November 12, 2014

Ridiculing the Ridiculous

Mark Super VII Quantum E-meter
Mark Super VII Quantum E-meter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I often marvel at how upset some religious believers become when a non-believer or a person with a different set of religious beliefs accurately communicates what the religious individuals believe (e.g., Scientologists and Xenu, Mormons and Jesus' visit to America). If having one's religious beliefs accurately communicated draws such ire, I have to wonder whether those who hold such beliefs recognize how silly they sound to others. Maybe they would prefer to keep some of them concealed.

Did The Daily Show With Jon Stewart recently make fun of exorcism, enraging some Catholics in the process? Absolutely. But the Catholic Church continues to promote a belief in demonic possession. Church officials continue to perform exorcisms. In fact, there are some reports that they are doing more of it these days. The Catholic Church has a "top exorcist" who says that he has exorcised 160,000 demons. Clearly, they believe in demons, in possession, and in exorcism. It it reasonable to expect those of us who prefer reality to superstition to hold our tongues on the subject? Not at all.

If belief in things like demonic possession, thetans, or the Hebrew ancestry of Native Americans are a source of embarrassment to those who hold them, then perhaps the problem lies with the beliefs and not with those who expose them to the rest of the world. Why cling to a set of beliefs one finds embarrassing? Perhaps it is time to begin the process of critically examining such beliefs.