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Published:November 11th, 2009 10:37 EST
Indian Villagers Believe Turtle Is An Incarnation Of God

Indian Villagers Believe Turtle Is An Incarnation Of God

By Robert Paul Reyes

"Hundreds of poor Hindu villagers in eastern India have refused to hand over a rare turtle to authorities, saying it is an incarnation of God, officials said on Tuesday.
Villagers chanting hymns and carrying garlands, bowls of rice and fruits are pouring in from remote villages to a temple in null, a coastal district in eastern Orissa state.
The turtle is protected in India and anyone found keeping one without permission can be jailed for a year or more and fined."
In some parts of the world turtles are considered exotic delicacies, but this is the first time I`ve heard of anyone worshipping the lowly creature.
The ignorant villagers have refused to surrender the reptile, claiming it`s an incarnation of Lord Jagannath, one of many Hindu gods. We mock dirt poor Indians who worship aturtle, but millions of Americans also believe in foolish notions like reincarnation and an Earth that`s only 6,000 years old.
If I were a Hindu and a turtle told me that he was an incarnation of Lord Jagannath, I would cook the reptile and eat him.  I wouldn`t want the devotees of other Hindu gods to discover that my favorite deity came back as a dumb turtle.
The idea that you can capture the Almighty and keep him in a cage is a bit unsettling. An omnipotent being trapped in a cage, something doesn`t` compute!
The villagers should be jailed for a year, for disobeying the law, and they can take solace in the belief that they are suffering for their faith.