June 9, 2013

Virginia's Republican Candidate for Lt. Gov. Fears Satan

E. W. Jackson is a Republican running for lieutenant governor of Virginia. This has led some people to take a look at his 2008 book, Ten Commandments To An Extraordinary Life. According to Betsy Woodruff's post at National Review Online, there are some real gems in Jackson's book.

Here is the one that grabbed my attention:
When one hears the word meditation, it conjures an image of Maharishi Yoga talking about finding a mantra and striving for nirvana. . . . The purpose of such meditation is to empty oneself. . . . [Satan] is happy to invade the empty vacuum of your soul and possess it. That is why people serve Satan without ever knowing it or deciding to, but no one can be a child of God without making a decision to surrender to him. Beware of systems of spirituality which tell you to empty yourself. You will end up filled with something you probably do not want.
This really takes me back. I remember hearing from many evangelical fundamentalist Christians that meditation was evil. They used to regard anything associated with the New Age movement or Eastern religions as Satanic. Crystals, meditation, yoga, and the like were not just misguided; they were evil. Anything unfamiliar had to be labeled evil. Just as Jackson said, unfamiliar practices like yoga opened one up to serving Satan.

It seems like this was so long ago. Just look at how popular yoga has become! I hadn't realized that evangelical Christians were clinging to these beliefs as recently as 2008. I wonder if Mr. Jackson still believes that meditation leads to demonic possession? That could make for some interesting politics in Virginia.

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