Exorcists wanted, and fast

FESCHUK: In the throes of a serious shortage, the Church tries out some new strategies

Exorcists wanted, and fast

Everett Collection; Getty Images; iStock; Illustration by Taylor Shute

Looking for work? Seeking a new challenge? Now may be the perfect time to consider a career in the exciting field of demon exorcism.

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church is in dire need of dedicated professionals with the courage and theatrical overacting required to cast out evil spirits from the bodies of the faithful. American bishops even held a conference last weekend in Baltimore to train clergy on the tactical points of coaxing a demon from its human host. That’s one souvenir conference tote bag we’d all like to have: Exorcism 2010—The power of Christ compels you?.?.?.?to support our sponsors!

The New York Times summed up the Church’s predicament: “There are only a handful of priests in the country trained as exorcists, but they say they are overwhelmed with requests from people who fear they are possessed by the Devil.”

You can imagine the mishaps that ensue. When a newbie exorcist is pressed into action before he’s ready, it’s easy to panic and grab the wrong magical weapon. Note to rookies: a silver bullet kills a werewolf, garlic wards off vampires and a Big Mac lures Kirstie Alley down from a tree. You want the crucifix, the holy water and, if Hollywood has taught us anything about exorcisms, a few Wet-Naps to clean yourself up afterwards.

The Times also revealed that being an exorcist is trickier than it looks. It’s no easy task to discern if people are genuinely possessed by evil. Many just want attention, while some may be at the mercy of other forces—such as a vengeful ghost or, in the case of Creed fans, bad taste.

For those who are truly possessed, it can come as a blow to discover that the demon inside is a mere minion. We all like to think we’re special enough that the Devil himself would choose us to be the instrument of his nefarious will—but if Satan is inside you or me, then who’s in Tom Hanks?

The shortage of exorcists is just the latest headache for the Catholic Church. Its legion of worshippers is in decline across much of the globe. Enrolment in its schools is down. And there’s the devastating fallout from the ongoing sex abuse scandal, not to mention all the time and resources being devoted to keeping the gays in their place.

This makes it tough to focus on recruiting new priests. Apparently, low pay and lifelong celibacy aren’t the draw they once were. And frankly, the Catholic leadership isn’t helping itself with some of its recent decisions.

First, a public relations firm in France was hired to make the priesthood seem an attractive lifestyle option. It distributed thousands of postcards that featured an attractive young man holding a cardboard cutout of a priest’s collar and jacket. Printed on the postcard were the words: “Why not?

Why not? That’s the slogan? What—was “The Catholic Church: Meh” already taken? It makes you wonder about other slogans that didn’t make the cut, like maybe “Chastity: It’s not just for homely fat guys anymore!” Or perhaps they considered emphasizing the priesthood’s lack of a commute, proclaiming on billboards: “If you were an instrument of God, you’d be home by now!”

Second, Pope Benedict keeps dumping on everything that young people like. He has assailed the “destructive” power of television. He’s described money and power as “the snares of evil.” Just this past week, he expressed grave concern about the Internet, saying it is blurring the line between truth and illusion—which is unacceptable because as we all know that’s the job of religion.

But being a badass priest who roams the country dressed in black and doing exorcisms—that’s the kind of career that today’s kids can get excited about. Duking it out with demons. Going mano-a-mano with Lucifer. Getting to go to funerals without having to wear a tie.

While it awaits this influx of young exorcists, the Church needs to buy time with the possessed. I suggest a standard delaying tactic:

Dear person under the control of Satan or his flunkies—Are you sure you want an exorcism? Maybe the demon inside is the most interesting thing about you. Sure, it gets a little much with the bed shaking and the projectile vomiting, but at least you get noticed at parties. Yours, Catholicism.




Browse

Exorcists wanted, and fast

  1. Chief exorcist says Devil is in Vatican Father Gabriele Amorth said people who are possessed by Satan vomit shards of glass and pieces of iron.

    He added that the assault on Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas Eve by a mentally unstable woman and the sex abuse scandals which have engulfed the Church in the US, Ireland, Germany, and other countries, were proof that the Anti-Christ was waging a war against the Holy See.

    "The Devil resides in the Vatican and you can see the consequences," said Father Amorth, 85, who has been the Holy See's chief exorcist for 25 years.

    "He can remain hidden, or speak in different languages, or even appear to be sympathetic. At times he makes fun of me. But I'm a man who is happy in his work."

    Why would anyone make fun of an 85-year-old imbecile who claims he's chased away the devil 7 times a day for the past 25 years?

  2. Although I myself do not believe in demonic possession, I feel it is unfair of the author to show this much disrespect to the practice of Excorcism and the Catholic Church as a whole. While I believe that Excorcism itself has no objective power to help people in these kinds of situations, it does have at least some potential benefit. Those who would call for an Excorcism would most likely have strong religious beliefs, and as such may be comforted by the ritual, provided that is done in the proper way according to canon law (having a doctor present is mandatory). So then if it provides benefit when done properly, with minimal risk to the "patient" (again assuming proper procedure and oversight) how is it deserving of such scorn. I am no friend or supporter of the Catholic Church, but this aggressive secular attitude wears just as thin as any aggressive non-secular attitude.

    • Clearly the Devil made him do it.

  3. Although I myself do not believe in demonic possession, I feel it is unfair of the author to show this much disrespect to the practice of Excorcism and the Catholic Church as a whole. While I believe that Excorcism itself has no objective power to help people in these kinds of situations, it does have at least some potential benefit. Those who would call for an Excorcism would most likely have strong religious beliefs, and as such may be comforted by the ritual, provided that is done in the proper way according to canon law (having a doctor present is mandatory). So then if it provides benefit when done properly, with minimal risk to the "patient" (again assuming proper procedure and oversight) how is it deserving of such scorn. I am no friend or supporter of the Catholic Church, but this aggressive secular attitude wears just as thin as any aggressive non-secular attitude.

    • win . plain and simple .

  4. Very funny, very clever…I'll see you later Scott.

  5. Very funny, very clever…I'll see you later Scott.

  6. Scott enjoying a chuckle. Enjoying another good shot at the Catholics. It is kind of easy fun and doesn't everyone smile! Except that I am a Catholic. Except that some of us do believe, and do pray, because we do believe in Christ, and that God loves us. Also witness the evil around us and in our recent history – the serial killers, the mass murderers, the fascination with death (the weird preoccupation with euthanasia and unreasonable, unlimited defense of abortion) – I think we could do with a whole bunch more exorcists.
    As Pope John Paul said, we Catholics belong to a church of sinners, because we are all sinners. I doubt that we have more than our fair share.
    Are you really able to throw the first stone, Scott?

    • Pray for a sense of humour.

    • Of all the things you can make fun of religious types for, believing in exorcism is way way down on the questionable list.

      I mean, if you actually espouse this kind of stuff, people are gonna call you out on it, and in a lot more direct way than Feschuk did.

    • "As Pope John Paul said, we Catholics belong to a church of sinners, because we are all sinners."
      See, that's one of the bigger problems with your religion. Bad marketing. Telling your potential customers they are wrong from the git go. BORN wrong. Not a good strategy now a days. If "god" loved us and he was all powerful, there simply wouldn't be evil. There is no god William Telll. At least I sure as hell hope not, because there is one petty, vindictive, overly sensitive, self absorbed deity.

  7. Scott enjoying a chuckle. Enjoying another good shot at the Catholics. It is kind of easy fun and doesn't everyone smile! Except that I am a Catholic. Except that some of us do believe, and do pray, because we do believe in Christ, and that God loves us. Also witness the evil around us and in our recent history – the serial killers, the mass murderers, the fascination with death (the weird preoccupation with euthanasia and unreasonable, unlimited defense of abortion) – I think we could do with a whole bunch more exorcists.
    As Pope John Paul said, we Catholics belong to a church of sinners, because we are all sinners. I doubt that we have more than our fair share.
    Are you really able to throw the first stone, Scott?

  8. I guess you can't have a god without having a devil too.

    Otherwise, who would you have to blame all the crappy things in life on?

    • The Ignatieff-Socialist-Separatist coalition?

      Oh come on, somebody had to say it.

  9. I guess you can't have a god without having a devil too.

    Otherwise, who would you have to blame all the crappy things in life on?

  10. Clearly the Devil made him do it.

  11. awaiting your next column denigrating the death cult, I mean islam. I'm sure you will have no problem finding lots of things to laugh about. but then that would take some guts and you Christian bashers are nothing if not gutless.

    • When the symbol of your religion is the thing they used to kill the founder of your religion, I don't think you get to call other religions "death cults."

    • David, you're absolutely right. It does no good however. This is a pernicious generation that wrongly believes they know everything and that there just couldn't possibly be a God, let alone Satan.

      Let it be. I for one welcome this. It shows, to me, how powerful the evil spirit side of things has become. It makes me long for the End that much more. People call Good bad and call the things that are Bad good. It was foretold long ago, but we are fortunate to be in the end time snow. Let it be.

      • It makes you long for the End…???? Have you no concept of the beauty of life, the beauty of YOUR life … that you "long for the End"?….a concept that, since you've capitalized it, also infers the end of everyone else? What the hell is the matter with you man? Go jump off a bridge if you need to but believe you me, there are those who dearly love their life. Quite frankly, if I could give you a gift, it would be my perspective on life that was given to me by my father: nothing is so dear as to walk on a clean path in a direction you've chosen, because you were able to choose it. That you sit at a computer somewhere, able to post on this site suggests you have the where with all unavailable to 85% of the human race. 85% of the human race would gladly change what they have for what you have in an instance. I bet your next thought isn't about what you'll find to eat in the morning. Your pathetic whine is almost nauseating in it's self absorbed blindness.

        Please. Go find Marc and pray for each other. I'm sure that will solve everything.

        Dave

  12. awaiting your next column denigrating the death cult, I mean islam. I'm sure you will have no problem finding lots of things to laugh about. but then that would take some guts and you Christian bashers are nothing if not gutless.

  13. Scott, as you can see from most of the comments to date, MacLeans readers just can't take your writing seriously any more.

    I mean, how on earth would Kirstie Alley make it up a tree? It's not as though she's as fit as, say, Keith Richard!

  14. Scott, as you can see from most of the comments to date, MacLeans readers just can't take your writing seriously any more.

    I mean, how on earth would Kirstie Alley make it up a tree? It's not as though she's as fit as, say, Keith Richard!

  15. The Ignatieff-Socialist-Separatist coalition?

    Oh come on, somebody had to say it.

  16. When the symbol of your religion is the thing they used to kill the founder of your religion, I don't think you get to call other religions "death cults."

  17. my opinion of feschuk continues to drop.

    too bad – i used to be a real fan.

    • My opinion of Scott hasn't changed any. His writing is witty, funny and, all too often, reality that scares the hell out of me.

      • I agree, this was a good piece.
        THINK about it. It's about EXORCISM. Not only is that hilarious enough, but it's about the CHURCH, and obviously more than a few impressionable folk, who still entertain such a thing in the 21st century. It's embarrassing!
        But like I've shown other places, christians don't have the market cornered on crazy: http://www.joanocean.com/SYMP011/index.html
        mmmmmph :)

  18. my opinion of feschuk continues to drop.

    too bad – i used to be a real fan.

  19. Pray for a sense of humour.

  20. Of all the things you can make fun of religious types for, believing in exorcism is way way down on the questionable list.

    I mean, if you actually espouse this kind of stuff, people are gonna call you out on it, and in a lot more direct way than Feschuk did.

  21. My opinion of Scott hasn't changed any. His writing is witty, funny and, all too often, reality that scares the hell out of me.

  22. It' s mind boggling to me that in this enlightened age there are so many people who are still deluded into believing in some religion or other . What a horrible waste of time .

    • An even more horrible waste of time is wasting time boggling your mind about other people who are still deluded into believing in some religion or other. Get over it and move on.

  23. It' s mind boggling to me that in this enlightened age there are so many people who are still deluded into believing in some religion or other . What a horrible waste of time .

  24. This article is an assault to all Christians and to God's Church. His article does nothing but mock the beliefs of thousands of Christians. I find it so pitiable that he has the audacity to enjoy the benefits of living in a country that's founded on Christian values, yet he insults the men of faith that were and are so crucial to the sustained peace we enjoy. These Catholic men you insult, our priests, allow us to receive the living Christ, Body & Blood, source of such graces that we cannot imagine!

    I know what you're thinking friend, "Blah, blah, blah, someone please zap this poor sap with a magic wand!" Right!?

    Yet you're so wrong. The sad truth about Mr. Freschuk's article is that he's likely written enough to qualify for an exorcism himself. You can laugh..but let me remind you that men and women were laughing it up until the day Noah entered his ark. Once the truth hit them, it was too late.

    The Catholic Church's teachings, Mr. Freschuk, believe it or not, are real, actually and truly real. But I know that my words are falling on mostly deaf ears in the midst of this general apostasy. St. Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians1:18 "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

    I also know that nothing I say could bring you or anyone to faith, because faith is a gift from God. What I would hope to see from you is a certain degree of respect for things that you cannot possibly understand. Whatever your worldview, atheist or whatever, you will never ever be able to disprove our faith. Sorry, God made it this way. Creation testifies to the Creator, you can deny Him until your last heart beat but it won't change a thing.

    When you wrote in your article's last paragraph "Dear person under the control of Satan or his flunkies…", I do hope and pray that you someday realize you were also addressing yourself. Yes, this is only my opinion, but anyone that can speak with such vile about God, possessed or not, is certainly listening to the Liar's suggestions…Satan.

    Blessings

    • Do you realize that posting comments like this does a thousand times more damage to the credibility of the Catholic Church than the actual humor article itself? You've just driven another nail into the Church's coffin. Keep going, your bringing about the end of Catholicism.

      • Friend, do you really believe that we Catholics that accept ALL of the Church's teachings on Faith and Morals would actually be worried about God's Church disappearing? My friend, God's Church is being guided by nothing less than God himself, it will not disappear. In fact, it will flourish, that's a promise and this promise is not coming from me. Our biggest concern is what happens between now and God's day! This is most important because there are souls at stake. This is what matters and this is where our charity should be placed. By speaking and defending the Truth in love and humility we give glory to God.

        • hu·mil·i·ty
          –noun
          the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

          Can I ask, what part of your post has the quality of humility? The absolute certainty of your correctness, the part where you say non-Catholics are under the control of Satan, or your demand for respect?

          • I'm humble before God in my appreciation of all His gifts. Most importantly I'm humbled by God's immense mercy. Despite the most atrocious list of a choices made by any person, a sincerely repentant heart will be heard by God. Amen!
            If you think that it would be humble for me to water down God's revealed Truth, then you don't understand humility. I won't water down the Truth or coddle you for fear of offending your beliefs. Out of love and charity for you, I will share God's Truth as He revealed it. No one said the Truth would be easy to accept…but once you do, God will set your heart aflame! Blessings

          • "I won't water down the Truth or coddle you for fear of offending your beliefs". So you can spit on our beliefs at will, but we can't question yours (as per the first paragraph in your first post)? That's pretty hypocritical.

            "No one said the Truth would be easy to accept". Tell me about it. That's why there's a billion people who still follow some guy in a funny hat in Rome no matter how many holes you poke in their arguments.

            This is clearly going nowhere so I'll leave it at that and say no more.

          • Correction Lee, I never spit on your beliefs or on Mr. Freschuk's beliefs. He spit on ours (Catholics).
            Speaking with conviction about my beliefs is VERY different than speaking with insults about someone else's beliefs.
            Are you bothered by seeing a Catholic stand up for his beliefs? I think it's time we Catholics stand up for God's Truth in this country, especially when we see it abused in this way.

            By the way Lee, the reason there's still a billion people following the pope is BECAUSE there are no holes in the Church's arguments. Have a look, it's bullet proof because it's built on a rock. "And so I say to you, you are Peter (ie. 1st Pope), and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." Matthew16:18

          • The bible was written by men long after the fact.

          • No holes in the churches arguments?? UBER-LOL! You obviously lead a carefully sheltered life Marc. I have no problem with a catholic or a scientologist or a muslim or any other superstionist stand up for his belief … they just never do. Their's is the fine art of shifting the goal posts and avoiding the questions. Answer me this if you can, why YOUR god?
            Do you even know the history of your own bible? The first passages were written 200 years after the supposed death of your jesus. It's chalk full of historical contradictions and contradictions within itself. Why do the christians have an old testament, and a new testament written long after? Wasn't the first addition good enough? Google "contradictions in the bible" (I actually haven't but I bet the internet is full of information that you will have to 'shelter' yourself from).

            And actually, just to show that you don't have the market cornered on woo: http://www.joanocean.com/SYMP011/index.html

        • mmmmmmpppppphhhh! :) You've got to be a POE. People just don't say this stuff anymore!

    • Here you are again, blessing us. You have no right to offer blessings you self-righteous preacher. Believe what you want, but leave the rest of us to do the same.

      • Actually, it's only God and His Church that are righteous, I'm nothing but one of its sinful members. If I was righteous I wouldn't be going to confession every 1-2 months. I consider those that oppose God's laws as self-righteous as they generaly deny God's verdict on their sinful nature. That's being self-righteous my friend.

        When I say "Blessings" I'm only hoping for God's favor to be given to you. The equrivalent in the secular world might be "All the best". Is this so horrible to you?

        Blessings (Or "All the Best"…for you people that deny God's spirit.)

        • Sunday School grammar lesson: people = who or whom; animals and objects = that.

          All the best!

          • Thanks for the clarification Patchouli!

            Indeed God is three persons and His Church is made up of many people!

            Have a blessed Sunday,
            Marc

          • (You've got me all grammar conscious, I think this is more better) ;)

            Thanks for the clarification Patchouli!

            Indeed God is three persons and His Church is made up of people!

            Have a blessed Sunday,
            Marc

          • So much for monotheism
            So this jesus of yours was born of a virgin birth? Walked on water and turned water into wine? Was tortured and killed and later rose from the dead? And went to heaven? Moses went up a hill and talked to a burning bush and brought down the ten commandments? Parted the seas?

            I take it you believe in life after death? Are you a good person so you will go to heaven? (Me I just think it's the right thing to do). Are you a good person so you won't go to hell? (I believe in treating others like I would like to be treated. I don't need religion to be moral.) You feel better believing in all this? That's fine. But your humble self is probably going to get called on it now a days. Religious belief = superstitious belief. Believe in the supernatural all you want Marc but it in no way makes you a better person.

            You have a great sunday too
            Dave

          • Of course it does make me a better person, I put on the Armor of Christ before I walk out the door.

            The following bible verse might be worth repeating.
            "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

            Knowing this basic fact, your reaction is not shocking at all and in fact, it's completely expected. When I post things about God, I've always found that your type of rebellious personality generally comes out after a short time. You try to discredit God's word by putting up a barrage of straw-men with the hope of confusing others. Sadly it probably works with other people but it has no effect on someone that walks with Christ. Yes, the one that will be our Judge on His day.

            Blessings Dave

          • "Knowing this basic fact" …But it's not a basic fact. It's a supposition. You're not quite versed with the rules of argument are you Marc? I get that you seem to think you are, and make the rules up as you go, but you aren't proving anything to anyone but yourself.

            "When I post things about God….."

            When you post things about your god Marc, you are just winging it. You don't know anything about your god. When I ask you about how you know anything about your god …. you can't explain. It would not even be good to try. hence your disdain of science and reason and evolution: You can't tolerate, or even suffer something that questions your woo.

            Blessings
            Dave

        • Oh C'mon… you are kidding right?

    • Thank Christ I freed myself from this church and it's hokey, superstitious, and silly beliefs.

      • Hi MaggiesFarmboy. I find this interesting. So you thank God for having freed you from His Church?

        Jesus, St. Paul and the entire bible confirm the existence of the supernatural and the potential for dark spirits influencing our decisions and even possessing us.

        Which Christian denomination have you joined if you're still able to thank Christ but deny His teachings?

        • Meh, I talked it over with my pseudonym, and we decided that life is too short to waste debating theology with biblical literalists.

          We'll pass, thanks.

          • Well, I'm not a biblical literalist, Catholics use Scripture and Tradition as handed down by the Church's Magisterium to interpret God's word. I find your response to be common for what I'd call a Cafeteria Christian……pick and choose what you like and ignore the rest.
            Good day.

          • Ah yes. The SUPERIOR Christian TM.
            But YOU Marc, you don't pick and choose do you. You listen carefully to what the "Magesterium" has interpreted for you. Heaven forbid that you think for yourself. You might end up like that poor sot Maggiesfarmboy.

          • "Superior Christian", sorry, not even close. "Incredibly blessed person with absolutely no merit of my own", would be a more accurate description of my mindset…unless of course you know my mind better than I do?

            I absolutely do think for myself, God has freed me to do so. Sadly you're not likely free to think for yourself. If I can hazard some guesses….you have fairy tales like evolution that explain your odd behaviors. Behaviors that very likely control you? Or maybe it's just a genetic predisposition that you use as an excuse for your rebellious character. Or maybe it's just your high intelligence that makes it acceptable for you to condescend to others or to validate a long standing grudge? Anything close? Their just guesses of course…I'm sure you believe you're quite free and maybe even saintly (you hold the door open for old ladies rights?…yup, you're a saint….let's just ignore the rest).

            Do I view "Maggiesfarmboy" as a poor sot? Not at all. For people that say they believe in God's word but do all this picking and choosing, I feel pity and always hope. It's hopeful because I know they worship the same God and from this common ground, I'm hopeful that their walking on the right path. I do feel some pity because I see that they're rejecting some of God's teachings. My hope trumps any pity and I view all Christians as my brothers and sisters in Christ. For those that don't have any hope in Christ, I feel much more pity to see these people walking through this dark world without the hope that comes from Christ. I'm an eternal optimist though and even for atheists I'm still very hopeful that God's graces will reach them some day. That's one of the main reasons we Christians pray and sacrifice, so that God hears our pleas and that He bestows on more souls the same unmerited Grace of conversion that we received.

            Blessings

          • God has freed you to think for yourself? You are a POE aren't you? Nobody says this stuff anymore. "Fairy tales like evolution….." Wow. Really? A fairy tale? And you believe in angels? "My rebellious character"… bad stuff that. You're right, they are just guesses. Fits right in with your beliefs. I'm sorry, but that whole last paragraph? You are definitely a POE just posting to egg people on. I've read some of your other posts if you are the same Marc. You are not this dumb. And if you are…. you have no idea what pity really is. I hope you don't have children.
            Dave

          • You are an eternal optimist? Really? Why do you need a god then?
            Just curious.

            Blessings
            Dave

          • "It's hopeful because I know they worship the same God" ….as opposed to all the other gods, right Marc?
            I'm going out on a limb here and am going to guess you were born into a christian family. If not, at least into a christian community. You were certainly not born into an east indian family. Nor were you born into a middle east muslim family. You were born atheist my friend. It's the default state. But somewhere along the journey you became a believer of your current superstition. You were sold. It probably wasn't your fault. Children grow up believing what their parents do, or at least looking upon their parents as an authority who understands the world better than they do. And if their parents believe that some magical priests no what is best, the child will too.

            I pity you my friend. Reality is right there in front of you. It's evolution and science and all of those things you think are fairy tales, but just happen to explain the real world and have helped relieve the suffering of mankind just a tad more than the suffering religion has imposed.

            Blessings
            Dave

          • Dave, evolution will go down as the greatest hoax of all time.

            Really, you look in the mirror and believe that random mutations….random!….oh yes, coupled with natural selection, created that person you see in the mirror!?

            Yup, that's a fairy tale…think about it!? But it sure gives you the freedom to do and think whatever you want, doesn't it? How convenient.

            I'll pray for you. Until judgement day (ie. when our heart beats its last)

            Hope to see you in heaven. Maybe even laughing about these few words that could some day be a catalyst to your return to God. Like I said, I'm an eternal optimist.

            Blessings,
            Marc

          • Stop encouraging him Dave. You could better spend your time arguing with a rock. At least there would be a chance of the rock being reasonable.

          • Ah yes. I had a couple beers whilst watching the Grey Cup. I must have needed someone to pray for me :)

            Until judgement day mmmpppmmppmmphhhhh :)
            Dave

  25. This article is an assault to all Christians and to God's Church. His article does nothing but mock the beliefs of thousands of Christians. I find it so pitiable that he has the audacity to enjoy the benefits of living in a country that's founded on Christian values, yet he insults the men of faith that were and are so crucial to the sustained peace we enjoy. These Catholic men you insult, our priests, allow us to receive the living Christ, Body & Blood, source of such graces that we cannot imagine!

    I know what you're thinking friend, "Blah, blah, blah, someone please zap this poor sap with a magic wand!" Right!?

    Yet you're so wrong. The sad truth about Mr. Freschuk's article is that he's likely written enough to qualify for an exorcism himself. You can laugh..but let me remind you that men and women were laughing it up until the day Noah entered his ark. Once the truth hit them, it was too late.

    The Catholic Church's teachings, Mr. Freschuk, believe it or not, are real, actually and truly real. But I know that my words are falling on mostly deaf ears in the midst of this general apostasy. St. Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians1:18 "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

    I also know that nothing I say could bring you or anyone to faith, because faith is a gift from God. What I would hope to see from you is a certain degree of respect for things that you cannot possibly understand. Whatever your worldview, atheist or whatever, you will never ever be able to disprove our faith. Sorry, God made it this way. Creation testifies to the Creator, you can deny Him until your last heart beat but it won't change a thing.

    When you wrote in your article's last paragraph "Dear person under the control of Satan or his flunkies…", I do hope and pray that you someday realize you were also addressing yourself. Yes, this is only my opinion, but anyone that can speak with such vile about God, possessed or not, is certainly listening to the Liar's suggestions…Satan.

    Blessings

  26. I totally believe in this stuff. How else can you explain why Feschuk continues to write about the most boring thing in the world (i.e. football) instead of fun, exciting things like killer robots, jet packs, and Rona Ambrose's hair? Where are the caption contests? The mailbags? The usual sorry excuses for the mail bag being late? Only the foulest fiend from the deepest pits of hell would waste such talented writing on things no one (i.e. me) cares about (i.e. football). Listen up Feschuk demon: it's time to pack your things and find another human host to squat in. I hear Coyne and Wells are very nice this time of year….

  27. I totally believe in this stuff. How else can you explain why Feschuk continues to write about the most boring thing in the world (i.e. football) instead of fun, exciting things like killer robots, jet packs, and Rona Ambrose's hair? Where are the caption contests? The mailbags? The usual sorry excuses for the mail bag being late? Only the foulest fiend from the deepest pits of hell would waste such talented writing on things no one (i.e. me) cares about (i.e. football). Listen up Feschuk demon: it's time to pack your things and find another human host to squat in. I hear Coyne and Wells are very nice this time of year….

  28. Do you realize that posting comments like this does a thousand times more damage to the credibility of the Catholic Church than the actual humor article itself? You've just driven another nail into the Church's coffin. Keep going, your bringing about the end of Catholicism.

    • cast out demons ? this is a joke right ? The Dark ages ended centuries ago

  29. Friend, do you really believe that we Catholics that accept ALL of the Church's teachings on Faith and Morals would actually be worried about God's Church disappearing? My friend, God's Church is being guided by nothing less than God himself, it will not disappear. In fact, it will flourish, that's a promise and this promise is not coming from me. Our biggest concern is what happens between now and God's day! This is most important because there are souls at stake. This is what matters and this is where our charity should be placed. By speaking and defending the Truth in love and humility we give glory to God.

  30. hu·mil·i·ty
    –noun
    the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

    Can I ask, what part of your post has the quality of humility? The absolute certainty of your correctness, the part where you say non-Catholics are under the control of Satan, or your demand for respect?

  31. I'm humble before God in my appreciation of all His gifts. Most importantly I'm humbled by God's immense mercy. Despite the most atrocious list of a choices made by any person, a sincerely repentant heart will be heard by God. Amen!
    If you think that it would be humble for me to water down God's revealed Truth, then you don't understand humility. I won't water down the Truth or coddle you for fear of offending your beliefs. Out of love and charity for you, I will share God's Truth as He revealed it. No one said the Truth would be easy to accept…but once you do, God will set your heart aflame! Blessings

  32. "I won't water down the Truth or coddle you for fear of offending your beliefs". So you can spit on our beliefs at will, but we can't question yours (as per the first paragraph in your first post)? That's pretty hypocritical.

    "No one said the Truth would be easy to accept". Tell me about it. That's why there's a billion people who still follow some guy in a funny hat in Rome no matter how many holes you poke in their arguments.

    This is clearly going nowhere so I'll leave it at that and say no more.

  33. Correction Lee, I never spit on your beliefs or on Mr. Freschuk's beliefs. He spit on ours (Catholics).
    Speaking with conviction about my beliefs is VERY different than speaking with insults about someone else's beliefs.
    Are you bothered by seeing a Catholic stand up for his beliefs? I think it's time we Catholics stand up for God's Truth in this country, especially when we see it abused in this way.

    By the way Lee, the reason there's still a billion people following the pope is BECAUSE there are no holes in the Church's arguments. Have a look, it's bullet proof because it's built on a rock. "And so I say to you, you are Peter (ie. 1st Pope), and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." Matthew16:18

  34. Many Priests of all denominations know about how to Exorcise but often it requires a committee and permission from ones' Bishop to do 'officially'. The reality is that behind the scenes Priests just quietly go about purging all, how shall we say, all that is 'Not of the Light'.

    • "The reality is that behind the scenes Priests just quietly go about purging all, how shall we say, all that is 'Not of the Light'."
      The REALITY is there are an awfully lot of easily deluded people still. This appears to be changing though, and more faster with the advent of the internet where we can share our knowledge and learn much easier. I'm hopeful that in my lifetime I'll witness the demise of all superstitious belief, at least in the public domain.
      Dave

    • You don't need the permission of anyone to do it 'officially.' Jesus said: "…and signs such as these shall follow them who believe: They shall cast out demons…" He doesn't say to petition through a lobyist and pay a fee to have the permit which gives you access to appeal to some grand pouba.

  35. Many Priests of all denominations know about how to Exorcise but often it requires a committee and permission from ones' Bishop to do 'officially'. The reality is that behind the scenes Priests just quietly go about purging all, how shall we say, all that is 'Not of the Light'.

  36. I'm not Catholic, but I know for sure I would call on a trained priest if needed. There is a spiritual warfare going on and it has been since the begining of man. How nieve to think there is nothing out there. There is a God and even Satan knows the bible. The person who wrote the story knows nothing of religion. He should honestly investigate before writing something he knows nothing about. It's sad really, because we are meant to be spiritual beings, there is an evil presence and as the bible says if you don't know how to get rid of it , it can be 7 times worse. People have experienced this all over the world. just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real. That's called faith brother. May God help you all. Saskatchewan

    • What's to "KNOW". Religion isn't about knowledge or learning. "just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real. That's called faith brother" and isn't this exactly what religion is all about? It's not about knowing. It's about accepting what you are told, be it by some religious dandy or some interpreter of a scripture written 1500-1800 year ago. I was asked by a religious fellow in a debate on a blog site if I didn't believe in god (his god of course, you can guess which one but you might be wrong) what DID I believe in? I replied we probably believed in many of the same things but that I simply wasn't superstitious. He was quite upset that I equated a religious belief with a superstitious one…. but he couldn't tell me what the difference was.

  37. I'm not Catholic, but I know for sure I would call on a trained priest if needed. There is a spiritual warfare going on and it has been since the begining of man. How nieve to think there is nothing out there. There is a God and even Satan knows the bible. The person who wrote the story knows nothing of religion. He should honestly investigate before writing something he knows nothing about. It's sad really, because we are meant to be spiritual beings, there is an evil presence and as the bible says if you don't know how to get rid of it , it can be 7 times worse. People have experienced this all over the world. just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real. That's called faith brother. May God help you all. Saskatchewan

  38. cast out demons ? this is a joke right ? The Dark ages ended centuries ago

  39. The bible was written by men long after the fact.

  40. Here you are again, blessing us. You have no right to offer blessings you self-righteous preacher. Believe what you want, but leave the rest of us to do the same.

  41. Actually, it's only God and His Church that are righteous, I'm nothing but one of its sinful members. If I was righteous I wouldn't be going to confession every 1-2 months. I consider those that oppose God's laws as self-righteous as they generaly deny God's verdict on their sinful nature. That's being self-righteous my friend.

    When I say "Blessings" I'm only hoping for God's favor to be given to you. The equrivalent in the secular world might be "All the best". Is this so horrible to you?

    Blessings (Or "All the Best"…for you people that deny God's spirit.)

  42. Thank Christ I freed myself from this church and it's hokey, superstitious, and silly beliefs.

  43. Hi MaggiesFarmboy. I find this interesting. So you thank God for having freed you from His Church?

    Jesus, St. Paul and the entire bible confirm the existence of the supernatural and the potential for dark spirits influencing our decisions and even possessing us.

    Which Christian denomination have you joined if you're still able to thank Christ but deny His teachings?

  44. Meh, I talked it over with my pseudonym, and we decided that life is too short to waste debating theology with biblical literalists.

    We'll pass, thanks.

  45. Well, I'm not a biblical literalist, Catholics use Scripture and Tradition as handed down by the Church's Magisterium to interpret God's word. I find your response to be common for what I'd call a Cafeteria Christian……pick and choose what you like and ignore the rest.
    Good day.

  46. Sunday School grammar lesson: people = who or whom; animals and objects = that.

    All the best!

  47. Thanks for the clarification Patchouli!

    Indeed God is three persons and His Church is made up of many people!

    Have a blessed Sunday,
    Marc

  48. (You've got me all grammar conscious, I think this is more better) ;)

    Thanks for the clarification Patchouli!

    Indeed God is three persons and His Church is made up of people!

    Have a blessed Sunday,
    Marc

  49. The bad news: Evil exists. There also exists an evil which is beyond the capacity found in human nature. Yet it evidences itself in individuals and in our society. These facts are undeniable. The Scriptures state that our real enemy is not flesh and blood, that the real battle is spiritual.
    The good news: God already had the answer. Good always conquers evil. Anyone (not just celibate Roman Seminary trained exorcists), anyone who is in Christ has been given power over the Enemy. This has been promised to us by Jesus Himself.
    Also, I like Jesus' style when He cast out demons. No hype. No theatrics. He didn't go around looking for demons everywhere. They came to Him. And when they did, they wanted the big show. But Jesus was all business. Told them to shut up and leave.
    Don't believe the hype. Some blame all their problems on the demons. Ex. The demon of obesity; you're generationally cursed because your father was obese. Maybe you just need to exercise self-control. Some don't believe in demons at all. So how do we explain the inhuman monsters that walk among us? Lying, stealing, cheating, even killing in revenge – these things are within human nature's capacity for evil. But there are horrors much worse that are found nowhere in nature whose source is from an inhuman enemy.

  50. The bad news: Evil exists. There also exists an evil which is beyond the capacity found in human nature. Yet it evidences itself in individuals and in our society. These facts are undeniable. The Scriptures state that our real enemy is not flesh and blood, that the real battle is spiritual.
    The good news: God already had the answer. Good always conquers evil. Anyone (not just celibate Roman Seminary trained exorcists), anyone who is in Christ has been given power over the Enemy. This has been promised to us by Jesus Himself.
    Also, I like Jesus' style when He cast out demons. No hype. No theatrics. He didn't go around looking for demons everywhere. They came to Him. And when they did, they wanted the big show. But Jesus was all business. Told them to shut up and leave.
    Don't believe the hype. Some blame all their problems on the demons. Ex. The demon of obesity; you're generationally cursed because your father was obese. Maybe you just need to exercise self-control. Some don't believe in demons at all. So how do we explain the inhuman monsters that walk among us? Lying, stealing, cheating, even killing in revenge – these things are within human nature's capacity for evil. But there are horrors much worse that are found nowhere in nature whose source is from an inhuman enemy.

    • Reeaaally. It is debatable if the Jesus of the bible even existed. It's interesting that you claim to know so much about him. http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/

      • You, know it all, happens to know very little. History, which apparently you know little about proves the existence of Jesus, not religion.

        • And you my friend can't read. I said Jesus of the bible, not the historical figure that religion made a god figure out of.

          Regards
          Dave

          • Either way, at best, you're talking a wandering Judean hippie who'd've done the world a favour by sticking with the carpentry gig. Incredibly glad that the power of prophets seems to be waning; hopefully, Hubbard'll be the last.

  51. The sad truth is that ridicule is the argument of a person who has no argument. It indicates that the person could not be bothered with actually thinking the issue through or doing the work required to find out some facts.
    Congratulations you win that prize today.

  52. The sad truth is that ridicule is the argument of a person who has no argument. It indicates that the person could not be bothered with actually thinking the issue through or doing the work required to find out some facts.
    Congratulations you win that prize today.

    • Did it every occur to any of you outraged posters that this is a HUMOR COLUMN? That the purpose of this column is to be humorous, and not to create a reasoned argument against religion or any other topic? This is like criticizing Dilbert for not having a mouth or the Far Side for unrealistically portraying the world.

    • Or who is confronting something which can only be approached through ridicule. Even the most outré economic theory, or crazed political creed, can be assessed, supported, or attacked with logic; the collective delusion of religion is either ridiculous or pathetic, and pathos is much less fun to read.

  53. Did it every occur to any of you outraged posters that this is a HUMOR COLUMN? That the purpose of this column is to be humorous, and not to create a reasoned argument against religion or any other topic? This is like criticizing Dilbert for not having a mouth or the Far Side for unrealistically portraying the world.

  54. Awesome column. Tongue in cheek of course and it makes it all the more amusing when some people are actually put out about it.
    "The sad truth is that ridicule is the argument of a person who has no argument. It indicates that the person could not be bothered with actually thinking the issue through or doing the work required to find out some facts."

    Facts? Seriously?! Uber-LOL

  55. Awesome column. Tongue in cheek of course and it makes it all the more amusing when some people are actually put out about it.
    "The sad truth is that ridicule is the argument of a person who has no argument. It indicates that the person could not be bothered with actually thinking the issue through or doing the work required to find out some facts."

    Facts? Seriously?! Uber-LOL

    • Tongue in cheek? I guess any excuse for stupidity will do.

  56. Reeaaally. It is debatable if the Jesus of the bible even existed. It's interesting that you claim to know so much about him. http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/

  57. What's to "KNOW". Religion isn't about knowledge or learning. "just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's not real. That's called faith brother" and isn't this exactly what religion is all about? It's not about knowing. It's about accepting what you are told, be it by some religious dandy or some interpreter of a scripture written 1500-1800 year ago. I was asked by a religious fellow in a debate on a blog site if I didn't believe in god (his god of course, you can guess which one but you might be wrong) what DID I believe in? I replied we probably believed in many of the same things but that I simply wasn't superstitious. He was quite upset that I equated a religious belief with a superstitious one…. but he couldn't tell me what the difference was.

  58. No holes in the churches arguments?? UBER-LOL! You obviously lead a carefully sheltered life Marc. I have no problem with a catholic or a scientologist or a muslim or any other superstionist stand up for his belief … they just never do. Their's is the fine art of shifting the goal posts and avoiding the questions. Answer me this if you can, why YOUR god?
    Do you even know the history of your own bible? The first passages were written 200 years after the supposed death of your jesus. It's chalk full of historical contradictions and contradictions within itself. Why do the christians have an old testament, and a new testament written long after? Wasn't the first addition good enough? Google "contradictions in the bible" (I actually haven't but I bet the internet is full of information that you will have to 'shelter' yourself from).

    And actually, just to show that you don't have the market cornered on woo: http://www.joanocean.com/SYMP011/index.html

  59. I agree, this was a good piece.
    THINK about it. It's about EXORCISM. Not only is that hilarious enough, but it's about the CHURCH, and obviously more than a few impressionable folk, who still entertain such a thing in the 21st century. It's embarrassing!
    But like I've shown other places, christians don't have the market cornered on crazy: http://www.joanocean.com/SYMP011/index.html
    mmmmmph :)

  60. So much for monotheism
    So this jesus of yours was born of a virgin birth? Walked on water and turned water into wine? Was tortured and killed and later rose from the dead? And went to heaven? Moses went up a hill and talked to a burning bush and brought down the ten commandments? Parted the seas?

    I take it you believe in life after death? Are you a good person so you will go to heaven? (Me I just think it's the right thing to do). Are you a good person so you won't go to hell? (I believe in treating others like I would like to be treated. I don't need religion to be moral.) You feel better believing in all this? That's fine. But your humble self is probably going to get called on it now a days. Religious belief = superstitious belief. Believe in the supernatural all you want Marc but it in no way makes you a better person.

    You have a great sunday too
    Dave

  61. "As Pope John Paul said, we Catholics belong to a church of sinners, because we are all sinners."
    See, that's one of the bigger problems with your religion. Bad marketing. Telling your potential customers they are wrong from the git go. BORN wrong. Not a good strategy now a days. If "god" loved us and he was all powerful, there simply wouldn't be evil. There is no god William Telll. At least I sure as hell hope not, because there is one petty, vindictive, overly sensitive, self absorbed deity.

  62. Ah yes. The SUPERIOR Christian TM.
    But YOU Marc, you don't pick and choose do you. You listen carefully to what the "Magesterium" has interpreted for you. Heaven forbid that you think for yourself. You might end up like that poor sot Maggiesfarmboy.

  63. "The reality is that behind the scenes Priests just quietly go about purging all, how shall we say, all that is 'Not of the Light'."
    The REALITY is there are an awfully lot of easily deluded people still. This appears to be changing though, and more faster with the advent of the internet where we can share our knowledge and learn much easier. I'm hopeful that in my lifetime I'll witness the demise of all superstitious belief, at least in the public domain.
    Dave

  64. "Superior Christian", sorry, not even close. "Incredibly blessed person with absolutely no merit of my own", would be a more accurate description of my mindset…unless of course you know my mind better than I do?

    I absolutely do think for myself, God has freed me to do so. Sadly you're not likely free to think for yourself. If I can hazard some guesses….you have fairy tales like evolution that explain your odd behaviors. Behaviors that very likely control you? Or maybe it's just a genetic predisposition that you use as an excuse for your rebellious character. Or maybe it's just your high intelligence that makes it acceptable for you to condescend to others or to validate a long standing grudge? Anything close? Their just guesses of course…I'm sure you believe you're quite free and maybe even saintly (you hold the door open for old ladies rights?…yup, you're a saint….let's just ignore the rest).

    Do I view "Maggiesfarmboy" as a poor sot? Not at all. For people that say they believe in God's word but do all this picking and choosing, I feel pity and always hope. It's hopeful because I know they worship the same God and from this common ground, I'm hopeful that their walking on the right path. I do feel some pity because I see that they're rejecting some of God's teachings. My hope trumps any pity and I view all Christians as my brothers and sisters in Christ. For those that don't have any hope in Christ, I feel much more pity to see these people walking through this dark world without the hope that comes from Christ. I'm an eternal optimist though and even for atheists I'm still very hopeful that God's graces will reach them some day. That's one of the main reasons we Christians pray and sacrifice, so that God hears our pleas and that He bestows on more souls the same unmerited Grace of conversion that we received.

    Blessings

  65. God has freed you to think for yourself? You are a POE aren't you? Nobody says this stuff anymore. "Fairy tales like evolution….." Wow. Really? A fairy tale? And you believe in angels? "My rebellious character"… bad stuff that. You're right, they are just guesses. Fits right in with your beliefs. I'm sorry, but that whole last paragraph? You are definitely a POE just posting to egg people on. I've read some of your other posts if you are the same Marc. You are not this dumb. And if you are…. you have no idea what pity really is. I hope you don't have children.
    Dave

  66. Of course it does make me a better person, I put on the Armor of Christ before I walk out the door.

    The following bible verse might be worth repeating.
    "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

    Knowing this basic fact, your reaction is not shocking at all and in fact, it's completely expected. When I post things about God, I've always found that your type of rebellious personality generally comes out after a short time. You try to discredit God's word by putting up a barrage of straw-men with the hope of confusing others. Sadly it probably works with other people but it has no effect on someone that walks with Christ. Yes, the one that will be our Judge on His day.

    Blessings Dave

  67. You are an eternal optimist? Really? Why do you need a god then?
    Just curious.

    Blessings
    Dave

  68. "It's hopeful because I know they worship the same God" ….as opposed to all the other gods, right Marc?
    I'm going out on a limb here and am going to guess you were born into a christian family. If not, at least into a christian community. You were certainly not born into an east indian family. Nor were you born into a middle east muslim family. You were born atheist my friend. It's the default state. But somewhere along the journey you became a believer of your current superstition. You were sold. It probably wasn't your fault. Children grow up believing what their parents do, or at least looking upon their parents as an authority who understands the world better than they do. And if their parents believe that some magical priests no what is best, the child will too.

    I pity you my friend. Reality is right there in front of you. It's evolution and science and all of those things you think are fairy tales, but just happen to explain the real world and have helped relieve the suffering of mankind just a tad more than the suffering religion has imposed.

    Blessings
    Dave

  69. "Knowing this basic fact" …But it's not a basic fact. It's a supposition. You're not quite versed with the rules of argument are you Marc? I get that you seem to think you are, and make the rules up as you go, but you aren't proving anything to anyone but yourself.

    "When I post things about God….."

    When you post things about your god Marc, you are just winging it. You don't know anything about your god. When I ask you about how you know anything about your god …. you can't explain. It would not even be good to try. hence your disdain of science and reason and evolution: You can't tolerate, or even suffer something that questions your woo.

    Blessings
    Dave

  70. What is the difference between religion and superstition?

  71. What is the difference between religion and superstition?

    • That question is so immature you most likely would not understand the answer.

      • Try us.

      • ooooh dodgeball. I like this game. I'll give you a thumbs up for it!! :)
        The question my friend is much too close to the heart of the matter for you to pursue.

        Regards
        Dave

      • Now THAT was witty!

      • brilliant!

    • absolutely none.

    • Religion is a belief in God. Superstition is a belief that there is no God.

      • Religion is a belief in "A" god … not necessarily the one or ones you believe in. Gods are supernatural by definition. Hence religion is a superstitious belief, on par with all superstitious beliefs until proven otherwise.
        What's the difference between yahweh, budah, any Hindu or Greek god, any belief in astrology or palm reading or homeopathy? It's all the same. You were sold an idea or were raised with an idea and you believe it on faith. You believe it because it feels good to you. It's beyond you (in most circumstances) to even be capable of doubt, because you've been taught doubt is a weakness instead of a strength. You've been taught faith is a strength, faith in what others tell you is true and not in what you might choose to believe on your own accord. Laugh all you want at the atheist. But (s)he has chosen his / her own road while you have been guided by the sheep herders stick. Stay the road you have chosen and it's certainly your prerogative, but to claim some sort of moral superiority because of it and to scoff at those who wonder at your questionable (at best) beliefs is dark comedy at it's finest.

        Regards
        Dave

  72. An article about a religious subject by somebody who obliviously holds religion in contempt. What drivel!
    Has anybody around there taken the time to find out something about that subject before shooting their mouth off, like their born with perfect wisdom? An article full of arrogance and know it all attitude.

  73. An article about a religious subject by somebody who obliviously holds religion in contempt. What drivel!
    Has anybody around there taken the time to find out something about that subject before shooting their mouth off, like their born with perfect wisdom? An article full of arrogance and know it all attitude.

    • For God's sake, it's a humor article. Joke's are made at people's expense. That is the nature of a joke. Just because Catholics are at the butt of this week's column doesn't mean the author has contempt for them. Why are you taking it seriously??? Are you really that sensitive?

      • The religionists have reason to be overly sensitive. It's amusing when they make presumptuous wise cracks about those who show disdain for their superstition "not having studied" the subject, for it's when you 'study' it that you become aware of how misguided some people can be.

        Regards
        Dave

  74. That question is so immature you most likely would not understand the answer.

  75. Tongue in cheek? I guess any excuse for stupidity will do.

  76. You, know it all, happens to know very little. History, which apparently you know little about proves the existence of Jesus, not religion.

  77. Dave, evolution will go down as the greatest hoax of all time.

    Really, you look in the mirror and believe that random mutations….random!….oh yes, coupled with natural selection, created that person you see in the mirror!?

    Yup, that's a fairy tale…think about it!? But it sure gives you the freedom to do and think whatever you want, doesn't it? How convenient.

    I'll pray for you. Until judgement day (ie. when our heart beats its last)

    Hope to see you in heaven. Maybe even laughing about these few words that could some day be a catalyst to your return to God. Like I said, I'm an eternal optimist.

    Blessings,
    Marc

  78. Try us.

  79. Stop encouraging him Dave. You could better spend your time arguing with a rock. At least there would be a chance of the rock being reasonable.

  80. For God's sake, it's a humor article. Joke's are made at people's expense. That is the nature of a joke. Just because Catholics are at the butt of this week's column doesn't mean the author has contempt for them. Why are you taking it seriously??? Are you really that sensitive?

  81. Ah yes. I had a couple beers whilst watching the Grey Cup. I must have needed someone to pray for me :)

    Until judgement day mmmpppmmppmmphhhhh :)
    Dave

  82. And you my friend can't read. I said Jesus of the bible, not the historical figure that religion made a god figure out of.

    Regards
    Dave

  83. ooooh dodgeball. I like this game. I'll give you a thumbs up for it!! :)
    The question my friend is much too close to the heart of the matter for you to pursue.

    Regards
    Dave

  84. The religionists have reason to be overly sensitive. It's amusing when they make presumptuous wise cracks about those who show disdain for their superstition "not having studied" the subject, for it's when you 'study' it that you become aware of how misguided some people can be.

    Regards
    Dave

  85. Now THAT was witty!

  86. My sentiments exactly Lee. When people are brainwashed only God can get them out of that state. I know because I used to be agnostic and a believer in the claims made by Darwin. A thorough examination of the facts, spurred on by a spiritual conversion, revealed a much different view. I could have never come to this understanding without divine help. Yes I know…that's my opinion.

    And of course I also know….that I'm the one that's brainwashed. :)

    I wish you both the best.
    Marc

  87. Proof (none needed) that religious superstition, dogma, and just plain lunacy is still with us, in the 21st century. This would all be funny (and sad) if these people were some primitive tribe someplace- that they exist in so called modern secular countries is a warning to all of us just how crazy these people are. True believers? Scary. Armageddon anyone?

  88. Proof (none needed) that religious superstition, dogma, and just plain lunacy is still with us, in the 21st century. This would all be funny (and sad) if these people were some primitive tribe someplace- that they exist in so called modern secular countries is a warning to all of us just how crazy these people are. True believers? Scary. Armageddon anyone?

    • Every time Fezzy introduces god or jesus or mentions religion in his column, the religionists crawl out of the woodwork and rain down comments on our heads — doom and gloom and hellfire and brimstone.

      Keep up the good work, Feschuk. Blaspheme away!

  89. absolutely none.

  90. brilliant!

  91. You need to get to a therapist asap.

  92. sorry Dave- that was meant for the next post, not you. You're right on .

    • Thx Bill … it was kind of obvious

  93. sorry Dave- that was meant for the next post, not you. You're right on .

  94. Every time Fezzy introduces god or jesus or mentions religion in his column, the religionists crawl out of the woodwork and rain down comments on our heads — doom and gloom and hellfire and brimstone.

    Keep up the good work, Feschuk. Blaspheme away!

  95. This is the stupidest column I have ever read. What possible reason would MacLeans have for coming forth with such drivel?

  96. This is the stupidest column I have ever read. What possible reason would MacLeans have for coming forth with such drivel?

  97. Either way, at best, you're talking a wandering Judean hippie who'd've done the world a favour by sticking with the carpentry gig. Incredibly glad that the power of prophets seems to be waning; hopefully, Hubbard'll be the last.

  98. Or who is confronting something which can only be approached through ridicule. Even the most outré economic theory, or crazed political creed, can be assessed, supported, or attacked with logic; the collective delusion of religion is either ridiculous or pathetic, and pathos is much less fun to read.

  99. win . plain and simple .

  100. The point that should have been brought up was the fact that many of these people whom are "exorcised" actually need proper medical attention for mental issues. If a religious person wants to try an exorcism to sooth their soul, sure why not but not as a form of medical treatment. This is constantly overlooked. There is no reason why medicine and a person's faith cannot be hand in hand.

    This article and comments don't have to be about whether god does or does not exist or if the Catholic Church is evil or not. It should be recognizing what are the merits and detriments to a person's mental health by doing it? It can act like a placebo, giving a person calmness if they feel the evil has been taken out, but at the same time it is just a placebo affect and proper medical attention should be sought as well.

  101. The point that should have been brought up was the fact that many of these people whom are "exorcised" actually need proper medical attention for mental issues. If a religious person wants to try an exorcism to sooth their soul, sure why not but not as a form of medical treatment. This is constantly overlooked. There is no reason why medicine and a person's faith cannot be hand in hand.

    This article and comments don't have to be about whether god does or does not exist or if the Catholic Church is evil or not. It should be recognizing what are the merits and detriments to a person's mental health by doing it? It can act like a placebo, giving a person calmness if they feel the evil has been taken out, but at the same time it is just a placebo affect and proper medical attention should be sought as well.

  102. Thanks again for all the laughs Scott. You and Dave Barry never let me down. But I must admit in these days of instant feedback, I get as much enjoyment reading what the great illiterate unwashed (or "believers" as they call themselves) have to add to the discourse. It sounds like some people haven't been reading their Dawkins, Hitchens or Harris. They probably didn't catch your juxtaposition of the sex scandals with the war on homosexuality. Note to Catholics: your church is the largest organization of gay people on the planet. "Priest" is right up there with "hairdresser", "florist" and "interior decorator". Priests collect and trade altar boys like boys deal in sports cards. The worst demons are found hiding behind a clerical collar. Start exorcising them first.

  103. Thanks again for all the laughs Scott. You and Dave Barry never let me down. But I must admit in these days of instant feedback, I get as much enjoyment reading what the great illiterate unwashed (or "believers" as they call themselves) have to add to the discourse. It sounds like some people haven't been reading their Dawkins, Hitchens or Harris. They probably didn't catch your juxtaposition of the sex scandals with the war on homosexuality. Note to Catholics: your church is the largest organization of gay people on the planet. "Priest" is right up there with "hairdresser", "florist" and "interior decorator". Priests collect and trade altar boys like boys deal in sports cards. The worst demons are found hiding behind a clerical collar. Start exorcising them first.

    • I have read Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. They represent a very sad example of modern "science".
      The presuppositions they make are far greater than anything we Christians might be making when we accept the testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
      I find it so sad that so many people seem to accept their lies.

      • Marc, Marc, Marc… It's the other way around. And you admit when you say you accept the testimonies of Mathew et al. They don't even try to do anything but tell you a story. And you accept it blindly. Science at least questions itself and is always looking for answers, always willing to re-evaluate a proposition where you are still stuck in the 1st century unwilling and unable to ask questions. That is far sadder.

        Regards
        Dave

  104. For the record, I'm Catholic and I enjoyed this. Is that a sin, to all of you hardliners out there? I really have nothing vitriolic to say about theology or the apocalypse, nor do I wish to expound on secularism and the fallacies of the Catholic Church. I poke fun at the Catholic Church all the time, and I laugh just as hard when other people make jokes about my faith. Scott – this was wonderful. That said, I agree with DirtyOldTown; where have all the mailbags gone?

  105. For the record, I'm Catholic and I enjoyed this. Is that a sin, to all of you hardliners out there? I really have nothing vitriolic to say about theology or the apocalypse, nor do I wish to expound on secularism and the fallacies of the Catholic Church. I poke fun at the Catholic Church all the time, and I laugh just as hard when other people make jokes about my faith. Scott – this was wonderful. That said, I agree with DirtyOldTown; where have all the mailbags gone?

    • Hi Ty,
      When you say "nor do I wish to expound on secularism and the fallacies of the Catholic Church", are you saying that the Catholic Church teaches something wrong? Or, are you referring to false understandings that the secular world makes about the Catholic Church's teachings?

      Just concerned because if you meant the former, then it's a difficult thing to call ourselves Catholic when we don't accept the Catholic Church's teachings, right? So many people today call themselves Catholic yet they they denounce the Church's teachings. If a person doesn't accept the Catholic Church's teachings, then they are not Catholic. They've essentially started a new Christian sect and should refrain from calling themselves something they are not. Maybe they could call themselves Christians as believers in Christ, but not Catholic.

      Being baptized by the Catholic Church doesn't make us Catholic, believing it's teachings and working to live by its highest standards in obedience to Christ is what makes someone Catholic.

      • It hardly matters which version you believe in except to the version that believes in the other. Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Wicca … they all are a variation on the theme and they all share the same weaknesses: they ignore reality in favor of a supernatural explanation for it.

        Regards
        dave

  106. Hi Ty,
    When you say "nor do I wish to expound on secularism and the fallacies of the Catholic Church", are you saying that the Catholic Church teaches something wrong? Or, are you referring to false understandings that the secular world makes about the Catholic Church's teachings?

    Just concerned because if you meant the former, then it's a difficult thing to call ourselves Catholic when we don't accept the Catholic Church's teachings, right? So many people today call themselves Catholic yet they they denounce the Church's teachings. If a person doesn't accept the Catholic Church's teachings, then they are not Catholic. They've essentially started a new Christian sect and should refrain from calling themselves something they are not. Maybe they could call themselves Christians as believers in Christ, but not Catholic.

    Being baptized by the Catholic Church doesn't make us Catholic, believing it's teachings and working to live by its highest standards in obedience to Christ is what makes someone Catholic.

  107. I have read Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. They represent a very sad example of modern "science".
    The presuppositions they make are far greater than anything we Christians might be making when we accept the testimonies of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
    I find it so sad that so many people seem to accept their lies.

  108. David, you're absolutely right. It does no good however. This is a pernicious generation that wrongly believes they know everything and that there just couldn't possibly be a God, let alone Satan.

    Let it be. I for one welcome this. It shows, to me, how powerful the evil spirit side of things has become. It makes me long for the End that much more. People call Good bad and call the things that are Bad good. It was foretold long ago, but we are fortunate to be in the end time snow. Let it be.

  109. Marc, Marc, Marc… It's the other way around. And you admit when you say you accept the testimonies of Mathew et al. They don't even try to do anything but tell you a story. And you accept it blindly. Science at least questions itself and is always looking for answers, always willing to re-evaluate a proposition where you are still stuck in the 1st century unwilling and unable to ask questions. That is far sadder.

    Regards
    Dave

  110. It hardly matters which version you believe in except to the version that believes in the other. Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Wicca … they all are a variation on the theme and they all share the same weaknesses: they ignore reality in favor of a supernatural explanation for it.

    Regards
    dave

  111. I wouldn't say you are brainwashed so much as that you have simply stopped using your brain. You never made a thorough examination of the facts and came to an objective conclusion. You may have breezed through some of Darwin's elucidations on evolution and common ancestry (more likely you went to school where his ideas were shown to you in a much further advanced state) but you never understood it. That's fine. I can't say I understand the minutiae of this brilliant bit of deductive reasoning, but I sure didn't bail on reason as a whole because of it. There is NO rationally acceptable reason to believe in something by faith (or because the scriptures tell you to). That you choose to do so is certainly your prerogative. But for thousands of years people were persecuted and even put to the most horrible of deaths for merely having an opinion like I do. And even today in places as supposedly civilized as the good old U.S.of A., religious nut cases like Pat Robertson and the American Family Association hold bigoted and hateful discriminatory views against people that don't fit their ideal views. Yes, it's your prerogative. But I will not be shy about pounding you a new one now and then when you decide to make your irrational claims about how your sorely lacking belief system somehow makes you a superior person, or that because of this irrational belief you are feeling unfairly persecuted. At least you are not being stoned to death for your views.

    Regards
    Dave

    • Your persecution (as you describe it) is of no shock to me and has no impact on my faith. Sadly, your opposition and the majority's opposition to faith in Christ is completely expected. Don't think for a second that your words would ever stop me or any other faithful Christians from endeavoring to proclaim God's Truth in this world. By God's grace we'll proclaim His Truth until our last breath, whether that's through a natural death or if we're stoned to death!

      No person can truly believe that an inanimate Universe, through random events, produced the abundant life we see on this planet. If you do, you're lying to yourself because the complexity of life CANNOT come to be without intelligence as its prime mover. That intelligence is God! Not your god of naturalism.

      Amazing how you like to put words in my mouth stating that I think I'm a "superior person". I even corrected you of this earlier in this thread by informing you that….
      "Incredibly blessed person with absolutely no merit of my own" is a more accurate description of my mindset. I have NO MERIT, do you hear that? or are you deaf! Nothing about me is superior to anyone.

      What you view as irrational will ALWAYS be viewed as irrational until God blesses you with a conversion. This is because the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love of God are given to us by God.
      You can pound your lies all you want and as loud as you want but we Christians will be doing the same, without fear!

      May God bless you.

      • But…. why are you here Marc? Are you not trying to convince others of your righteousness? Are you not so confident in your belief that you would not try to tell others why you believe? Is that all you have? To scoff at those who wonder why you believe in the inexplicable and offer up as your armor that you're impervious to reason? You are absolutely right if you believe in what you have been taught: you have no merit, you are worthless scum born with original sin in need of forgiveness.

        I would end in the same "May God bless you", but I truly believe that to be a personal insult to you, so I will not.

        May you find reason in believing in yourself and learn how to love yourself and your fellow man for what they are worth, and hope that they may find the same worth in you.

        Regards
        Dave

        • God loves you Dave. You've been blessed with life! Hope you find the courage to thank God some day.
          Best,
          Marc

          • This has been the funniest comment chain EVER!

  112. I wouldn't say you are brainwashed so much as that you have simply stopped using your brain. You never made a thorough examination of the facts and came to an objective conclusion. You may have breezed through some of Darwin's elucidations on evolution and common ancestry (more likely you went to school where his ideas were shown to you in a much further advanced state) but you never understood it. That's fine. I can't say I understand the minutiae of this brilliant bit of deductive reasoning, but I sure didn't bail on reason as a whole because of it. There is NO rationally acceptable reason to believe in something by faith (or because the scriptures tell you to). That you choose to do so is certainly your prerogative. But for thousands of years people were persecuted and even put to the most horrible of deaths for merely having an opinion like I do. And even today in places as supposedly civilized as the good old U.S.of A., religious nut cases like Pat Robertson and the American Family Association hold bigoted and hateful discriminatory views against people that don't fit their ideal views. Yes, it's your prerogative. But I will not be shy about pounding you a new one now and then when you decide to make your irrational claims about how your sorely lacking belief system somehow makes you a superior person, or that because of this irrational belief you are feeling unfairly persecuted. At least you are not being stoned to death for your views.

    Regards
    Dave

  113. Your persecution (as you describe it) is of no shock to me and has no impact on my faith. Sadly, your opposition and the majority's opposition to faith in Christ is completely expected. Don't think for a second that your words would ever stop me or any other faithful Christians from endeavoring to proclaim God's Truth in this world. By God's grace we'll proclaim His Truth until our last breath, whether that's through a natural death or if we're stoned to death!

    No person can truly believe that an inanimate Universe, through random events, produced the abundant life we see on this planet. If you do, you're lying to yourself because the complexity of life CANNOT come to be without intelligence as its prime mover. That intelligence is God! Not your god of naturalism.

    Amazing how you like to put words in my mouth stating that I think I'm a "superior person". I even corrected you of this earlier in this thread by informing you that….
    "Incredibly blessed person with absolutely no merit of my own" is a more accurate description of my mindset. I have NO MERIT, do you hear that? or are you deaf! Nothing about me is superior to anyone.

    What you view as irrational will ALWAYS be viewed as irrational until God blesses you with a conversion. This is because the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Love of God are given to us by God.
    You can pound your lies all you want and as loud as you want but we Christians will be doing the same, without fear!

    May God bless you.

  114. You don't need the permission of anyone to do it 'officially.' Jesus said: "…and signs such as these shall follow them who believe: They shall cast out demons…" He doesn't say to petition through a lobyist and pay a fee to have the permit which gives you access to appeal to some grand pouba.

  115. An even more horrible waste of time is wasting time boggling your mind about other people who are still deluded into believing in some religion or other. Get over it and move on.

  116. Religion is a belief in God. Superstition is a belief that there is no God.

  117. But…. why are you here Marc? Are you not trying to convince others of your righteousness? Are you not so confident in your belief that you would not try to tell others why you believe? Is that all you have? To scoff at those who wonder why you believe in the inexplicable and offer up as your armor that you're impervious to reason? You are absolutely right if you believe in what you have been taught: you have no merit, you are worthless scum born with original sin in need of forgiveness.

    I would end in the same "May God bless you", but I truly believe that to be a personal insult to you, so I will not.

    May you find reason in believing in yourself and learn how to love yourself and your fellow man for what they are worth, and hope that they may find the same worth in you.

    Regards
    Dave

  118. Thx Bill … it was kind of obvious

  119. Religion is a belief in "A" god … not necessarily the one or ones you believe in. Gods are supernatural by definition. Hence religion is a superstitious belief, on par with all superstitious beliefs until proven otherwise.
    What's the difference between yahweh, budah, any Hindu or Greek god, any belief in astrology or palm reading or homeopathy? It's all the same. You were sold an idea or were raised with an idea and you believe it on faith. You believe it because it feels good to you. It's beyond you (in most circumstances) to even be capable of doubt, because you've been taught doubt is a weakness instead of a strength. You've been taught faith is a strength, faith in what others tell you is true and not in what you might choose to believe on your own accord. Laugh all you want at the atheist. But (s)he has chosen his / her own road while you have been guided by the sheep herders stick. Stay the road you have chosen and it's certainly your prerogative, but to claim some sort of moral superiority because of it and to scoff at those who wonder at your questionable (at best) beliefs is dark comedy at it's finest.

    Regards
    Dave

  120. It makes you long for the End…???? Have you no concept of the beauty of life, the beauty of YOUR life … that you "long for the End"?….a concept that, since you've capitalized it, also infers the end of everyone else? What the hell is the matter with you man? Go jump off a bridge if you need to but believe you me, there are those who dearly love their life. Quite frankly, if I could give you a gift, it would be my perspective on life that was given to me by my father: nothing is so dear as to walk on a clean path in a direction you've chosen, because you were able to choose it. That you sit at a computer somewhere, able to post on this site suggests you have the where with all unavailable to 85% of the human race. 85% of the human race would gladly change what they have for what you have in an instance. I bet your next thought isn't about what you'll find to eat in the morning. Your pathetic whine is almost nauseating in it's self absorbed blindness.

    Please. Go find Marc and pray for each other. I'm sure that will solve everything.

    Dave

  121. mmmmmmpppppphhhh! :) You've got to be a POE. People just don't say this stuff anymore!

  122. Oh C'mon… you are kidding right?

  123. God loves you Dave. You've been blessed with life! Hope you find the courage to thank God some day.
    Best,
    Marc

  124. This has been the funniest comment chain EVER!

Sign in to comment.