Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


EXORCISM IS JUST A STATE PERMISSION TO ABUSE A PERSON AND THE STATE WON'T HAVE THE PERSON SUPERVISED

Religion is given the permission of society and the state and even the right to perform casting out of evil spirits.  This is done in a rite called exorcism.  This is something the law needs to forbid severely.  But for now we will see why exorcism needs to be supervised by the state.  Abuses are going to happen otherwise.  And they do.  Exorcism is an abuse in itself and the so-called demon is verbally assaulted and threatened.  The state has to legally see that as an attack on the victim with the demon being a part of the person or an artificial personality.

Exorcism is based on the assumption that religion is right to teach that people can be possessed by undetectable evil spirits.  You only ascertain if there is a spirit indirectly.  You cannot take a blood test or apply some scientific test to see if a demon is really there for a demon by definition is a mind that has no body.  You have no way of testing if the being is a real demon or just some crazy spirit.   The diagnosis is based on faith and not on evidence and thus that alone is irresponsible.  It is totally unscientific and for that reason alone it is not part of medicine and should not be tolerated.

There are two assumptions: that religious doctrine that possession is possible is true and that person x is possessed.

Getting a demon out would be more important than getting cancer out so you see the seriousness of this issue.

Most exorcisms fail.  Any that "work" take too long to do so and much harm and terror is worked in the meantime.

It could be that you get an insane demon out while a smarter and quieter one is ready to step into this grand and swept house.  Jesus spoke of a possessed person being exorcised remaining an attraction for home hunting demons.

The law of the land may claim to be secular.  True secularism is not in its thinking neutral regarding religion - it treats it as a mere social construct.  If the law then in principle has to claim the right to punish a religion the way it would a golf club.  Secularism as in keeping church and state separate is giving religion special rights.  For example, a golf club says that gay leaders are a bad example.  Religion says that.  The golf club is punished and religion in the name of Church and state being separate is treated as something special.  Not all organisations or people are treated equal under the law.

Exorcism is an abuse and a proof that something is going on that is not from a loving and powerful God.  The victims should only need one treatment if calling on the demon to go in the name of Jesus is effective.  A person only getting freed after twenty brutal exorcisms is hardly a great thing - the cure could be worse than the illness.  If headache pills needed to be taken twenty times to get rid of the pain then it is plain they do not really work at all.

The state could see exorcism as a superstition and not as a religious belief to be protected.

In the exorcism, the priest says: "I exorcise you, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Come forth, from this servant of God [name] for He commands you, spirit accursed and damned, He Who walked upon the sea and extended His right hand to Peter as he was sinking. Therefore, cursed devil, acknowledge your condemnation and pay homage to the true and living God; pay homage to Jesus Christ, His Son, and to the Holy Spirit, and depart from the servant of God [name], for Jesus Christ, Our Lord and our God, has called him [her] to His holy grace and blessing, and to the font of Baptism."

Notably it tries to force religion on the demon!  If the victim is suffering from suggestion and a disorder of the mind, hearing the priest rattle off the great powers of Jesus and feeling the demon is still there only reinforces the idea: Even God struggles with this demon!  Imagine how strong the demon is.  This can only do untold harm to the sick person.

The concept of possession gives evil people a way to avoid being found guilty even if they are caught. If this is unlikely to happen that is not the point - the point is the principle. Violating the principle says yes to it happening. If found guilty, they may still tell themselves that they are not guilty. A person who can lie to themselves like that is going the right way about being a good person who can be still do shockingly evil things.

Exorcism has consequences that the law should be concerned about.  It is an abuse how it is allowed without the police and medics being present.
 
APPENDIX, FROM THE CHURCHMAN, IT DENIES THAT CATHOLICISM SHOULD BE CALLING PEOPLE POSSESSED OR CONDUCTING PRIVATE EXORCISMS

Possession and the Occult - a psychiatrist's view

M.G. BARKER

Please read,
 
Psychiatry and Possession: http://biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/churchman/094-03_210.pdf

Neither the Old nor the New Testament gives guidelines for spotting demons.
...
In the individual who has become mentally upset in association with dabbling with the occult, medical treatment may be necessary to enable that person to cope with life again.  Certain counselling and caring may be necessary to establish confidence, trust and understanding. But I do not see any evidence in the New Testament to suggest we should seek for signs of possession.  We should never suggest that a person is possessed; and I am as wary as Calvin of the breed of exorcists.....-of whatever origin. Under no circumstances should we allow the removal of responsibility from an individual. Where special help and counselling are required because of involvement with the occult, this should be within the fellowship of the church. Any charisma of healing should be seen in relation to all the other charismata. If a special service is requested, then it should be in public, and associated with repentance and a declaration that Jesus is Lord.

APPENDIX MEXICO

The Catholic bishops of Mexico performed an exorcism to stop demons influencing the state to establish same sex marriage in 2015

To accuse supporters of same sex marriage of being in cahoots with the most evil forces in the universe, demons, is hate speech. The Church has no right to accuse when it cannot prove demons exist or that demons are behind same sex marriage. And this is the religion that claims to believe in innocent until proven guilty!

APPENDIX BOOK
  
Book: True or False Possession? go to google books
 
This book endeavours to help priests and Catholic doctors ensure that a person who is seemingly possessed really is possessed and that the symptoms are down down to merely a mental illness. This is irresponsible for it is claimed by exorcists that many possessed people have a mental illness in addition to the presence of a demon. The book wants priests and Catholic doctors to co-operate. It wants doctors not to be trying to treat possession with psychiatry or medicine. This of course is a violation of secularism. The doctor is in the service of the state and thus should keep faith out of his practice. He is in the wrong profession if he wants to combine faith and professionalism.
 
http://whatstheharm.net/exorcisms.html