It seems to me that an unnaturally high percentage of stories I’ve reported on in the Religious Horror Show, or on the Bitchspot Report podcast, of late have involved people lighting themselves, or someone else, on fire. Self-immolation as an attention-getter doesn’t make any sense to me, but then again, masochistic self-torture of any kind leaves me scratching my head. It’s especially bad when a long, long line of people seem ready and willing to douse themselves in gasoline and become a Roman candle for the cause, when none of the people who have done so before them have been successful at changing the hearts or minds of those that matter. Isn’t the very definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results? If so, these people are insane.
In Tibet, Buddhist monks, over the last several years, have been lighting themselves on fire to protest Chinese control of their little ray of sunshine “state”. Of course, Buddhists have been doing this for years. Between 1963 and 1971, over 100 monks went up in flames. There are no total figures for those who have done so over longer spans of time, but in India, approximately 1500 people torched themselves in both 2000 and 2001 in protest of various things.
Personally, I think this just demonstrates the complete insanity of religion.
However, this time, it’s not just crazy monks, two Tibetan teens have burned themselves alive in a rare double-immolation event. 18-year-old Sonam Dargye and a 17-year-old identified by US-based Radio Free Asia (RFA) only as Rinchen, doused themselves in gasoline and fried themselves to a crisp in the Aba prefecture of Tibet in southwestern China.
Now it might sound like I have no sympathy for these people and you’d be right. I do not sympathize with the stupid and these people, like it or not, are morons. They might be well-intentioned morons, but they’re morons nonetheless. If this is the only means these people have of protesting the Chinese takeover of their nation, they might as well pack it in. Now granted, this is a wonderful way of ridding the planet of religious fanatics, I’d have no problem if Christian fundamentalists decided they were going to play Russian Roulette with all the chambers filled in protest of gay marriage, hell, I’ll buy bullets. Never let it be said that I wasn’t fully in favor of bleaching some of the darker elements from the human gene pool. I just think that if you’re going to make a political statement, you don’t snuff yourself in the process. If you’re going to make an extreme political statement, don’t do the same damn thing dozens or hundreds of people have done before you and failed. Learn from the lessons of others and don’t let your idiotic religious beliefs push you into doing something self-destructive.
And they say religion causes no harm.