Sunday, November 14, 2010

Out, out, damned demons!

Is that redundant?

A long, long time ago in this very solar system, for shits and giggles, Ronnie and I used to listen to a radio show called "The Bible Answer Man" with Dr. Walter Martin. What was fascinating about it was that, when he was criticizing some heterodox (to him) Christian individual or group, he was pointed and precise in eviscerating their faulty logic, nonsensical thinking, and ridiculous beliefs. So, I'd kinda relax and start thinking of him as a regular sorta guy, instead of a religious zealot, like the callers he sliced and diced. Until...

Then, he'd get a caller complaining that their waterbed was possessed by demons, and I'd be waiting with great amusement for him to rip 'em a new one; but, instead, he'd say, "Ah, yes! That's a fairly common problem." And I'd have this initial reaction of What the fuck? until I remembered that he was as demented as the callers he excoriated, just with a different flavor of theology.

I hadn't thought of him and his how-to on dealing with possessed waterbeds for a long time, until today, when a high school classmate posted about this weekend's exorcism conference, held in Baltimore by and for the Roman Catholic clergy. Yes, the current pope, and former(?) NAZI, Benedict the 16th, has been pushing for a return to a more classic form of Catholicism and this is yet another result of that effort.

I don't really have much that I want to add here beyond stating the simple fact that the Roman Catholic Church is having a weekend seminar on how to decide when an exorcism is appropriate. In 2010.

I do have a favorite quote I'll share with you. The organizer of this shindig, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, said, "Not everyone who thinks they need an exorcism actually does need one."

I disagree, Bishop Paprocki. I'd say that everyone who thinks they need an exorcism, probably does.


  1. The only thing I love more than your post is the fact that the Catholics are having a weekend seminar about exorcism. And I only love that until I think about it too closely. I've had two friends recently - intelligent, classy women both, and I thought I knew them really well - who suddenly pulled that whole waterbed switcheroo on me and started talking demons. I had no idea what to say. At least now I know I can go back and direct them to the Catholics.

  2. I had a demon possessed roommate in college. Note that I went to a conservative Christian college w/ Wesleyan roots. When I talked with the woman in charge of the dorm about my issues w/ my roommate she said she was disappointed in *me* because she had thought I would be able to be more supportive of my roommate. I did not go w/ my friends who joined my roommate in burning her satanic tapes and the coconut w/ a face carved into it (?!!?) and whatever else they decided was evil. I also didn't go pray for her during her exorcism - OMG! How could I be so unsupportive?!?!

    Some day I'll write a book about that time in my life. Let's just say that she always wanted the lights off and said she could see evil demons outside our window at night and it was years before I could look at a dark window into the night w/out it bothering me. There was a lot more to it, and I think being possessed by a demon may have been the least of her problems!

  3. Kelly, I had a college friend who in his late 30s started being religious in that intensely illogical, fundamentalist way. It was bizarre and sad.

    Um, Jenna, I can only shudder at your experience.

  4. Everyone who thinks they need an exorcism, probably does and the Catholic church is very happy to sell them one.

  5. Dan,

    The Holy Catholic Church would never be so crass as to charge you when they're doing God's work. They just require you to tithe weekly, monthly, annually, eternally. It's kinda like putting a lawyer on retainer.