I am incapable of having any sort of “respect” for the mere fact that someone happens to believe something.
For example, my idiot, heroin-addict half-brother believes that the mere fact that he happens to superficially resemble the “Great Men” of Western civilization entitles him to take “pride” in that fact. IN reality, he is nothing more, less or other than a chain-smoking, racist heroin-addict who is (at best) barely-literate.
Along the same lines, Karl believes that “The Cosmos” is (somehow) sending him “messages” by means of an inordinate number of burnt-out license-plate lights – even thought by his own admission he is unable to discern what that “message” could possibly be.
Now, the above two beliefs probably (correctly) strike most people as abysmally stupid – but what about the contention raised by my wife’s friend, about the “miraculous” fact that she stumbled across exactly two dollars (in the pocket of her winter coat) – after having just recently squandered what she believed – at the time – to be her “last” two dollars – by dropping it into the collection plate at her church, instead of using it to buy food for her children?
Quite frankly, her antics – and all manner of broadly-similar antics – is lauded (or at least excused) by the vast majority of people. So much so, that the mere fact that I would put any level of effort into analyzing (and – at least potentially – debunking) this sort of “magical” thinking is often viewed as heartless and cruel.
But, I ask you: which is crueler? To applaud the fact that this woman was willing (or conditioned) to risk direct harm to her own children (by not procuring food for them) – by putting her “church” first?
In her case, it happened to “work out” (in that – at some point in the past – she had inadvertently happened to stuff two dollars into the pocket of her winter-coat, and then fail to notice that fact).
In other cases, individual’s “beliefs” with regard to their children turn out somewhat….differently:
Texas mom who killed her child found working at Walmart
DALLAS — This past weekend, one Terrell Walmart shopper snapped a photo of a checkout cashier whose face she found familiar. Hours later, her suspicions were confirmed.
She had just encountered one of the most notorious characters in North Texas of the past decade: Dena Schlosser, the former Collin County mother who in 2004, used a knife to sever her 10-month-old daughter’s arms during a religious frenzy. She said God had told her to.
“I cut her arms off,” Schlosser told a police dispatcher in November 2004.
“You cut her arms off?” he asked.
“Mmmhmm,” she repeated.
Now, before any “Believer” attempts to weasel out of the comparison here, let me just refer you to the “sacrifice of Isaac”.
“God” tells Abraham to offer up his own child (who – conveniently enough – had been “miracled” into existence when Sarah, his mother, supposedly became pregnant when she was eighty years old, or some shit).
Now, here’s the thing: In both cases, the respective women excuse their antics (squandering the money which COULD HAVE gone to feeding her children, in one case – cutting off her infant daughter’s arms, in another) on the same grounds: “God” told them to do it.
In one case, the woman happened to stumble across two dollars which she herself had probably “misplaced” months before, and then forgotten.
HER children got LUCKY.
Dena Schlossser’s daughter didn’t.
Just some “food for thought”.