Belief In Satan Leads To Terrible Things… In Priests.

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?


  1. Tsu Dho Nimh says

    one of the main causes of today’s atheism is that people don’t believe in the Devil any more

    This thought is extremely odd. I always thought it was a lack of belief in a god.

  2. trucreep says

    “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was making people think he didn’t exist.”

    Or something to that effect. Great line from Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects

  3. Randomfactor says

    Wait a minute…couldn’t he also mean that the pope was the TARGET of an exorcism? I mean, shouldn’t that be a routine precaution for all incoming popes?

    “Nothing personal, take off your Prada shoes and step through this demonic-influence-detector gate…”

  4. anubisprime says

    “The Pope’s exorcism is a splendid sign because…” Amorth is making the claim that the pope actually performed an exorcism

    Amorth spouted that little tittle tattle far and wide until the Vatican and the pope himself deny it was in fact an exorcism, just some common or garden prayer!.
    It was in fact a tale begun by an enthusiastic TV producer.
    After the nonsense was rebutted and denied by the Vatican press officer Amorth then pretended that in fact he himself later performed an exorcism on the afflicted that …wait for it…released four demons from the victim…four demons!…what a hero!
    But the victim has apparently relapsed, and our little crusading trooper, that boasts of sending 160,000 demons to hell has seemingly failed where the pope, er… apparently failed…oh dear..wot a bugger!!

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