The arrest of Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive in his backyard for 18 years while sexually abusing her, unveiled just how depraved mankind can be. It also unveils how insecure mankind can be, revealing its need to blame someone or something for its problems.
A recent USA Today article reports how Garrido was a fervently religious man who often shared his faith with his victims and even defended his criminal acts with his religious beliefs:
Molesters commonly turn to religion to rationalize their behavior, said Ken Lanning, a former FBI profiler who specializes in kidnapping and child abuse cases.
"A lot of them when they're molesting children put a lot of time and energy into trying to convince themselves that they're not bad people," Lanning said. "In some cases the element of religion will come into it, and they will use varying aspects of their religious belief to justify all of this."
That a criminal would use religion to defend his crimes is not surprising. That such a criminal would be used as an example of the “evils” of religion is also not surprising, as shown by the comments to this article:
Religion and a criminal perversion of religion. What's the difference?
Religion is a neurosis. The fact that is leads to other strange behavior is just par for the course. I blame religion for his sexual perversion. We need to keep a good eye on those people. HaHA! They are capable of anything!
Funny how there is NO evidence linking homosexuality to pedophilism, but there's PLENTY of evidence linking relgious conservative wackos to pedophilism!!!!
Religion is a perfect way out for people low morale fiber and integrity. All you have to do is say "I believe" and all your sins go away. To them it doesn't matter how many women they rape and torture... Jesus will forgive. The bible says so!
Man has always sought a scapegoat to blame as the source of all his problems, sources such as poverty, minority groups, guns, alcohol, drugs, music, movies, television, pornography, or video games. But for the atheist, the ultimate scapegoat is religion, or what Marx referred to as the “opiate of the people.”
Atheists consider belief in God to be irrational and as such claim it leads to irrational behavior. They blame religion as the source of all our problems including war, bigotry, and hatred. Thus atheists—most notably “New Atheists” like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens—claim that the only solution is to abolish religion and faith in God.
While it is true that religion has been responsible for great evil, it has also been responsible for great good. Christianity is to blame for the Crusades, Inquisition, and Salem Witch Trials, but it’s also to blame for the Salvation Army, Alcoholics Anonymous, Habitat for Humanity, and every other charity, hospital, orphanage, and soup kitchen founded by Christians. A religion that teaches love, forgiveness, and tolerance can better hold responsibility for the actions that follow such teachings rather than actions that run counter to such teachings.
And while evil has been done In the name of religion, evil has also been done in the name of abolishing religion. Men such as Robespierre, Garrido Canabal, and Stalin were some of the bloodiest figures in history, yet all three were anti-religious and tried to abolish religion in their countries. Thus evil will exist even without religion.
There is no one source for the problems and evil in the world. Man has always been capable of evil, and has always found a scapegoat to excuse his evil. Abolishing religion will not abolish evil, only an excuse for it. It will also abolish a way for man to cope with evil, thus leaving some with an empty void.
Evil itself can never be truly abolished; only dealt with. And evil can only be dealt with when men are held accountable for their evil deeds, something that can never be done if we allow men to seek a scapegoat or allow someone else to seek a scapegoat for them.