The name Sanal Edamaruku is probably not well known to most people in the United States but my readers with ties to the skeptic community is probably aware of who he is. Mr. Edamaruku is president of Rationalist International and debunker of superstition and what is popularly known as "woo woo."
Recently Edamaruku went to investigate an alleged miracle in Mumbai. A statue of Christ at the Catholic church Our Lady of Velankanni was allegedly "weeping" - out its feet!
The Hindu reports that
Sanal Edamaruku, the eminent rationalist thinker, arrived at the church a fortnight after the miracle began drawing crowds. It took him less than half an hour to discover the source of the divine tears: a filthy puddle formed by a blocked drain, from where water was being pushed up through a phenomenon all high-school physics students are familiar with, called capillary action.
For his discovery, Mr. Edamaruku now faces the prospect of three years in prison — and the absolute certainty that he will spend several more years hopping between lawyers' offices and courtrooms. In the wake of Mr. Edamaruku's miracle-busting Mumbai visit, three police stations in the capital received complaints against him for inciting religious hatred. First information reports were filed, and investigations initiated with exemplary — if unusual — alacrity.
That is appalling, outrageous!
The Wall Street Journal reports on the reaction of the Catholic community there:
They also report that
The Catholic Bishop of Mumbai Agnelo Gracias has called on Mr. Edamaruku to apologize for “hurting” the Catholic community and said that no money had been collected at the shrine.
The Catholic community in Mumbai and religious people everywhere hurt themselves and their cause when they jettison reason in favor of an uncritical faith.
To the contrary of what Bishop Agnelo says about it, Edamaruku should be thanked and viewed as benefactor to these people as it was reported that the faithful had been collecting this polluted water in plastic bottles to take to their homes. Not a wise thing.
I hope these charges will be dropped against Mr. Edamaruku. I am including a link to Mr. Edamaruku's blog for those who want to follow this story.