This week a woman in Illinois was sentenced to twenty-five years in prison for stabbing her six year old daughter to death. When the authorities showed up they found the body in a room with a butcher knife and a picture of Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The little girl had been stabbed eleven times in the neck and chest.
After the mother did this she attempted suicide by slitting her wrists but a neighbor called the cops before she could bleed out. At first her story was that she murdered her daughter in self-defense. However, she later admitted that the real reason was because she feared the little girl was possessed by demons. Allegedly the only evidence for this was a case of sleep walking, an entirely common phenomenon especially in children.
I've written about this elsewhere in an essay called "Religion and Mental Illness" but I feel compelled to reiterate this point because, unfortunately, crazy people are still killing their children because of unfounded beliefs in demons, possession, spirits and gods.
What I simply do not understand is why religious people can call the story of Abraham and Issac a tale of heroic faith and yet share my disgust when a woman stabs her poor child to death. How can these people claim to get their absolute morality from a book containing a story of premeditated child sacrifice and then have any logical coherence when condemning this sort of thing in the modern world.
We both likely agree that this woman is, at best, mentally ill and unfit for society. My question to the Christian is: why do you believe this?