Which Is Worse?
A couple disturbing stories slipped past my desk today, both of which highlight religious immorality, but in slightly different ways.
The first took place in a small village in Northern India, where two people (including one pregnant woman) were brutally murdered for daring to defy the traditional and religious requirements of their culture. Their crime: falling in love and attempting to procreate, even though they both are from the same village. Apparently, people from the same village are considered to be the equivalent of siblings, and so falling in love with your high school sweetheart is essentially incest.
The second took place a little closer to home; one of the 40 (40!) pastors at Prestonwood Baptist Church here in Dallas was arrested for soliciting sex from whom he thought was a 13-year old girl. He arranged a meeting, showed up with a bunch of condoms, but discovered that he'd actually been talking dirty to the cops. It's been said before, but there have been so many Christian leaders discovered to be closeted kinksters, homophobic homosexuals, and outright pedophiles that this is really becoming quite the cliche. I wonder how long it'll take before the default assumption about Christian pastors is that they're one of the above, and just really good at hiding it?
Now, both of these are horrible, although the double-murder is substantially worse than the attempted statutory rape. However, I find the responses in both situations to be interesting in their differences. The Indian village that committed the atrocity is actually proud of what happened, and is defiantly resisting any suggestion that what occurred was immoral. On the other hand, Prestonwood has issued a press release acknowledging that what their pastor tried to do was wrong. And yet, both seek to resolve these immoral situations with the superstitious and traditional contexts which spawned them- making it hard for me to determine which is ultimately worse.