Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Farting Demons

Richelle wrote, in her Medusa's Ladder column for Binnall of America, a piece about demonologists and ghost hunting. I came along and shamelessly hijacked her article for my Trickster's Realm column at Binnall: Religious Ghost Hunting.

I've received a response to that from someone who says he's a minister. Here it is:
Hi,

Just read your blog. As a Christian Minister I too get ticked off by self important religious people. But in my biz you will always find them regardless of denomination (of course the more conservative the more plentiful and self aggrandizing they are). I have had numerous experiences with "demonologists" and "exorcists". I have even taken a graduate level course of "deliverance". I was astonished to find that I was possessed by over 42 demons. One of them was a demon of flatulence that went by the name "windy". Wow. That explained a lot. I thought that it was just the starchy food at the cafeteria. Some of my colleagues were even "exorcising" their infants because "you never know if a Demon got in before it was dedicated. I shit you not. This was an accredited Seminary. Religious abuse can run rampant when you have an expert manipulator in a position of power.

On the 'reality' side of it, I have had many encounters with what I would call 'demonic' entities. Same type of malevolent spirits you probably have encountered. I've also encountered ghosts and other beings that I have to label 'angels'.

But I have to say though I respect your opinion it does sound a little intolerant. When I was a Pastor in New Castle, Pa one of my best friends was a self proclaimed Satanist. He was a nice guy. I've had a lot of Wiccan friends. I myself could never be one because as a fat man I do not want to scare people by public nudity. We all are trying to embrace the mysterium and explain it in our own context. A lot of Christians can seem to be obnoxious because they want to share their worldview. Just as you do. But I'm afraid in your rhetoric in this blog you almost become the very same thing you disdain. Ridiculing a religion and making fun of people of other faiths is what self important religious people do. It seems you wish Christians to keep quiet. But do you feel the same when it comes to others of your own faith view? What one might call a malevolent spirit another might call it a demon or the devil. They are just labels for the same thing. And we all deal with them as our faith and world view permits. We might not like it, but to mock it is akin to religious bigotry.

But it's your blog. I know that Christians can hurt and judge. Man you would not believe some of the stuff I have seen. If you've been hurt or judged by a Christian I'm sorry. I've been there, in fact I left ministry for over 10 years at one point in my life because I was fed up with judgemental hypocrites. But your generalizations hurt others of us of the Christian faith who are not crazy assholes.

And I guess that's what it comes down to. We all are looking for meaning and transcendence, but along the way we meet a lot of self absorbed assholes.

And those assholes stink.

Have a great week,

Pastor Swope
(a former stinking asshole who learned how to wipe properly)

Well, I didn't mean to come off as intolerant to Christians. I'm not intolerant of Christians. I am intolerant of pompous Christians. I'm intolerant of those who assume every one else; ghost, spirit, the dead, and the living, are going to respond favorably to their religious mechanization's when it comes to ghost hunting.

I know there are malevolent forces out there, believe me. I know there are "angelic" ones as well. I personally don't interpret them in a Christian framework,a nd I don't care if others do. I do care when those that do get all self-righteous and all.

Goodness, was I not clear on that?

Anyway, when I die, and if you think I'm haunting someplace, please do me a favor and refrain from screaming that I'm a demon and wave a huge cross in my ghostly transparent face,or singing Oh Holy Night. Thank you.

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