Monday, December 10, 2012

Got Demons?

Two years ago a Christian, Larry Wilson, wrote an extensive blog explaining why people become possessed by demons. What’s more, is that he produces a wealth of Bible verses backing up his claim that demons are real and out to get you. I must admit that I love it when the Christians produce Biblical evidence proving that Demonic possessions are real, slavery is morally justified, and god hates homosexuals. They really make my job a lot easier.

As I painfully read the mumbo-jumbo, I couldn’t help but laugh the lunacy of it all. The study of demons and demonic possessions is as meaningful as studying the magical power of unicorns. I hope my readers appreciate how painful it is for me to sit down and read this load of hogwash. I mean, the insanity of it all literally has a physical effect on me.

The author explains that demonic possession comes about when a person becomes more sinful. The demon jumps into their body, making the evil-doer even naughtier. He explains that when people commit horrible crimes, it is often because they are possessed by a demon and cannot help themselves.

The issue was How Does a Person Become Demon Possessed? After all, this is a serious problem. Right in Milan Italy, the Catholic church were getting so many requests from disgruntled parents that they set up an exorcism hotline. I understand that parents can be in denial that their kids are brats. But I do not see how it is better to say, "my kid shoplifted because he was possessed by a devil."

 The author explains that demons are lurking around in every crack and crannie, watching everything you do. The demons are keeping a list, checking it twice to see if you have been naughty or nice. If you start being too naughty, the demon will stop and say to himself, “gosh, he has been a naughty boy lately, I think I am going to jump inside of his body, control his brain, and make him do things against his will. Why?! Why! Because I can! – That’s why!”

It seems pretty lame to me that a demon with super powers chooses to make people speak in tongues, flap their arms, and curse profanities. I do not know about you, but if I was a demon and had these kinds of powers, I would go about it differently. I would possess Rush Limbaugh, Rupert Murdoch, Simon Cowell, and one of the Kardashians. I would make them do some freaky, funny things. What a delicious thought. In fact, I am going to ask for some video responses. Please tell me what fun things you would do if you were a demon? Would you make the president vomit on the Japanese prime minister? Would you make Sarkozy so drunk that he makes an ass of himself at a press conference? Would you make a twenty-two year old girl steal a car, rob a bank, then dangle all the cash on a YouTube video? Or – would you be like me, and make a drunk twenty-two year old girl get an anal tattoo? 

I think it is safe to say most atheists believe that demonic possessions are absurd. Many of us do like to laugh and joke about it. By the way, did you know that they are making a new Exorcist movie? This time, it is to take the priest out of the child. (ta-da)

In all seriousness, when I was little, I saw the Exorcist and it scared the living crap out of me. It didn't help that certain nutty relatives of mine played with Ouija boards, thought they were psychic, and had the occasional out of body experience. I remember lying in my bed at night, too scared to pull the covers down from my head because I was afraid of things lurking in the dark.  I asked my mother if it was real, and she told me that it was real. Why? Because the Bible said it was real, nuff said.

Fortunately, I grew up and grew out of it. Today I look at the Exorcist with the eyes of a mature adult who understands these things are not real.

On the serious side of the issue, millions of people believe in this, millions of people are affected by it and harmed by it. There are many moral questions that will pop up. In Africa there is an epidemic of children being declared witches. Parents must pay their preacher a high price to exorcise the witch. If they do not pay, the child can be killed or the family will be shunned from the community. Once again, religion has proven to be very profitable by those willing to exploit vulnerable people.

My question is, when a person thinks they are possessed or haunted by a ghost, is it morally correct to validate and reinforce their delusion? The problem I see is that most people afflicted by demons do not have psychiatrists available to them. In many instances these are culture-bound illnesses. If they believe they can be possessed, then surely they will believe that they can be cured by an exorcism.

In 2000, Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer made a movie called What Lies Beneath. Her house was haunted by her husband's ex-lover whom he murdered in their bathtub. Pfeiffer goes to a therapist Dr. Drayton who advises her to speak to the ghost, find out what it wants. I have to wonder, in the real world, if that is good advice. Isn't that reinforcing a delusion? Is it really helping the person that a medical doctor is telling them to find out what a ghost wants?

Along the way I have had to struggle with several moral questions. Do we “cure” the possessed person by reinforcing the delusion? If there are no medical professionals, or no money to pay for the doctors, does one go through the ritual of exorcism anyway to help the person?

I know it is very hard not to laugh at demonic possessions. As you know, I enjoy laughing at them myself. The exorcisms I watched today brought me to tears. Yet, I have a pang of guilt that I am laughing at someone’s mental illness. Either these people really are sick, epileptic or they are faking it. 

Theists and Demonic Possessions

The topic of possessions should put theists in a sticky situation. According to a recent poll, 68 percent of theists believe demons exist. Most of them probably think that I am one of them. If a person is going to be a Christian, Jew, or Muslim then they have to believe that every once in a while people become possessed by demons. The Bible and Quran clearly say that Demons and Jinns are real. These books both say that demons and jinns will possess, haunt and trick you into doing bad things. A person cannot be part of a religion, then turn around and say that their holy book is wrong.

Yet, the theist is living in a modern world. Many of them know that Demonic Possessions and Jinns are complete bullshit, and most people claiming to be possessed are crazy yet they cannot come out and say that they think that demonic possessions are not real without at the same time, saying their Holy book is wrong. This will place them in cognitive dissonance, requiring some elaborate mental gymnastics, cop-outs, and diversions.

Got Demons?

Charlatan Bob Larson makes a pretty penny travelling around the country and performing exorcisms. For only $9.95 you can find out whether you got demons. If you do have demons, do not fret because Bob Larson may be coming to a town near you! December 15th and 16th he will be in Irvine California. Then he will be on Christmas holiday, and will resume exercising Demons January 11th, in Albuquerque New Mexico, January 18th Seattle Washington, January 25th Pasadena California, February 1st Atlanta Georgia, April 25th Edmonton, Alberta Canada.

If you cannot make an appearance, and still have a demon problem, remember that for the right amount Bob Larson makes house calls.

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