Christian Orthodox Ritual Gone Wrong

WARNING: This is a very difficult story to tell, and it involves a mother dying in front of her children. The accompanying video expresses the terror, desperation, and panic of her children. Please proceed with caution. You have been warned.


INTRODUCTION
I have to be up front and declare that the purpose of this entry is not to mock or make fun of anyone. There is a time for those things, and this is not one of those times.

Orthodox Christians have an annual ritual of the Epiphany Bath. In this ritual, a person will submerge themselves into freezing waters to mark the Epiphany, which was the baptism of Jesus Christ, according to the mythology.

Many participants also believe that the water will wash away their sins, AND that the water possess special healing properties.

What I am about to share with you has no healing. Instead, the video depicts a woman, a Russian lawyer and mother of two children, engaging in the ritual, with deadly results.

WARNING: This is VERY difficult to watch, and to hear the cries of these children as they realize that their mother will die, never to return home.

WHAT WENT WRONG?
There are several things that went wrong here. I am not well versed in Orthodox Christian practices, so some of these things might be part of the ritual, for all I know.

The first issue I see is that they are doing this at night. They have lighting for the cameras, but they do not have a powerful light so that they can see in the water. To be fair, if they all could have seen what had happened, they might have been even more terrified. In the video, you’ll notice that the priest recognizes the problem right away.

Again, I don’t know if this is supposed to be a nighttime ritual. If there is no rigid expectation of time, then I’d suggest that doing this during daylight hours would be preferrable.

The second issue is the relatively small hole in the ice.

The third issue is that there are NO diving professionals present.

The fourth issue is that there is no rope attaching her to something on the surface, like a tree.

The fifth issue is how she jumps in, completely straight with her feet pointed. This move took things beyond a simple dunking three times.

The sixth issue is that they did this on a river that has a strong current running beneath the ice. Combine this with the fifth issue, and you can see how she went down deep enough to be caught in a current and dragged beneath the ice to a place where there is no surfacing.


A PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION
The question I would pose is simple: Why would a god allow someone to die when they are in the process of expressing respect and worship for said god?

I have a handle on the answer to that, but it’s an answer that most people do not want to accept.


THE HARD TRUTH
I have been on this planet for 57 years, and I have been a non-believer the entire time. Never have I believed in any gods, regardless of whether or not they are commercially available for purchase. I word it this way to include both the gods that are attached to human-generated religions, as well as the possibility of a god who has no attachments to ANY human-generated religions.

Very few ever stop to consider the idea of gods who aren’t mixed up in human nonsense.

During my time on the planet, I have never, ever witnessed anything that would lead me to conclude that there is a god out there who is actively watching over us, taking care of us, taking notes, and then doling out punishment after death.

Additionally, I’ve also seen no evidence of any god who might be the “watchmaker” type. This is the belief that a god created everything and then left it to run on its own, without keeping an eye on it. This type of a god would be a good explanation for why something like this would go wrong. Still, no evidence is present.

I don’t look at a tree and declare it to be a sign that a specific god exists. I don’t look at a beautiful baby and declare it to be a sign of a god, any more than I’d look at an ugly baby and declare it to be a sign of a satan. This fallacious style of thinking is called Cognitive Dissonance.


IN THE END
There are no gods watching over us. There is nothing out there that cares about us. We are utterly alone, and nobody is driving the bus.

Most certainly, this is a position that terrifies the average person. This is because most religious belief is driven by the fear of death, followed by the fear of death being the end of everything.

One purpose of the hard times that the American government is putting us through right now is to push people toward religious faith. This is to help the likes of Trump get solid buy-in from the faithful when it’s time to install his Fascist Nazi regime. My hope is that it won’t happen, because living in a Theocracy is NOT something anyone would really want to do.

Plus, remember that there are over 50,000 brands of Christianity available for purchase, and only a few can take over and run the government. Consider what they will do to YOUR religion and YOUR beliefs if that happened. SPOILER: Your church would be shut down, and you’d be ordered to join the one true Christian faith, read the one true Christian bible, and the government would have its hands in your faith.

It is true that I cannot declare definitively that there is no god. Doing that would mean that I’d be saddled with the burden of proof. I see no reason to believe in Unicorns, but I’d have a hard time proving that they don’t exist.

All I have to go on is probability. Throughout my life as a non-believer, I left a part of my mind open to the idea that I was completely wrong, and that there is a god out there who is watching, listening, and for some reason caring about whether or not it feels good when I touch my pee-pee while I urinate.

That probability started out at a certain size. It got smaller over the years, as I noticed that Christians would make the same old, tired arguments in favor of their faith. These arguments hold no water and can easily be either debunked or dismissed.

That probability gets smaller over time. Any interactive god that is out there has had 57 years to communicate with me directly, to let me know that they exist. This has not happened..

Based on my experience and observations, the idea of ANY gods out there is very, very, very, very, very, very, very small.

Even worse, the idea of a god that is attached to a human-generated religion being out there is even smaller. Both scenarios are small enough to be negligible.

You’d have better luck finding a unicorn.

What we have now is a woman, a wife and mother, who is dead because she was engaging in a ritual to appease a superstitious mythological being that doesn’t appear to exist at all.

And when she was at her most desperate, under the water, terrified, afraid, disoriented, cold, and alone, there was no god with her and no god to save her.

Gods were invented by early man as a way of explaining or understanding the world around us. Imagine being a human 200,000 years ago, witnessing lightning and thunder, earthquakes, and other natural events and having no idea what caused them or why.

Gods were used as an explanation, and those explanations held true until we gained more knowledge and learned about the environment. Today, those of us who are educated know that lightning is caused by static electricity that is generated when clouds rub against one another. We also know that earthquakes are caused by movement in tectonic plates.

There are no gods or demons doing any of it.

Thankfully for me, we know that depression IS NOT caused by demons or possession. We know that beating people almost to death isn’t a cure for any of it.

And now, we have a widower and two orphans who are deep in mourning the loss of their wife and mother, who was everything to them. It’s a tragedy that could have been so easily avoided, by removing superstitious mythological beliefs from our cultures.

That won’t happen in our lifetime, as it’s still a great method of controlling large numbers of people.

It’s tragic, disgusting, terrifying, and so needless.

My hope is that people can learn from this horrific tragedy, and take steps to being more safe when engaging in these rituals, especially the dangerous ones.

I’ve watched this video a half dozen times, to let the reality of it all sink in. Those poor children had just witnessed what may end up being the most horrific event of their entire lives, and it was done in the name of Jesus.

We hairless apes need to do more to take care of one another.


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Published by DrumWild

Writing about drums, music, and philosophy.

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