Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I got demons! They're multiplyin', and I'm loo-oo-oosin' contro-ol.

Sins. Seven of them. The deadly kind. So deadly in fact that they even spawned a movie in which Brad Pitt got to whine a forever memorable "Awwww, what's in the box?"
Feared and shunned (though not in the Bible), a certain pathway to the various levels of Hell (as described by Dante Alighieri and not anywhere in Scripture), they most likely stem from the "eight evil thoughts" of the 4th century monk Evagrius Ponticus, as reworked by Pope Gregory I in 590 AD (and may have been inspired by a far earlier pagan list). Apparently exiled to a monastery for inappropriate relations with a lady of some import, Mr. Ponticus proposed to pontificate about that which he felt free to do, but which we must not. From his hypocritical ways (I see this theme throughout much of religious teaching, don't you?), we have received the Seven Deadly Sins (each with its corresponding demon, of course, and its corresponding virtue).

sin - demon - virtue
Lust - Asmodeus - Chastity
Gluttony - Beelzebub - Temperance
Greed - Mammon - Charity
Sloth - Belphegor - Diligence
Wrath - Satan/Amon - Patience
Envy - Leviathan - Kindness
Pride - Lucifer - Humility

I'm no Christian, so I don't buy into sin or demons or any of that gobbledygook, and I'm continually amazed that there are people who actually literally do. Sure, there are activities best avoided, and sure most things are better for you in moderation, do unto others as you want to be done (heh heh heh), but demons? Real actual demons making you do things? Please.

Oh yes, sayeth the honorable and sincere Reverend Bob Larson of the Spiritual Freedom Church (freedom from demons, I guess, since he professes to be an exorcist, not freedom to be spiritual as you might see fit). Apparently, it's not your fault if you do bad things, no, you've got actual real demons inside you and the best way to get them out is to hit you with a Bible and pray at you while you writhe around on the floor. You bark, you growl, you claw, you drool. You sleep four feet above your covers. Shit, man, I could do that. I watch TV.

The History Channel (and all its affiliates) has been pissing me off lately. Sure, they do history, but they seem to throw in a lot of unsubstantiated woo-woo. Deadly triangles, aliens, UFOs, monsters, prophets... Usually presented as fact with an opposing (skeptical, rational, scientific) viewpoint very rarely included. Earlier this month (probably to coincide with all the New Years Resolution bullshit) they had a special on the deadly sins, one a night for (you guessed it) a week. But really it was just a seven hour plug for Rev. Larson's church and his supposedly healing hands. Every sin can be exorcised, every demon battled and defeated. There are apparently no earthly reasons for addictions or obsessions or compulsions -nope, it's all demons and only Rev. Larson (for a nominal fee, I'm sure -and have you seen his TV show?) can save you from them.

Never mind that an actual exorcism has to be approved by the church ahead of time and it's very hard to get approval to perform one legitimately.

Check out paranormal investigator Joe Nickell do his best to layeth the smacketh down on the Reverend on CNN:

(If you want to know which one is the revered Reverend, pick at the one who looks like a whiny frightened putz)

Fuck sin. Try moderation. There is nothing wrong with any of the "deadly sins" unless you overindulge, which is true for pretty much everything on this planet. Give me a break. Calling something a sin is just a way to make people feel bad about themselves for being completely human.

Besides, sins change over time. Any time anyone tells you that a certain something stems from scripture or Christian tradition, ask them if they wear cotton. And then tell them to stick it. And then ask them how they feel about the Pope's "seven modern social sins": environmental pollution, genetic manipulation, obscene wealth, infliction of poverty, drug trafficking, morally debatable experiments, and violation of the fundamental rights of human nature. And then tell them to stick it again.

But if you still doubt me (really? you doubt me?), Bob Larson has provided this helpful Demon Test® so you can determine your risk potential for demon possession. For point of reference, I am "at low risk for demonic oppression/possession" and I indulge in the seven deadlies quite regularly. But should you ever find yourself to be at high risk for demons, by all means find yourself a psychologist and get some practical help. Or I will smite the crap out of you.

And I'll leave you with my favorite sin:

more animals

Though, to be fair, he says:

Funny Pictures
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