The Devil Made Me Do It

Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s chief exorcist (I’m not making this up), has recently said that Hitler and Stalin were possessed by the Devil.

Which is just sad.  It’s like saying they didn’t have a choice doing what they did.  They would’ve been nice guys, but the Devil just screwed it all up!  Of course, that’s absurd.  If anything, we need to learn how to stop those types of people from even coming into power.  We can’t give them a free ride by blaming someone else for their atrocities.

Best part of the article, though:

…Pope Pius XII attempted a “long distance” exorcism of Hitler which failed to have any effect.

Father Amorth said: “It’s very rare that praying and attempting to carry out an exorcism from distance works.

“Of course you can pray for someone from a distance but in this case it would not have any effect…”

Anyway, now, I’m just pissed off.  I need to stop scanning the headlines in the morning before work…

 

[tags]Hitler, Stalin, Father Gabriele Amorth, Vatican, exorcism[/tags]

  • Siamang

    Someone posted a comment to that story on the link. It sums up my feelings totally:

    “What century are we in?”

  • JustHis

    I agree that every person needs to take responsibility for their own choices, and too often is the Devil blamed for things people don’t want to take responsibility for. Most of the time it is Christians or Christian affiliations making these claims.
    However you view the Bible, even if you see it as just a good history book. There is documentation that the people really existed and the events really took place, whether or not you believe Jesus is who He said He was or even if God exists. With that said, there are many accounts in the Bible of demonic possession. Not possession by the Devil, but by his angels aka Demons. Some examples of this are:
    And when the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke: and the multitudes marveled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel (Matthew 9:33).

    Then was brought unto Him one possessed with a demon, blind and mute: and He healed him, insomuch that the mute man spoke and saw (Matthew 12:22).

    Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are, the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:23-24).

    When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick,

    The symptoms of demon-possession today would be the same as in the New Testament era. These would include: superhuman strength, superhuman knowledge, a different voice speaking through the person, and the inability to control oneself.
    The Bible speaks of one demoniac in the following way.

    He had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones (Mark 5:4,5).

  • HappyNat

    JustHis,

    Not to speak for all Atheists, but most of us don’t believe in the bible, let alone that the supernatural stories really happened. Does it contain some accurate history? Sure. Does it contain some inaccurate history? You betcha.

    It was written by highly uneducated men (as were all men at the time) who had no understanding of science or mental illness (which for thousands of years was attributed to demons). Anyway to quote your scripture to Atheists is a waste of time.

  • JustHis

    Siamang,
    It was my understanding that most Atheists believe the Bible is “just a good history book.” Thanks for setting the record straight, I’ll try to avoid Scripture references.
    How can you be sure demons don’t exist? How can you be sure it is mental illenss that causes people to speak in languages they never knew, using a tone of voice they shouldn’t be capable of, and having super strength you know many of them could never possess. How would you explain it?

  • JustHis

    Sorry HappyNat, I just realized I typed the wrong name…

  • http://www.friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    JustHis– You ask:

    How can you be sure demons don’t exist? How can you be sure it is mental illenss that causes people to speak in languages they never knew, using a tone of voice they shouldn’t be capable of, and having super strength you know many of them could never possess. How would you explain it?

    As I’ve said before (and others have before me), we cannot go around attributing responsibility to demons or tongue-speaking to a god. Why not? That opens to door to saying anything causes everything. My house burned down because Thor threw a lightning bolt at it. I minded the gap and didn’t fall into the train tracks because my guardian angel was watching me. I passed my exam because the Flying Spaghetti Monster loves me. I won the lottery because the Invisible Pink Unicorn wanted me to…

    Can you disprove any of those? I doubt it.

    If we want to explain something, we need evidence to back it up. If there’s no evidence, we can propose a hypothesis. When we do that, then, let’s call angels and demons and god and Flying Spaghetti Monster and everything else what they are: Hypotheses that CANNOT be proven or disproven. And in this case, I’d side with those who say all of them are wrong, simply because I can think of 328213812 examples where I could attribute a phenomenon to something that makes no sense. And you couldn’t prove me wrong on any of them.

    Now, why should I believe in demons, etc. if that’s the case?

    – Hemant

  • JustHis

    Hello Hemant,
    As far as demons are concerned, I don’t believe the different tongue used is attributed to God at all, just wanted to clarify my position. I’m not one that tries to place blame on everything else because, I too, believe that we are to take responsibility for our own actions. Actions that cause reactions or consequences. Everything we do has either positive or negative consequences. LIghtening isn’t a result of some strange god, there is a much more scientific explanation for it. As for it’s origin, you and I would disagree. :) So, I won’t go there. You minded the gap and didn’t fall into the train tracks because your brain registered danger. Again, you and I might disagree why your brain registers danger or the origin of the brain. You passed your exam because you studied or because you are inherantly smart…and again my view differs about why you are smart. Winning the lottery is just chance, period. Personally, I believe in God and don’t believe that many of the people who love Him are rewarded with money. Why? Money is definitely the source of a lot of hardship, especially when you have lots of it and everyone wants a piece.

    In other words, what I’m trying to say is life is all about choices. You and I believe we arrived at the ability to choose differently. The reason lots of things happen begins with the ability to choose, all of the things that you mentioned above are exactly a result of choice. Not because there is something puppeting us through life. We aren’t controlled by anything except our own desires and choices.

    As of now, no I can’t disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Pink Unicorns etc.

    You are right, there are a lot of things we need evidence to prove. How do you prove a gut feeling? Is there evidence for that? What is the hypothesis to a gut feeling? Gut feelings that make us have the desire to do certain things and feel like we “know” for sure this is what we are supposed to do.

    You probably shouldn’t believe in demons, because you don’t believe in God. Since you don’t believe in God, you don’t believe in the Devil. Since you don’t believe in the Devil, you can’t believe in demons because they are his angels.

    Thanks for the dialogue Hemant, I truly am interested in what Atheists believe as I would like to attempt to understand why you believe what you do. I will do my best to understand as difficult of a task as it might be, so please try to be patient with me. I don’t think I’m better because I believe in God, in fact, I know I’m not.

  • JustHis

    Hemant, I know you have started different topics and this question may need to be placed in a different place but since you are in charge of the posts I’ll just ask it here and if you need to move it..I’m fine with that.

    If there were a God, what would you expect of Him? How would you expect Him to tell you He did?

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen aka Ir

    JustHis, if you want to understand atheists better this might be a good place to go:

    IIDB – General Religious Discussions

    You can register and ask questions there and you’ll get lots of responses from atheists.

  • JustHis

    Thanks that is good to know!

  • KoKoMo Jr

    Please do not give out the address to IIDB to christians on this board. They have enough evangelicals there as is!

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/anotherstiffler anotherstiffler

      Testing the comment system.

  • Gettoknow

    Umm i think this article was made by someone who obviously does not know about the christian point of veiw on the devil.
    By saying Hitler was possesd by the devil he is not saying it was the devils fault. He is saying:
    we were all created by God.
    But God gave us free will because he didnt want us to HAVE to love him he wanted us to choose to. Thus the devil uses this choice (which God gave us so we wont be like robots). THe devil tempts u to do terrible things. The bible says the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy. This is what the devil did through hitler && stalin. BUTTTTTTT they CHOSE to let him do this. God never wants bad things to happen but he wont interfeer with free will so Hitler should be blamed for giving a voice to the devil && for allowing those bad things to happen through him.

    AND damn right there aare alot of ecangelicals…y? because God doesnt care what u’ve done or who u r he loves u whether u believe it or not. U know what u guys can slate this message if u want to be all i know is that im praying for u guys no matter what u’ve been through.

    I used to be an athiest and then I got to know God…now all i can say is my life is changed.

  • http://blog.pointorigin.com Mike Burtner

    As for the Friendly Atheist’s assertion that he should “stop scanning the headlines in the morning before work…”, I heartily concur. Save it for 6 PM, when you can have a beer, laugh and cry simultaneously.

    As for the suggestions by the faithful that God intends ~this~ or the Bible says ~that~ in re: demons, Satan, etc.: it’s like trying to argue with the logic of a Monty Python skit. Or the American President. No matter what your argument, there is a veritable bottomless well of interpretation, nuance and flat-out fabrication to support any spiritualistic argument. Don’t see the Holy Ghost? You aren’t looking hard enough! Think God is ~this~? Why, certainly, the book of will tell you that God is ~that~.

    However, it’s all quite entertaining. Just like “The Life of Brian”.


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