Visions of the spiritual world (2)
Every five years millions of Hindus gather at the temple of Gadhimai, a Hindu "goddess of power", at Bariyarpur, Nepal. Many come from nearby India. The occasion is a mass sacrifice of animals to the goddess, an action which the faithful believe will entice her to give them luck, health, and prosperity. The scale of the slaughter is staggering -- in 2009, the last time the festival was held, these believers killed between 300,000 and 500,000 animals, mostly by clumsy beheading. Not for food, not in self-defense, but purely to win the blessings of a fatuous entity with no existence outside their own deranged delusions.
Here's a video by blogger Lady Freethinker (who posts more on the Gadhimai festival here), which will show you exactly what this looks like. Be warned -- beheadings are shown graphically.
The 2014 festival begins today. I was not able to locate the petition mentioned at the end, but here is another, and there's also a campaign aimed at the Nepali embassy in the US.
This yet again illustrates, of course, the inability of the religious mind to test beliefs against empirical evidence. If Hindus believe these mass slaughters bring health and prosperity, a glance at India and Nepal strongly suggests that it isn't working.
Earlier posts of mine on Hinduism are here, here, and here.