From, April 9:

The devotee scales the high walls of the religious shrine on a rope, a bucket dangling off his back. Once he is at the top (typically about 30ft high), he miraculously retrieves a baby from the bucket, handing it over to a bunch of men standing on the balcony.

One of these men takes hold of the baby’s hands and feet, holding the child as though it were a basket. He swings the kid back and forth in the air, exclaiming a chant in the praise of the Lord. And then, shockingly, the baby is dropped.

Baby dropping could be India’s most bizarre ritual. Screaming, wailing babies are dropped from several meters into the air, and there are a group of 14 to 15 men standing right below, holding a blanket that breaks the baby’s fall. Just as it bounces on the blanket once, it is caught by one of the men and handed over to the mother. Understandably, it takes several minutes before the baby recovers from the shock.

[I]t has apparently been in practice for the past 700 years by Hindu and Muslim Indians alike in the states of Karnataka and Maharashtra. The ritual happens only once per year, and is believed to bring good luck to the baby, keeping it safe and healthy. It also ensures prosperity for the entire family. The ritual is generally meant for babies less than 2 years of age, and is so absurd that it seems to blatantly defy all reason and logic.

However, locals are pretty staunch in their belief and in spite of all the hue and cry raised by human rights activists, and even a ban on the ritual in 2011, this year’s ceremonies were carried out as usual. The most recent baby dropping event was held,  last week, at the Digameshwara temple in Nagrala village, Karnataka….

Although no child has been harmed so far, the practice seems extremely unsafe, since mistakes can happen at any moment.

Here’s the stomach-churning video…


A couple points.

First, these people need Jesus. From first century Rome to 19th century Hawaii, and everywhere in between and beyond, the Good News has gratefully brought with it an end to dangerous rituals, infanticide, and human sacrifice.

Second, this is as close to Scott Klusendorf’s example of “trotting out the toddler”  as I want to get. As he writes, the “justification for abortion also works as a justification for killing toddlers or other humans.” Whatever reason abortion proponents may give to decry the baby tossing ritual  is a reason they would give to defend abortion.

Here’s one who doesn’t, a commenter at The Daily Mail. Note how this moral relativist throws similar mud against the wall in an attempt to squelch anti-baby tossers as others do to attempt to squelch pro-lifers…

A tradition thats gone on for years, dont get involved with your false concern…if your really concerned about childrens health then bin your huge 4x4s you drive them to school in poluting the planet and dont feed them mcdonalds becasue its easy…!

[HT: Randi]

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