So, here's a quiz for you.
Someone learns about an island inhabited by about 50-100 members of a tribe that has had very little contact with civilization. The nation that the island is a part of has decreed that no outsiders are to set foot on the island. One reason is that the tribe members lack immunity to many diseases common in the outside world, so they could be decimated by contact with outsiders.
Should this person:
(A) Give up any idea of visiting the island.
(B) Sneak onto the island with the intention of changing the tribe over to their way of thinking.
If you're a normal, rational, caring human being, almost certainly you will choose (A). But if you're an evangelical Christian, or another sort of religious believer committed to converting unbelievers, you'll be tempted to choose (B).
Which is just what Christian fanatic John Chau did. And he paid for that idiotic decision by losing his life after the tribe members shot arrows at him.
I rarely think he/she got what they deserved after learning of an untimely death. With Chau's death, though, I've got to admit that this thought has settled firmly in my mind.
Chau believed he was on a mission from God.
Of course, God doesn't exist, so that belief emanated from his own religiously-deluded mind. We know what transpired in that Jesus-soaked brain prior to his death, because he gave his diary to the fishermen who smuggled him onto the island. Several stories, here and here, describe some of his entries.
"You guys [his family] might think I'm crazy in all this, but I think it's worth it to declare Jesus to these people."
"This is not a pointless thing. The eternal lives of this tribe is at hand."
"I love you all and I pray none of you love anything in this world more than Jesus Christ."
“Lord, is this island Satan’s last stronghold where none have heard or even had the chance to hear your name?”
This shows the danger of religion. It makes people do stupid things. Sure, people do stupid things without religion, but when you add supernatural fantasies into the mix, a person's Stupid Quotient soars to new heights.
Chau didn't speak the tribe's language. So far as I know, no one else does either, given how difficult it has been to study the tribe. So Chau couldn't tell them about Jesus, since they couldn't understand him.
I'm tempted to say, what was this guy thinking?
But that question is answered by Chau's diary entries. He wasn't thinking about what was best for the tribe on the isolated island. He was only thinking about his Christian delusion that it was up to him to save the tribe from an imaginary Satan who he fantasized was keeping the tribe from knowing his imaginary God.
There's one good thing that came from Chau's death, though. It makes atheism look really good in comparison to religious zealotry.