We all remember the ordeal when a sadistic and deranged individual kidnapped then 14 year-old Elizabeth Smart at knife-point, holding her captive for an excruciating 9 months. Recently, Ms Smart has come out with some comments (and a book) regarding her sordid ordeal including: “Nine months of living with him and seeing him proclaim that he was God’s servant and called to do God’s work and everything he did to me … is something that I know that God would not tell somebody to do,” “God would never tell someone to kidnap her at knife point from their bed, from her sister’s side …never continue to rape her and sexually abuse her.”
Ms Smart wants everyone in earshot to believe that her captor’s religiously motivated actions were an aberration; God would never ask this of anyone. Really? How the hell does Elizabeth Smart know? What sort of special knowledge of the supernatural does she have that allows her to speak to the intentions of an ostensibly omnipotent entity? One whom all Mormons are taught to worship and admire, a cat who spoke directly to a man (Abraham) who then agreed that he would not hesitate in gutting his own son with a knife. Notwithstanding the fact, according to the fable, that an angel stayed his hand at the last moment. Abraham was fully prepared to slice the life out of his own kid as asked by this very same god to demonstrate so-called faith. The very same god who ostensibly spoke to Elizabeth Smart’s captor resulting in a religiously motivated and justified rape prior to each uttering his religious incantations. As horrific, terrifying, and obscene as Ms Smart’s abduction and captivity were, having your own father cut your throat as a demonstration of his faith has to be worse. If any such entity asked me to even remotely consider harming my child, my reply would be, as the late Christopher Hitchens chided: “fuck you.”
What Ms Smart refuses to acknowledge is that you cannot have it both ways. If you take any of Mormanism, Christianity, Islam, or Judaism with any degree of sincerity at all, God is an entity who doesn’t give a rip about justice. And if you want your God, then you have to accept the fact that it is a profoundly sadistic and unjust god whom you simply cannot trust. One that apparently obtains some degree, if not a high degree, of amusement out of burning sinners and disbelievers merely for the fact that they honestly used the capability of their own God-given reason to conclude on incredibly sound and honest reflection that he does not, in fact, exist. A god capable of that sort of injustice, a god able to motivate a father to slice the throat of his own son, is a god clearly capable of motivating her kidnapper to rape.
What Elizabeth Smart went through, no child should EVER have to endure. And the rational actions taken in the wake of her abduction are right and proper (enhancements to the Amber Alert System, etc.). But for her to now be out attempting to rationalize an utter contradiction in religious belief is a truly sad manifestation. That it gets play as something worthy of praise is deeply troubling.