Religion. It’s a curious thing. I look at religion and religious people from time to time and wonder how anybody could be so stupid. Other times I look at religion and religious people and the depth and power of the stupidity is so appalling that I feel obligated to write about it. Or slap some fool till they snap out of it. Or at least fantasise about slapping some fool out of their religion induced reason-coma. This won’t be the first post I’ve written on the subject and god knows it won’t be the last. Which is really sad and mostly depressing considering the subject.

Religion claims the moral high ground. Religion claims knowledge where none exists. Religion lies to children. Religion tortures and kills babies.

Too far? Not quite. You see, in New Zealand we have secular laws based on reason – perhaps not always flawless but certainly better than the alternative – and we have religion, information apparently directly from the almighty creator of the universe. We have people in New Zealand. Judges who manage the application of secular laws through the legal system and we have other people who claim to follow the instructions of the loving almighty creator of the universe.

And we have stories like this one:

If you read that story I think you will find that a good Kiwi Judge is using secular law to try to save the life of a 10 month old baby whose parents have decided – based on instruction from their god himself – to let it die of cancer. That is correct. The secular legal system of New Zealand has to save little babies from their criminally delusional, religious parents.

The parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses, an especially delusional sect of Christianity, have at some point in their organisation’s past, pulled the profoundly idiotic notion out of their collective asses that blood transfusions are an abomination because… well god said so. Maybe. In a verse in the Bible that doesn’t actually say that.

In August, doctors found a large cancerous tumour in the right side of the 10-month-old’s chest and she was diagnosed with stage four cancer in her bones. She has been given a 90 per cent survival rate with treatment, but is likely to need a blood transfusion and her parents will not consent because they are Jehovah’s Witnesses. There is a high risk she would develop life-threatening complications if she was unable to have a transfusion. In a recent decision, the High Court granted the Auckland District Health Board’s application to place her in the guardianship of the court for nine months to allow her to receive transfusions.

The baby has an exceedingly good – 90% – chance of survival and a normal life with treatment but will need a blood transfusion. What do the parents do? The most detestable thing. They say no, let the child die. Horribly.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are unfit parents due to their religious beliefs. There no other way to put it. Their profoundly stupid and harmful belief, based on no evidence what so ever, is a danger to their children. They fail in the single most important duty of a parent: keep your child alive.

Religion is dangerous. It’s dangerous to the children of religious parents. It’s dangerous to the rest of us. To quote a great man: “religion poisons everything”. Between anti-vaccination crazies who are undermining societal herd immunity – hard-won at a terrible cost against disease over generations – with their anti-science idiocy to religion inspired wars to charter schools who insist on teaching creationism as factual science in science class, the rest of us reasonable people are under an assault with weapons grade idiocy.

The great irony is that, while the rest of us have to cope with the horrendous stupid of the religionuts, it’s their own children that suffer the most. And that from a group of people who claim to worship a deity who allegedly has a soft spot for children.

How can people be so goddamned stupid?