In the News: The Missionary and His Indoctrination

La bêtise religieuse (Religious Stupidity), Loïc Tassé, Journal de Montréal, 2018-11-25.

The attempt by John Allen Chau to convert the Sentinelese tribe was particularly stupid, illustrating once again the unhealthy role which religion plays in our societies.

Chau’s decision was stupid because his mere contact with that isolated island population could have decimated it. […] His action is inexcusable. Even from the point of view of a missionary, his behaviour was inappropriate. He should never have defied the laws of India which forbid visiting the island. […]

[…] in his case, religious belief was obviously a consequence of indoctrination. Indoctrination similar to that of radical Islamists who seek to convert the world using violence. Indoctrination like that of Hindu nationalists who refuse women entry into certain temples and who are prepared to kill to defend their beliefs.

What is extraordinary here is that practically no-one has discussed Chau’s indoctrination. Readers’ reactions have often been virulent. Many people condemn Chau. But who condemns those who put such ridiculous ideas of conversion and belief into his head? No-one dares to do so.

[…]

All this religious stupidity is unfortunately increasingly present in politics. Many people push the idea of freedom of conscience so far as to defend religious groups which indoctrinate their members with the most enslaving and deadly beliefs. This is unacceptable. That is the lesson which we must learn from the pathetic death of Chau.

[Translation: D.R.]

It is rare for the mass media to publish a text so lucid, so frank, so forthright, which denounces religious lunacy and all the harm it does. Bravo Monsieur Tassé !

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