I’m not much of a theologian, but I never quite understood the whole idea of Satan. I mean’ if there really was an omnipotent magic man in the sky, why can’t he just poof Satan out of existence ?
The Catholic Church, with its fetish for dead and undead people, has always been very concerned with occultism, demon possessions and satanism. From a post I wrote a while ago, here’s how a Catholic Bishop explains how he can tell if someone is “possessed” :
Some of the classic signs of possession by a demon, Bishop Paprocki said, include speaking in a language the person has never learned; extraordinary shows of strength; a sudden aversion to spiritual things like holy water or the name of God; and severe sleeplessness, lack of appetite and cutting, scratching and biting the skin.
Of course, according to the Catholic Church, one can avoid being possessed, by doing the right thing :
Bishop Paprocki noted that according to Catholic belief, the Devil is a real and constant force who can intervene in people’s lives — though few of them will require an exorcism to handle it.
“The ordinary work of the Devil is temptation,” he said, “and the ordinary response is a good spiritual life, observing the sacraments and praying. The Devil doesn’t normally possess someone who is leading a good spiritual life.”
So now the Catholics are holding another conference in Rome, that is to address this alleged rise in satanism, and access to satanistic cults or practices through the Internet :
Exorcism is the subject of a six-day conference being held this week at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, which is under the Vatican’s authority.
“The internet makes it much easier than in the past to find information about Satanism,” said Carlo Climati, a member of the university who specialises in the dangers posed to young people by Satanism.
And of course the Catholic answer to the problem of satanism and what they call “possession by the devil”, is to strap someone down against their will and sprinkle tepid water over them while mumbling stuff in Latin.
People who are obviously mentally ill, and if you look at the Catholics’ criteria for possession above, you find that all of those features can and will appear in conditions like schizophrenia or personality disorders, need psychiatric and/or medical help, and not Christian death cultists performing exorcisms on them.
As to those brainwashed into a cult, what difference does it make whether they believe in a non-existent supernatural being with a white or a black beard ? I don’t really see much difference between a fundie Christian and a Satanist, both believe in supernatural beings that don’t exist, and both have closed their minds to reason and reality.
How come that in 2011 a club of death cultists like the Catholic Church even has any right or opportunity to get near mentally ill patients, to perform their harmful, traumatising and utterly useless rituals, I wonder ?