Craig Cobb, the white supremacist who reportedly has some African ancestors and who has been trying to turn Leith, North Dakota into an Aryan enclave is refusing food in jail. Cobb was jailed earlier in November after he terrorized Leith residents with guns. Cobb says this is not a hunger strike, but is instead his choice to practice mahasamādhi, “a form of spiritual enlightenment in which the physical body is permanently left behind.”
What is there to do in such a situation? In a hunger strike situation he would be force fed, but in a religious choice situation his choices have some protections. I say allow him his enlightenment. Yes, enlightenment does mean leaving the physical body behind and will result in Cobb’s clinical death, but we are still honoring his religious freedom. Unless he is certifiably crazy – in that case the state should act in his best interests. Some may say there is a fine line between crazy and some religious beliefs, but who should have the definitive say when the result of either reality is death?
This would be easier if we liked Cobb or believed what he stood for…oh wait, I should have said if I liked Cobb or believed what he stood for. But I don’t like Cobb or what he stands for and I am not of the mind that he needs to be saved because he is crazy. I think he is calculating and seeking a national spotlight for his agenda – an agenda that is fueled by bigotry and hate.
I suspect Craig Cobb will have a come to Jesus moment before too long and assert that his spiritual development requires a cheeseburger, but until then let him seek enlightenment. In Cobb’s case a little enlightenment might go an awfully long way.
Day one thousand two hundred and forty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da