The Bellews really blew it.

September 21, 2012

To say nothing of the Islamic backlash in response to one of the worst videos I’ve probably ever seen, we have yet another example of religion at its worst and most lethal – this time, in the state of Oregon.  Russell and Brandi Bellew have been sentenced to five years probation for, in essence, killing Brandi’s 16-year-old son with their subscription to a ridiculous theology (redundant!).

So, with their son Austin writhing in pain for days and days from a burst appendix — which they claim (and probably still do) that only prayer and the intercession of some zombie-baby-Jesus-who-is-his-own-son-and-father can cure — they looked on with, no doubt, sadness and despair.   Truly, what parent, unless they are completely socio- or psychopathic, could do otherwise?  When Austin finally dies — to no one’s surprise but his idiot parents — his murderers are given a slap on the wrist by a court that apparently seems unwilling to properly punish these parents, lest the free exercise of religion be infringed upon in some way.

What in the fuck is wrong with this picture?

This is, once again, religion getting a free pass.   If anyone else had done what the Bellews did and at the same time did not cite a divine authority, they would’ve been locked up faster than you can say “cognitive dissonance”.  

But you know, I gotta admit — there is a train of thought that gives me some pause here.  Austin was old enough to drive, which means he probably could’ve driven himself to a hospital.   I wonder — did he have his license, or a car or access to one?  If his parents are this religious he was, no doubt, homeschooled.  So, I wonder if he had any friends that he could’ve asked to help him.  Perhaps Austin isn’t a victim at all.  Perhaps he drank the Kool Aid, too, and was as much to blame in his own death as were his parents who spoon-fed him the idiocy that led him to his tragic end.  And I’m guessing that the “I’ll believe anything” gene runs in the family – his father, Brian Sprout, died of sepsis in 2007 after – yep – he refused medical intervention for an infection.

Well, natural selection works in mysterious ways, I guess.

Boy, I am really torn on this one, folks.  A judge has decided that it’s legally OK to take drugs if you believe in the god of an Ashland, OR church.

By now, readers of this blog are quite familiar with my views on both religion and drug legalization.  Why the world had to go and combine these two bits of fuckery is beyond me at the moment, but, ah shit, c’est la vie.

So, let me get this straight – if I espouse to believe in god, and show up at the doorsteps of the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen, I can get some tea laced with dimethyltryptamine?  Damn, almost sounds like it’s worth signing up for!

I read in the Oregonian that  “[t]he church, which blends Christian and indigenous religious beliefs in Brazil, uses tea brewed from the ayahuasca plant in their services” and “the tea is the central ritual and sacrament of the religion where members believe ‘only by taking the tea can a church member have direct experience with Jesus Christ’.”

Yeah, we’ve heard that type of shit before, right?  From your favorite pot-head friends?  “Dude, this shit helps me, you know, think and stuff, expand my mind and shit.”  Don’t misunderstand me – the drug laws in this country should be swept out the door, which would allow your favorite pot-head friend to get high at his own leisure without unnecessary fear of retribution, would clean up the jails and would free up the police to pursue real criminals, like pedophile priests.

So why should the religious wackos get to have some hallucinogenic fun while us non-believers get busted for buying, selling or possessing the same shit?  On the one hand, I am thrilled that the courts are seeing a reason why drug laws should be circumvented (we non-religious devotees have been screaming this from the hilltops for years).  But on the other hand, we’re seeing that, because we’re all so terrified to stand up to religion, we just bend the rules, hand out a free pass and call it the Religious Freedom Restoration Act so that the Native Americans can have their peyote and these hippy dippies in Oregon can have their Daime tea.   Fine, let ’em have it, I say, but I also say, let us all have access to the same mind expansion without having to believe in gods and spirits and other imaginary creatures.  One Oregonian reader’s comment to the online story stated that the only hallucination here is a separation of church and state.  Amen to that.