Thursday, July 03, 2014

Aaghhh! Demons!

Ah, but which is the demon?

Is it a malicious evil being out of medieval church belief or is it the exorcist himself - or maybe just the belief?

According to this ABC News article, exorcism is widely believed in the US.  In Africa, demonic possession is so much a part of the social fabric, you are probably a bit strange if you don't believe in it!

But for my purposes today, the focus will be on the Catholic Church.  It seems the Pope has accepted the rite of exorcism and a group of priests who practice it as an integral part of Catholic Dogma.

Pope Francis is said by some to have performed an exorcism on this young boy.

Obviously, that means that the Catholic Church really, truly believes in the existence of demons.
This is not good, folks. This is medieval stuff, superstition.

By now, we should be so far beyond this, it should be laughable.  We live in the 21st century.  We fly in aircraft that hold 500 people at a time from one side of the planet to the other.  We have cured diseases that killed people for centuries, and delved into the very DNA that makes us human.  We've flown to the moon and gazed through the eyes of our robots at the furthest reaches of our solar system.

Even in the US, people really, truly believe in demons.  Look at this Catholic forum on exorcism.

But I'm not laughing, because in Africa, they still BURN witches. Exorcisms are, literally, torture sessions where priests torture children, in the guise of driving out demons.  Beatings, burnings, cutting.  (Not Catholics, by the way, from what I saw.)

This is evil, incarnate. I don't care how reasonable Pope Francis seems to you, this drives that right out of the conversation.  The belief in demons is superstition.  It is worse than believing in ghosts, it assigns the designation of evil to invisible yet supposedly powerful beings in order to prevent human beings from looking into the true reasons why people do bad things, and as in the exorcisms in Africa, give people an excuse to torture innocent children which hides the actions of malicious adults who would be the true perpetrators.

I suppose the RCC doesn't condone torture as a way to exorcise demons.  Not any more, I'd hope, at least not physically.  But to have the most powerful and pervasive Christian Denomination in the world tell the entire planet that it believes, as part of its dogma, that demonic possession is real and can be "cured" by a ceremonial ritual gives the others an excuse to continue to practice the worst of the rituals that DO involve torture.

Until now, my picture of the Catholic Church as an organization that condones some evil was limited to the child abuse scandal.  That the Church itself, as dogma, didn't condone the abuse, but that it was condoned by the priests and higher ecclesiastical ranks as individuals - a kind of invisible, good-ole-boy network from the remote past that would be hard for the "good" priests to root out.

Not any more.  This is rot of the highest order, straight from the top, condoning and actually teaching superstitious dogma as fact.  In your face, institutionalized evil incarnate.

For me, the Pope just stripped his friendly face completely away and exposed the ugly underside of religion.

Raw, unadulterated superstition.

#childabuse, #cruelty, #mentalhealth, #HarmfromReligion, #Religion, #RomanCatholicChurch,

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