It isn’t just God that believers believe in—
There are angels and demons as well;
But I don’t really think there’s a Devil at all
So I guess I’ll be heading for Hell
There’s a priest who believes that he’s figured us out;
Though his logic’s a little bit odd;
Not believing in Satan (he thinks) is the key
More than just not believing in God
Cos Satan’s a gateway, it seems, to belief
Or a gatekeeper, keeping folks in
Instead of ourselves, it’s the Devil to blame—
The personification of sin
But if there’s no Devil, no angels, no God,
No leprechauns, pixies, or elves,
No witches or wizards with magic to use
Then we’ll have to get by… by ourselves.
Yeah, so, this verse was just an excuse. The part of the story that amused me is what the verse covers–a curious bit of logic from a father Gabriele Amorth:
…one of the main causes of today’s atheism is that people don’t believe in the Devil any more. But Jesus said: ‘Who is not with me is with Satan.’ If you don’t believe in Satan, Satan has got you in his pocket.
So, yeah. Not believing in Satan is a gateway drug to not believing in God. Which, given how many times I’ve heard that atheists worship Satan by definition, kinda makes me think they aren’t reading the same playbook.
But you might have noticed the ellipsis at the beginning of that quote. Yup, I cut off something important, just a few words, but the devil (heh) is in the details, as always. See, the beginning of that sentence goes “The Pope’s exorcism is a splendid sign because…” Amorth is making the claim that the pope actually performed an exorcism (there is a video of the encounter at the link). Francis was giving blessings after a pentecost mass, and can be seen laying hands on the head of a boy in a wheelchair.
So…. kid in a wheelchair. Obviously time for prayer. Cos A) the kid might be possessed, rather than, say, suffer from epilepsy, or B) even if that’s not the case, his condition is likely a punishment from God for some sinful nature. Either way, the kid needs prayer. And yes, epilepsy and demonic possession go hand in hand. Here, from the point of view of someone with epilepsy… and here, from a slightly different perspective.
But the problem is not ignorance among priests, eager to have a practical purpose in life–no, the problem is too many possessed people. Not medical conditions, not stigmatization, not misunderstanding, not marginalization, not some mundane problem like that, that people need to do the work of fixing… no, it’s 2013–clearly the cause is demons in your soul. Priests need the proper education! Not in science, medicine, skepticism, and inclusiveness, but in casting out demons.
What could go wrong?