Debunk a "Miracle"—Go to Jail for Blasphemy In India


Lots of countries, including many in Europe, are adopting laws that make it a criminal offense  for a person to make fun of another person's religion. Just how dangerously stupid this can be is illustrated by the case of Sanal Edamaruku, who is being sued for debunking a "miracle" at a Roman Catholic church in Mumbai, India. Apparently, the local priest and enthusiatic laity were claiming that water dripping from the feet of a statue of Jesus was a divine miracle.

With the consent of the church authorities Edamaruku investigated the miracle and found that the water was actually being diverted from a clogged washroom drain eventually dripping through a nail hole at the base of the statue. Miracle debunkers are rarely popular, and it proved to be true in this case. Instead of thanking Edamaruku for his hygienic discovery, two Catholic lay organizations are seeking his arrest and trial under Section 295A of the Indian Penal code:

Whoever destroys, damages or defiles any place of worship, or any object held sacred by any class of persons with the intention of thereby insulting the religion of any class of persons or with the knowledge that any class of persons is likely to consider such destruction, damage or defilement as a insult to their religion, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

Interesting notion that alerting people to the fact that their holy water was in fact sewage somehow constitutes criminal "defilement."