October 18, 2014

Daily Show Mocks Exorcism

I love The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, and the clip below is an example of why. The clip reminds viewers that the Catholic Church is still performing exorcisms. I know you knew that; I'm not sure the entire audience did, and so I think that was an important contribution all by itself. The part where the traditional exorcist is trying to explain what is wrong with Skype exorcisms is fantastic, and so is the part where the guy doing Skype exorcisms agrees that doing exorcisms via Twitter would be "ridiculous." Love it!

My hope is that clips like this - even if they are entirely staged and neither of the priests featured take what they said seriously - will help more people recognize that one form of exorcism is as silly as the next and that the underlying belief in demons that guides these archaic rituals is absurd too.

To be sure, some will try to dismiss this as anti-Catholic. But this seems like an unfair allegation given that clips like this are merely holding up a mirror to reflect Catholic beliefs and practices. Accurately communicating what a group believes is hardly a form of bias.

Sadly, the belief in demonic possession and the practice of exorcism are not something we can afford to dismiss as mere jokes. Exorcism is a barbaric practice that causes real harm. I hope that mocking it and continuing to highlight its absurdity will help to hasten its demise. In the meantime, we also need to do more to protect people from those who would use it against them.

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