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A woman named Chloe Menager was arrested this week after the discovery of her drowned infant son in their West Oak Cliff home, reported Dallas Morning News and WFAA TV on Friday.

Okay so before I begin, the lady in question hasn’t been prosecuted yet. Innocent until proven guilty. She has not admitted to anything. It appears her son drowned. Whether she did it intentionally or just left the room for a moment is open to speculation. ALL of this is open to speculation. So if I say anything below about her specifically it is JUST speculation and I only know more about this than you do cuz I read a couple news reports about it. You may know more about this in the future than I do now. So take this with a grain of salt. I’m only highlighting this as an example of a point I’m trying to make. I’m not pulling out any pitchforks and torches and demanding we storm the castle. Let’s get that out of the way right now. No one should consider this an attack against her or anything.

Furthermore, I am fully aware this is an extreme case. Present company accepted. I’m sure this would never happen to you cuz you’re so whatever. Not wanting to go down that road again either, but oftentimes when I cite an example like this, the first thing the opposition wants to do is claim I can’t make blanket statements about religion cuz this is an out of the ordinary situation. 99.9% of the time people live their lives in a religious mindset and nothing bad ever happens to them. They do good deeds and contribute to their society and are all rainbows and sunshine everywhere they go. One should not banish all beliefs just cuz every now and then some crazy woman cites it as an excuse to murder her son.

There’s all kinds of directions we could go with speculation on this. She doesn’t really believe and is trying to cop a plea. She does really believe and is fucking mental. She was doing meth and was negligent and doesn’t want her husband to find out. All or some or none of the above and something totally different. We can go all kinds of directions here and lose sight of the truth.

A kid is dead. A mother is in jail. She has not admitted culpability. She’s clearly stated it’s not religion’s fault, but that demons have entered her life.

If someone tries to follow all the laws, if you don’t do it the right way, or if you’re a little bit rebellious or you say I’m not going to do this because I don’t want to, or I’m not going to church today, or little things like that open doors to demons to torment you… It’s not anybody’s fault. Don’t blame it on the religion. It just has to do with me.

This is behavioral conditioning. She has been taught to believe this way.

Somehow her brain has twisted it from how most people use religion in their heads to live their lives, but a lot of people believe this sort of thing is possible. I gotta tell ya, the movie Exorcist was a lot scarier when I was younger and believed demon possession was possible. Now when I watch it, it’s at times a disturbing comedy and at other times a slow plodding drama, but the scare factor has become totally nil, cuz I can no longer suspend my disbelief.

Here’s what a lot of people still believe though: there are angels and demons out there just beyond our sensory perception but they are fighting over your soul even as you read these words. You have a guardian angel. You can even claim him if you want. Name your angel and he will be at your beck and call, serving you dutifully because you serve Elohim. And he will defeat your demons for you, but you have to hold up your end of the bargain. Say your prayers. Follow the bible. Do what god would want you to do in all endeavors. You can’t sin. If you do, you must ask for forgiveness and atone for your sins.

Have you accepted Jesus Christ into your heart? Can you not feel his blood wash over you as your guilt and pain all goes away, washed in the blood of the lamb of God? Don’t you feel better now? By the way, be sure to give ten percent of your worldly possessions to The Church. More than that if you’re serious, cuz you want to show Jesus you love him so. Make the check out to me. I’ll be sure he gets it.

Elsewhere I have read Chloe Menager compares her plight in this with other biblical figures, like Job for example. Her god is testing her. He is molding and shaping her into a better person by making her experience all this terrible stuff. What a loving and kind and compassionate god to bestow so much pain and suffering her way? He must have something really important planned for her in the hereafter, cuz she’ll probably get a lethal injection for this.

You following me? Perhaps he’s using her as an example, so that other believers will see her suffering and they will turn to the Lord for fear of walking down her path. Chloe Menager is saving souls while her god is lovingly honing and shaping her like a sword of justice. I could go on and on. I used to believe this kind of crap, so I’m well versed in how it floats.

You may laugh, or you may nod your head in agreement to her struggle and your god’s mysterious ways.

Either way, how is this woman’s beliefs any less valid than yours?

Oh you may believe all the dogma of Christianity or you accept some of it but not the stuff that sounds crazy. Or maybe you know what denomination she is and your denomination isn’t messed up like hers is. Oh I’m sure yours is different. She worships the wrong god. You worship the right one. Or there’s only One True God so she must be worshiping Satan and he’s got her all confused. Whereas you worship the actual One True God and you’re not at all confused. You’re doing all the right things. She’s strayed from the path of righteousness somehow. Or maybe you really agree that her god is testing her. There’s all kinds of variations on this theme. I’m sure whatever variation you have it’s just a little different from anything I’ve described here and whatever your situation is it’s totally different. I’m not talking about you then. I’m talking about ALL THOSE OTHER CRAZY PEOPLE WHO DON’T KNOW THE RIGHT WAY TO WORSHIP THE ONE TRUE GOD. You’re gonna be so lonely in your heaven. You’ll be the only one there.

Oh by the way, you don’t have to believe anything I’m saying right here, cuz obviously those demons have got me all wrapped up like a pretzel and they’re using my tongue and my fingers to type out all kinds of lies, and cause you to doubt your god. But you ain’t falling for it, are ya? Oh goodness no. Nothing I say could possibly tear you away from the loving embrace of the great Elohim who punishes and tortures the ones he loves the most like Daniel and Job and Chloe. If only he would bless you like that someday.

Even if you believe in something provable, like science, why do you believe it? You can prove it! You DON’T need faith in something you can prove! Using faith in even the most pragmatic stuff like “critical thinking” makes you just as crazy as an alternate medicine person. Even if you believe the right stuff, if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons, you’re still incorrect. See my previous blog post about faith in politics to see where i’m going with that one.

You have proof of some things you believe perhaps, but you do not necessarily have proof of every single thing you believe, and the concept of belief is a catch-all bucket. You can put gravity in there and you can put leprechauns, and both are equally valid when you use only belief as a gauge. Some beliefs work like worms in the brain. They can become twisted and distorted over time and in the wrong hands can even lead to making decisions that make perfect sense from this slanted perspective, but to an objective and rational outsider, it’s completely and totally insane.

They may even tell you to vote for Mitt Romney cuz though he’s Mormon, at least he’s a Christian. Barack Obama’s gotta be a Muslim! Why, he looks like one! And he’s been accused of not being a Christian even though he said he was. Even Hank Williams Jr can see the truth! Even Donald Trump thinks Barack Obama’s not even American! How can you support someone like that?

Your beliefs color who you vote for, not to mention every other decision you make, every single day. And if you can’t prove your beliefs, but you use them anyway, you really shouldn’t even be behind the wheel of a car. Cuz God is SO not your co-pilot, but I might be in the bus next to you and I’d appreciate it if you didn’t use faith to drive your car while you’re checking something in the back seat.

If your beliefs make you just a little crazy, shouldn’t I be concerned about that? Okay so you’re not as crazy as a mother who lets her son die in the bathtub and then blames it on demons, but if you believe your god will provide so there’s no reason to preserve our environment cuz that’s Jesus’ job, should I want you making any choices that have anything to do with polluting our environment? Or any decisions at all, really?

This Chloe Menager thing kinda hits close to home, literally. This happened here in Dallas. I don’t know her, but she’s practically a neighbor. There may be other similar internal battles waging in the minds of people I meet and greet in my daily routine. This sort of thing can be happening all over the country.. all over the planet. There’s mothers afraid to be alone with their children, for fear of what the elusive forces of evil may wrought. In some parts of Africa, there are communities who chastise, torture and even murder children because they believe those kids are possessed by the devil. Heck, there’s probably parts of America where that’s happening. That could be happening in churches right here in Dallas, behind closed doors. I have no way of knowing. All I have is speculation, which could lead to fear. Fear leads to anger, then to hate, then to suffering. Thank you George Lucas. Okay so Phantom Menace wasn’t totally evil. Some good stuff in it.

“Please don’t blame my religion.”

It’s like that old chestnut: “Guns don’t kill people. People with guns kill people.” Religion isn’t what kills. It’s people wielding religion that have the capacity to kill. I can already hear apologists citing some historical genocidal maniac who was allegedly atheist. Hitler was a catholic by the way so you can’t use him. Stalin believed in ‘The State’ so I discount him too, but there’s always someone claiming that a belief in no gods is just as potentially dangerous. Someone could use a lack of faith in gods as an excuse to murder.

No. They can’t.

You have to have faith in something to pull that trigger, or smother that baby.

It’s the doubt that stops you.