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The Wonders of Christendom

Date: 15 December, 2005

By: Chief

Images it any wonder why religion fuels so much hate and discontent? It is truly amazing that in the beginning of the 21st century people — all over the world — hate other people who, for one reason or another, do not choose a particular religion as their own.

Indeed, some organized religions punish their own members by death for failing to do or adhere strongly or strictly enough to the 'faith'. That, in and of itself, says something about religious tolerance, now doesn't it?

A case in point is what happened to Maricica Irina Cornici of Romania. Cornici, a 23 year old woman, had been admitted to a monastery only three months previously and either was or was studying to become a nun. Well one day, according to other nuns and members of the congregation, Cornici:

"[H]ad to be punished, she had an argument with the Father during a Sunday mass and insulted him in front of the congregation" (quote from BBC).

It was determined, by who is still quite unclear, that Cornici was possessed by the devil or by evil. Take your pick. Therefore it was agreed upon that Cornici needed to be exorcised. To rid her of that diabolical devil that had possessed her body, mind and spirit. Do not worry readers, it gets better or worse dependent upon your point of view. Either way the story is almost unbelievable, but I digress.

So this soon to be exorcism started off with Cornici being gagged and bound, hand and foot, placed in solitary confinement within the church and without food or drink for several days. Upon completion of part one, Cornici was then chained to a cross and left gagged. Sometime after being placed upon the cross Cornici died.

The church priest, Father Daniel, was completely unrepentant as he held mass subsequent to the death of Cornici. Indeed, it was Cornici's mass. Adding insult to injury was the fact that the casket holding Cornici was not allowed into the church 'proper' because "she was possesed" (quote from BBC). Additionally no church bells were rung during the mass. Lastly, the other nuns who were in attendance showed no visible emotion during the mass.

Father Daniel, one of the main participants of the exorcism stated:

"I don't understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this. Exorcism is a common practice in the heart of the Romanian Orthodox church and my methods are not at all unknown to other priests" (quote from BBC).

Furthermore:

"Vitalie Danciu, the superior of a nearby monastery at Golia, called the crucifixion 'inexcusable', but a spokesperson for the Orthodox patriarchate in Bucharest refused to condemn it" (quote from BBC).

What will happen to the good Father Daniel is anybody's guess. But, here is a clue:

"Since the fall of the communist regime in December 1989, the Orthodox Church, which represents 85 percent of Romania's 22 million inhabitants, is rated in many opinion polls as the most trusted institution in the country" (from the BBC).

That should tell you a lot.

Anyway you slice it the sole (soul?) fact of the matter is that Maricica Cornici is dead. Her crime was being 'possessed' by the devil. The good father of the church decided that he would perform an exorcism to save Cornici. The rest, as they say, is ... history.

What we have here, like it or not, is a killing. A killing based on religious beliefs to be sure but a killing nonetheless. The killer, Father Daniel, as far as has been reported is still practicing preaching and purportedly saving souls.

Now you tell me what is the difference between Father Daniel killing a nun because she was purportedly possessed and a Muslim preacher calling for the death of infidels? I can see no difference whatsoever. Both are based on religion. Both religions, according to the followers of either religion, are absolutely correct. The killing of non-believers is justified according to a particular religion's 'good book'. That makes me wonder what is so good about the good book?

This religious practice of laying waste to the lands and people who are non-believers goes back over 1,000 years. The crusades started around 1095 and lasted until 1291 or there-abouts. Then there was the papal Inquisition which was followed by the Spanish Inquisition. Altogether close to a thousand years of torture, murder and mayhem. The Catholic office of the Inquisitor still remains, to this very day, and is fully staffed and functional. Though it has been renamed — Office of the Doctrine of the Faith.

Any attempt against the 'faith' was enough to get the perpetrator a quick and personal view of thumbscrews, the rack and possibly the stake. The same held true for anyone questioning the 'faith'. So much for religious tolerance.

Consider blasphemy. There is still a law in England specifically about blasphemy. It was last used in a civil libel suit in — 1977. The British law is as such:

"If any person, educated in or having made profession of the Christian religion, should by writing, preaching, teaching or advised speaking, deny any one of the Persons of the Holy Trinity to be God, or should assert or maintain that there are more gods than one, or should deny the Christian religion to be true, or the Holy Scriptures to be of divine authority, he should, upon the first offence, be rendered incapable of holding any office or place of trust, and for the second incapable of bringing any action, of being guardian or executor, or of taking a legacy or deed of gift, and should suffer three years imprisonment without bail."

Of course, Massachusetts has their own blasphemy law:

"Whoever wilfully blasphemes the holy name of God by denying, cursing or contumeliously reproaching God, his creation, government or final judging of the world, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching Jesus Christ or the Holy Ghost, or by cursing or contumeliously reproaching or exposing to contempt and ridicule, the holy word of God contained in the holy scriptures shall be punished by imprisonment in jail for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than three hundred dollars, and may also be bound to good behavior."

The old adage 'not in this day and age' needs to be taken with a large grain of salt. The killing of innocent people, for whatever the alleged reason, whatever the alleged higher purpose or cause, is an unadulterated full crock of human excrement. Religion is the primary source of killing innocents to achieve the higher purpose or cause. Christendom is just as barbaric — today — as any other organized religion. Just ask Maricica Cornici. Oh, my bad, you can't. She is dead. Killed by a priest — in a church — while chained to a cross and gagged.

Of course we must not forget what happened in Srebrenica, Bosnia in 1995. Serbians are Christians. Approximately 8,000 men and boys, not Christians, were killed by Serbian forces in Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. And new mass graves have recently been discovered. Potocari is the most recent. All in the name of "ethnic cleansing." You can most assuredly call it the 'non-believers syndrome'.

At the near end of the twentieth century if I lived in Massachusetts — today — I could be arrested, fined and imprisoned for denying the mere existence of God, either verbally or in writing. Religious tolerance. Sure. You bet. An oxymoron by any other name. My God this sounds much more like medieval Europe than late twentieth century Massachusetts. Somethings never change.

On the other side of the coin, ask Father Daniel. I have great faith that no matter what, if anything at all happens to him he will be, in his own mind, completely and positively convinced of the righteousness of his actions toward and to Cornici.

There are some people, quite a few I gather, who think, believe and act upon their own beliefs and the righteousness of their actions. No matter the pain it puts other people through. Rightly or wrongly their particular belief absolves them of all guilt of their crimes against innocent people. Those type of people are called zealots. And there are just as many of them in Christendom as there are in any other organized religion.

The next time someone starts discussing the wonders of Christendom, you might want to mention Father Daniel and Maricica Cornici. Or ethnic cleansing. Or blasphemy laws. Just beware that if you do question the faith, you might end being burned at the stake.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

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