Clorox 2 Stain Fighter and Demon Expeller

Regular readers of this blog know that it’s very important to me that people are aware that there are no such things as demons. They don’t exist. They are mythical creatures that are used to explain bad behavior and, historically, mental illness.

That’s why I get upset when people ask stupid questions on the presumption of demonic existence and, instead of being gently corrected away from it, are given re-enforcement.

I buy a lot of clothes and other items at Goodwill and other secondhand shops. Recently my mom told me that I need to pray over the items, bind familiar spirits, and bless the items before I bring them into the house.

Is my mother correct? Can demons attach themselves to material items?

So asked a caller into Pat Robertson’s The 700 Club. Now, questions like this are fairly common in that venue, but then again, so are answers like the one Robertson gives.

Can demonic spirits attach themselves to inanimate objects? The answer is yes. But I don’t think every sweater you get from Goodwill has demons in it. [Laughs] [KN: Because that would just be ridiculous! How many demons do you think there are?]

… It isn’t going to hurt you to rebuke any spirits that happen to have attached themselves to those clothes.

No, it isn’t going to hurt to rebuke any spirits that happen to have attached themselves to those particular clothes in much the same way that it doesn’t hurt to warn your dog not to buzz air traffic control towers while flying (“…and he never has. Good dog!”), but what happens when she starts trying to “rebuke” the “demons” in the store (I mean, what’s wrong with showing up every few days to proclaim to the store that you cast out any demons in Jesus’s name?), or “rebukes” the demons in other people’s clothes, or starts to see that cute pair of jeans possessing a friend or classmate? Let’s ask Daphne Spurlock or Bradie Simpson what that feels like, shall we?

No, I’m not saying that everybody who believes in demons is likely to slit their child’s throat. I am saying, however, that encouraging people to live in paranoid fear of their second hand clothing does start to re-enforce the “demon around every corner” attitude that so many of the most extreme elements have.

You want to believe in demons, fine, but stop telling ordinary people that they could be hiding in cookie jars and capri pants, your friends, your neighbors, your sex toys, and, of course, your government. If, and this may be the biggest “if” I have ever ifed, demons do exist, they have managed to leave nothing but second and third hand accounts of their existence as evidence, usually in unreliable books, with known frauds, or with people who have other serious mental issues. They are clearly not very effective. So it makes just as much sense to pretend that we live in a world where they do not exist, since this one looks a whole lot like that.

(via Friendly Atheist)

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