Sunday, January 19, 2014

What is rarely heard?

This will be a double header I suppose.  First, it seems that one of our friends here has run afoul of the christian community because of his views on reality.  Possibly because bigotry is alive and well in this segment of the population.  Anyway, he is still here, I would not have it any other way, and should one of those people who find it acceptable to whine about their freedom of speech, yet attempt to take his away, try it here, it will get you nowhere with me.  Somewhere there is a butt hurt complaint form, you might want to find it and submit it for me to use, for some random purpose. 

Free speech is free speech, unless it incites violence towards a group or person, or promotes hatred of a class or group of people.  I think that is how the line goes, not entirely sure, I really need more sleep.  Anyway, I constantly find it amusing that free speech online is severely limited.  Think about it, you belong to a group somewhere, they place rules on what can or cannot be said.  I cannot troll in a group, or I am subject to removal.  Anyway, some weird tangent I am on, that doesn't even make sense to me at this point.  Be warned a heavy edit will be done here at some point in the near future.

As I often comment, I am a Rabbi, don't knock it, it just means I studied a book, was able to put coherent thoughts and opinions together, and I can marry people when and where the law says I can.  One thing that bothers me is exorcisms.  I think to some extent they are real, but not in the sense that someone is demonically possessed, they have demons in the belfry alright, the kind of demons people face everyday, abuse at home or at work, psychological damage taken in school from bullies, because you are this, or you are that.  The demon is drug or alcohol abuse.  These are real, they are tangible, and I promise you the damage done is very real.

However, as I was scrolling down my Facebook news feed I see this article from CNN, a woman murdered two of her children, injured two more while attempting an exorcism.  The only people that should be permitted to attempt this is a shrink, you know the professionals that go tinkering in someones head, or an actor acting in a movie.  The two dead children were aged 1 and 2 according to the article, which leads me to believe the mother is very psychologically damaged.  Oh, this didn't happen in some third world nation, some backwoods place in Europe somewhere, or even the deepest darkest parts of America, this happened in Maryland. 

But this is nothing new.  In 2005, a fifteen year old was killed by his brother and another person, as they attempted to exorcise a demon from him.  Unlike the method used in Maryland, the poor boy was drowned in a bathtub.  An eight year old autistic child was wrapped in sheets as a church congregation, it is believed he died of asphyxiation (2003).  Again in the United States.  In 2005 a nun died of suffocation and dehydration, after she was bound and gagged and left for several days.  Oh, she was a known schizophrenic.  A two year old girl, beaten to death by her father, who then claimed he had been possessed.

See a trend here?  I do, the people performing these exorcisms are mentally ill, or the subject of the act is mentally ill.  I have said it for years, and I will say it until I go senile or die.  We have more to fear from radicalized fundamental people of any stripe than we do anything else.  There is an interesting article on Live Science on the matter.  I would recommend reading it, if you are interested in psychology.