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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Location: Surreality, Have Fun Will Travel, Past Midnight before a Workday

Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Sunday, July 29, 2007

Outlaw Exorcism!

This is just outrageous. Police discover some 49-year-old total fucking moron strangling a young girl (three years old!) in order to "exorcise" her of her "demons," while some naked lady (who turned out to be the mother) chants. The police stun gun the guy, who dies. The mother may be charged. Let us hope so.

It is time that this country stops this crap. The government needs to step in stop all this bogus "therapy" (repressed memory, past lives, zygote trauma, etc., etc.) and these crap exorcisms. It's abusive, it's superstitious, and it's dangerous. It is about time people started living in the twenty-first century for pity's sake.

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Mike Haubrich said...

What the hell do these people think they are doing "for the kids?" It says that the police haven't determined whether to press charges against the mother. I would hope that the DA has the guts do press charges. And I wonder if the Catholic Church would pay for the defense under the First Amendment?

July 29, 2007 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Careful Kristine. People just might accuse you of not respecting their beliefs. Shit, can you proof that the little girl was not pocessed. How can you know, you never met her.

Oops. Sorry. I was sidetracted by the spectacle that is 'PZ vs The Quran'.

Janine

July 29, 2007 8:33 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

I agree that this particular exorcism should have been stopped, but not all exorcisms involve abusive conduct (depending, of course, on what you consider "abuse". I think we all can agree that strangulation of a child is abusive.) An exorcism is a religious ritual, and as such it should be permitted under law as long as no harm is done to any of the involved parties. The same goes for any other religious/spiritual practice.

July 29, 2007 9:32 PM  
Blogger Cat's Staff said...

Kids these days need more exorcising.

July 29, 2007 9:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The nature of religion is not all-encompassing - there are people who murder in the name of faith. The moderates who tolerate the extremists are the reason that we cannot tolerate any level of this myth-worship.

A child has died. There's one more kid that will never go to school. Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool.

(Thanks NY)

The parties involved in the death of this child should be tried, convicted - have their parental rights terminated, be given a life sentence and letters sent to every pastor in the nation warning them that they will be held just as culpable as the criminals in this case, should they have parishioners who they know, advise or participate in similar acts.

Serious time for serious crime.

July 29, 2007 10:18 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

You were right, Janine. Crandaddy, I don't agree that exorcism is a religious "ritual" in the same way that taking communion or carrying banners in procession around the church down the street from me.

Surely you don't literally believe in demonic possession? How can that ever been seen as nonabusive when it, by definition, involved a nonconsenting victim?

And I wonder if the Catholic Church would pay for the defense under the First Amendment?

No, they'll back off of this. Only exorcisms sanctioned by the church hierarchy are acknowledged by the Church, anyway. But I didn't grow up Catholic, so maybe others can enlighten me about this.

However, this brings up an interesting point about comparative religion: in Voudoun and Santeria, possession is considered a sacrament. It is not thought of as scary or "bad" as it is in mainstream Christianity.

July 29, 2007 10:22 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Anonymous, I want to clarify that it was the grandfather of this child who died. The child is in the hospital.

July 29, 2007 10:25 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

Surely you don't literally believe in demonic possession?

My personal beliefs regarding demonic possession are irrelevant.

How can that ever been seen as nonabusive when it, by definition, involved a nonconsenting victim?

At least some cases of exorcism are consentual; the person being exorcised really believes (s)he is possessed. Legal authorities should step in only if they have sufficient reason to believe that it is not consentual.

July 29, 2007 11:00 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Wait. So your personal beliefs aren't relevant, but the personal beliefs of the alleged victim are?

It seems to me that most so-called exorcisms performed by the Catholic Church are nonconsentual. So what happens then? Is the CC in violation of the law?

July 29, 2007 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. Thanks. I hate when my jokes come true. It took only one post for that to happen.

Only when consentual. Here is a question; why would a person who is possessed, therefor controlled by a 'demon', consent to an exorcism.

Janine

July 29, 2007 11:07 PM  
Blogger Crandaddy said...

Kristine,

Wait. So your personal beliefs aren't relevant, but the personal beliefs of the alleged victim are?

I don't see what the problem here is. What is at issue is consent not necessarily belief. It's possible on the one hand that a person may not believe she is possessed and want an exorcism or, on the other hand, believe that she is possessed and want to remain that way. It is the job of the state to determine if the person wants to partake in the ritual and take appropriate action if it determines she does not. Granted, this may be very difficult to do since the concept of possession entails that more than one conscious entity controls the same body.

It seems to me that most so-called exorcisms performed by the Catholic Church are nonconsentual. So what happens then? Is the CC in violation of the law?

The Catholic Church is perhaps too broad, but the Church authorities who authorize and perform the rituals may be, yes. Of course, one could always say (perhaps truthfully) that a demon is posing as the person claiming not to consent, but state authorities can't accept such an explanation.

Janine,

Here is a question; why would a person who is possessed, therefor controlled by a 'demon', consent to an exorcism.

I don't know. It doesn't seem that a demon would consent to an exorcism. Maybe a possessed person can have intermittent periods of control over his/her body.

July 29, 2007 11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much toleration is too much?

Consensual exorcism?

Consensual auto de fe?

Consensual slavery?

Consensual murder?

Consensual violent conversion?

Consensual domination of women?

All made / done on the basis of beliefs in a deity.

In my mind - there is no room for ANY of these practices - it is a slippery slope - any one leads to all.

BTW the child is in the hospital and 2-3 min. of hypoxia in a child can cause permanent brain damage. Any way you analyze this fact pattern a 3 year old should never have been subjected to attempted murder.

July 30, 2007 7:38 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, look, Crandaddy, I agree with you about the state stepping in, but how does the state determine “consent”? Our society is still mixed up about rape when the victim can articulate her nonconsent (and yet we’re better off than a lot of countries)!

It's possible on the one hand that a person may not believe she is possessed and want an exorcism or, on the other hand, believe that she is possessed and want to remain that way.

But I have a hard time seeing these as actual cases. Even in the case of a Santeria priestess, who welcomes possession by one of the gods or “saints” (Voodoun and Santeria have Christian ties) she doesn’t want to be possessed forever. But supposing either of your hypothetical cases does happen, and a state psychiatrist decides that this person is actually mentally ill. What then? And what if the person doesn’t consent to psychiatric treatment? That happens a lot.

This is a question of the nature of reality – do we as a society (i.e., the state) accept the plausibility of demonic/god possession or not (I do not) – and if not, do we label it a psychological (and not necessarily pathological) phenomenon – and do we accept that there are benign manifestations of this psychological state, or do we always mandate treatment, and what kind? Be aware that I am very suspicious of psychiatry, too. I know that mental illness exists – I don’t deny, as I’ve heard people do, that a mental process can become disordered – but I also don’t think that psychiatry has all the answers here. “I am far from convinced that being released from the African witch doctor was worthwhile if I am now - in order to support the moral contradictions and the spiritual aridity of my life - expected to become dependent on the American psychiatrist. It is a bargain I refuse.” – James Baldwin

I think the state, in the form of the authorities, should regulate behavior, and in the form of doctors, rule out physical ailments first, not determine thoughts – that’s for an interaction between the psychiatrist, the person’s family, counselors, and the person him/herself, if able. I tend to look for physical causes first – there have been too many cases of arrogant psychiatrists tossing out dream interpretation or Oedipal desires in response to a new disorder that turned out to be physical after all.

July 30, 2007 9:43 AM  
Anonymous Lanny said...

Psychologists push this repressed memory crap.

Aren't psychologist scientists?

As for the mother, send her a Darwin award.

And she could have aborted the kid anyway, think of it as retroactive abortion.

She just would have grown up like mom.

Hector Avalos has it right. Its time to eliminate religion.

July 30, 2007 10:16 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Aren't psychologist scientists?

Good question. I struggle with that.

Those who follow the scientific method and perform studies, and publish peer-reviewed results, are.

Those who rake it in big with cockamame stories about the trauma of you remembering getting "stuck" in the fallopian tube as a zygote, or past lives, or claiming that your parents abused you in satanic rituals even though your schools records show that you were in school at the time, are shameless hucksters, no better than witch doctors playing up a mass hysteria.

Hector Avalos has it right. Its time to eliminate religion.

I don't know that Avalos claims to be able to eliminate religion. However, his theory that religion creates a false scarcity is a fascinating one.

July 30, 2007 10:41 AM  
Blogger llewelly said...

What's up with the perpetrator's age?
AZ central thinks he's 48, you say 49, like the AP ... what's the right answer, and where do these numbers come from?

July 30, 2007 11:25 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Aw, that happens all the time, Llewelly. Have you ever seen someone you know personally get on the news? When we suddenly lost a family friend, a prominent member of the community, they listed his town of residence wrong on the newscast, and some other details were incorrect as well. (This after reporters tried so hard to sneak into the hospital waiting area to grab a camera shot of the family crying real tears, and this was long before all the OJ Simpson crap.) Actually I think this particular inconsistency is small compared to ones I’ve known about.

July 30, 2007 11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice you don't seem to have a problem with retroactive abortions that Lanny called for, oh unamusing one.

Charming.

July 30, 2007 12:45 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh, dear, I didn't see that. I don't notice everything. (Getting old, you know.) Yes, Lanny's comment is insensitive.

At any rate, I have already stressed that the child is alive, thank goodness. It is the grandfather who died.

And I'm not happy that he died - I don't like stun guns, as I state here.

You could object to Lanny's comment by directing it at him, too, rather than at me. I didn't make the statement, am not responsible for what others say, and don't reply to every single point, and you know that. Don't be petty in an attempt to attack me by any means possible.

July 30, 2007 12:54 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

Perhaps the child was a changeling. In olden tymes folks used to bark about demon stealing their baby and replacing it with a horrible shrieking changeling - then they were ok about shaking it to death out of their rage.

In peru, babies born of adultry could be killed because the woman was said to have been seduced and impregnated by the fresh water dolphins (they were actually the devil in disguise) so it was OK to kill the child because it was the spawn of a devil.

Isn't history interesting?efvzifz

July 31, 2007 6:38 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Isn't history interesting?

Yes, considering how much history is hidden (because it contradicts current pro-life myths). Infanticide has a long history. The Romans practically made it a sacrament (I'm not fond of late Roman culture).

On a lighter note, sometimes I wonder if I was a changeling. I certainly didn't turn out to be the good girl everyone thought I was!

And I was blonde once.

July 31, 2007 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Good girls". Gag. And to thing earlier today, I heard The Knacks "Good Girls Don't" for the first time in a couple of decades. God but that song still sucks.

Janine

August 01, 2007 12:38 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

At around age twelve I went through my “ancient astronauts” phase – there I was in Girl Scouts, singing that stupid fucking song “Ezekiel saw de wheel a-rolling way in de middle of de air,” and I was inwardly screaming, “You fools, don’t you know that was a space ship?” It didn’t last long. I was searching. :-)

Re: good girls – woman who escaped polygamous sect speaks out.

" I wasn't so devoted to being perfect and sweet… As I got more and more rebellious, he would come up behind me while I was in a group and seize me by the back of the neck and lean down and whisper in my ear, 'Are you keeping sweet or do you need to be punished?' " she said.

*Shudder* Where's the line between punishment and exorcism here?

August 01, 2007 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I was once a teenage lay member of a methodist church. All the adults loved me because there were not too many young people that involved. Everyone was really kind to me. But I stopped going because I never felt jesus enter my heart. I really did try.

Kathy Jo must have been pocessed by demons. Otherwise, she never would have left.

Janine

August 01, 2007 12:04 PM  
Anonymous Banned by RST, KCFS, TFK, Science Blogs, Pandas Thumb, Retropsecttacle and 28 atheshit sites. said...

Abortions have killed a lot more than exorcisms.

Outlaw that!

Leave it in the back alley, where it belongs.

August 07, 2007 9:54 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Oh that's intelligent.

I don't for one minute think that you really give a shit about abortion. You're too selfish to care about anyone besides yourself.

And if more people practiced contraception in this country, instead of being stupid about sex ("Thinking about it ruins it," No it doesn't), we wouldn't need abortion in the first place, and I would be very happy.

August 07, 2007 10:35 AM  

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