Exorcisms: Coming to a TV Station and Country Near You
It is bad, and getting worse. Modern western civilization is saturated with “exorcisms”. Millions (arguably more than a billion) people on the planet practice some manner of Christianity, and as such, a great many of them believe that “devils” and/or “demons” are real, that they take “possession” over people or places, and the only way to cleanse the possessed is for an exorcism rite to be performed.
Two news stories regarding exorcisms made recent headlines. For the first time in history, an exorcism is going to be performed on live television. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, the cast of Ghost Asylum will exorcise the house which inspired The Exorcist novel. Exorcism: Live! will air this October live from the house. And for those of you who were in attendance at Comic Con this past weekend, you may have noticed that Destination America was there giving away Ghost Asylum bags to fans around San Diego “for those who can’t quite wait for the live attempted exorcism.”
Hand-in-hand with the television show announcement, The Catholic Register (“America’s most complete Catholic news source”) has raised the question: Does the US Need a Nationwide Exorcism? The country of Mexico recently underwent a nationwide exorcism, whose stated purpose was “to drive away the evil responsible for skyrocketing violence, abortion and drugs in that predominantly-Catholic nation.” According to Father Gary Thomas, pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Saratoga, California:
“… demonic activity has been increasing in the United States because people are choosing to be dissuaded away from God and opening portals such as New Age and witchcraft that are gateways to the demonic.”
This blind acceptance and embracing of exorcisms, along with all the other preconceived notions which accompany such a belief system, is disturbing. It is a sign that people are willing to suspend reality, to put aside their critical thinking skills, and accept the behavior or exorcisms which often turns to violence, physical and mental abuse, and in more extreme cases, torture and death.
Exorcisms are not just part of an ancient belief system. They are dangerous both in thought and in practice.