Indian Rationalist Arrested For Blasphemy

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

We have previously discussed how black magician Pandit Surinder Sharma repeated attempted to kill rationalist Sanal Edamaruku (the James Randi of India) with a death-causing tantra, here. The still very much alive Edamaruku recently went to an Irla (suburb of Mumbai) Catholic church where he debunked a “miracle” where water was seen trickling down Jesus’ feet. Edamaruku identified the source of the water as a leaky drainage pipe and explained that capillary action was the cause of the water reaching Jesus’ feet.

Father Augustine Palett, priest of the Church of Our Lady Velankanni, denounced Edamaruku’s investigation and his charge that the church was using the “miracle” to exploit the visiting pilgrims.

People were coming daily to pray and collect the “holy water,” and Edamaruku accused the church of miracle mongering. The Association of Concerned Catholics lodged a complaint with the Mumbai police who arrested Edamaruku for “hurting the religious sentiments of a particular community.” Edamaruku, who faces up to three years in jail,  applied for bail while awaiting trail, but was rejected because the judge figured that jail was the safest place for him.

Miracles are big business for the Catholic Church and if you hit them in the pocketbook, they’re going to hit back. Blasphemy laws protect religion from critical examination and help preserve the delusion, and the donations. However, Church leaders must guard against criminal charges of fraud, so miracle investigations by the Church leave plenty of room for deniability.

The Church’s use of secular means to silence Edamaruku demonstrates a lack of faith in miracles.

H/T: James Randi, NY Daily News, Mark Turner, Rationalist International, Hemant Mehta.

12 thoughts on “Indian Rationalist Arrested For Blasphemy”

  1. Gene, that was hilarious.

    What is unfortunate is that the Catholics of this diocese/parish/whathaveyou don’t realize that by accusing this guy of blasphemy rather than simply fixing the pipe and moving on they do far more damage to the church than having a ‘miracle’ does to help the church.

    The Catholic Church needs to catch up to modern times or numbers will continue to dwindle.

  2. Gene H.
    1, June 16, 2012 at 9:54 am
    What did you expect? Jesus was a carpenter, not a plumber.


    I joined Woosty in the coffee everywhere mess.

    That was damn perfect, Gene!

  3. If you complain to them, they’ll probably just tell you it didn’t happen the way you saw it….. They know eye witness identification is inherently unreliable……

  4. Gene H.
    1, June 16, 2012 at 9:54 am
    What did you expect? Jesus was a carpenter, not a plumber.

    OMG….coffee evereeeeeeeeewhere……

  5. About twenty years ago in Mississippi, a disgruntled defendant paid a voodoo priestess to put a hex on the judge hearing his case. When the judge got wind of it, he not only charged the defendant with contempt of court, he insisted the DA file charges against the guy for attempted murder of the judge. I can’t remember if the Judge also wanted the voodoo priestess charged as well.

    In another Mississippi civil case, when the plaintiff’s lawyer made his opening statements, he said he would also be asking for hedonic damages. The judge went off on the lawyer, thundering from the Bench, “Hedonic means of the occult, and I am not having anything of the occult in my courtroom.”

  6. Wonder how long it will take until DOC_BOB hits here?

    And which Indian party will he accuse NAL of being a member of?

    In the old days without plumbing, how did they produce the tears of Mary?

    And isn’t it about time to class all religion as fraud. The Christian faith is saved by the lack of due date on Christ return…..although you fork over your money in the meanwhile, don’t you?

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