Now bear in mind that this religion is not one we're familiar with, but one from the Paleolithic Era, about 25,000 years ago when both Homo neanderthalensis and H. sapiens lived in Europe. This is a passage from Jean Auel's book The Land of Painted Caves, the final novel of six in the "Earth's Children" series that began with The Clan of the Cave Bear in 1980. The speaker, Ayla, is a medicine woman (which in those days meant she knew how to set broken bones, deliver babies, and mix medicinal herbs) with an unusual background, having been raised by Neanderthals. It's commonly assumed that Stone Age religion was goddess-oriented, and the artifacts we find bear this out. Since all life comes from women, it must have been a woman who created the world. Auel postulates further that the humans of this era did not understand sexual reproduction, saw no connection between intercourse and pregnancy, and acknowledged only a female parent. Thus "the Mother" is what they call the Supreme Being. Ayla's clan recently captured four men who had been terrorizing the region for many years, committing robbery, rape and even murder. Just this morning (as coincidence would have it) she found and rescued a two-headed snake. Capital punishment is almost unheard-of in these times, since ostracism is a powerful punishment for people living in such tight communities. These men are clearly what we would today call sociopaths and have escaped from punishment before. The job falls to Ayla to speak to the clan and advise them on what to do. When a child is born dead, or leaves this world and walks the next soon after birth, it is because the only way a person who is not born right can be fixed is to return to the Mother, so She takes them back. Although it is much easier to say than to do, one should not grieve for such children; the Mother has taken them back so they can be made right. [Ayla opens her haversack and pulls out the two-headed snake.] Some things are not right when they are born, and it is obvious. The only way this snake can be fixed is to return it to the Mother. Sometimes that is what should be done. But sometimes someone is born wrong, and it is not obvious. When you look at them they seem normal, but they are not right inside. Just like this little snake, the only way they can be fixed is to return to the Mother. Only She can fix them. In other words, these men are suffering and it would be a kindness to return them to the Mother for repair. What a concept. In today's Abrahamic religions, people return to God to be rewarded or punished, not fixed.