hoodoo and even throw in all the newage fruitloop Divine Light Healing astral travel past life rendition drool on one side of a scale, and then position all the pious posturing of the Pope and the pentecostals and the gigantic megachurch televangelists on the other, the balance would be precisely equal. The needle for all of the evidence for the supernatural when weighed sensibly and according to its merits in earnest real time on material earth would be at absolute zero. They are all the very weight of shade.
And yet in the south there is an astonishing practice of allowing, through the coercion of children, testimony in court to cast innocents into prison for long sentences based upon an impossibility. I read these stories, as here in Texas Monthly, and I want to believe it’s a horror story in an old sci-fi comic, but it’s real.
Satanic Ritual Abuse is the patented charge, and it’s promoted by those foamy-mouth fundies of diminished or defective mental capacity and their enablers, and here is a recent story of a DA who built a career on such shameless witch trials. (Notice in the story the AP does not mention the religion at the core of this and plenty of other horror stories, and that’s one of the problems.)
Why is it in this modern age, even in the south (the story above occurred in Bakersfield, in the Central Valley of California, which is Okie West), such monumental outrage is possible? Yes, it is obvious from most teabagger rallies that the general intelligence in certain regions is below the common houseplant, but what about the defense attorneys, the judges all the way up the appellate line?
I think the defense will rest on this one, because, were she to stand and deliver a rational defense, i.e., this horror story cannot be because there is no Satan, no God for that matter, certainly no carrying of children to far countries to be sexually abused and tortured and magically returned home again without a trace of the crime – she would be visited that very night by the mad mob of morons and the next trial would be hers. Also the judges do not want to be seen as diminishing the religious spirit of the community.
And so it goes merrily along, with all sides quite pleased, except for the untold number of innocents who are spending dark time under the shadow of ignorance and superstition not their own, which also flies in the face of religious dogma, for why should one pay for the malicious delusion of others?
Why does this still happen? Is it time to wake up yet?