Demons v. Psychology: Possession and depression

Do you remember that after the Aurora shooting happened this summer some Christian religious leaders suggested that James Holmes might have been possessed by demons? I have to say, I wasn't surprised. Evangelicals - or at least the ones I grew up among - believe that demons are alive and well in this world, fighting invisible battles with angels all around us. And more than that, demons interact with human beings - and even possess them.Have you ever heard the Screwtape Letters? It's a book … [Read more...]

“I don’t like those loud voices”: Children and Demons

"Mommy, I don't like those loud voices."I turned to my daughter, sitting in her car-seat behind me."What loud voices?""Those loud voices."She was pointing behind her, toward the rear windshield. There were no loud voices. I had the radio on quietly, but there is no rear speaker. … [Read more...]

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts: The Recent Controversy

A few weeks ago an image started circulating on facebook, urging people not to buy girl scout cookies or support the girl scouts. Here it is below:On facebook at least, I saw a lot of shock, not at the girl scouts but at the people who put together this flier. Who could be against the girl scouts? my friends asked incredulously. Girl scouts are cute! And they sell cookies! And they do nice things! But I wasn't shocked or the least surprised, because none of this was new to me. … [Read more...]

I used to think aliens were demons, and other musings

Growing up, I was taught that there was no possibility that there was actual extraterrestrial life out there, because God created the earth special and sent Christ to die for us in particular. The whole center of everything, the whole point, is our human existence here on the earth. In that context, extraterrestrial life makes no sense.However. I was taught that alien appearances were actually demons pretending to be aliens and appearing to people. Why? So that when the rapture happened the A … [Read more...]

Tarot Cards and Me

This is a slightly edited repost from last summer that I thought my readers might enjoy. Growing up, I was always afraid to look at tarot cards. Not that I came in contact with them much, of course, but I'd see them for sale at a local bookstore and stay far, far away. I'd read Frank Peretti and other authors talking about witchcraft and tarot cards and the like, and the demonic influence these things invited. In Peretti, the demons were real and physical, plaguing people and looking for an … [Read more...]

Bombing Demons; Or, the Fear of Hell

I recently received the following email:Just wanted to preface that I've been following your blog "Love, Joy, Feminism" for a while.  While I did not grow up quiverfull, I did grow up in a fairly conservative evangelical church.  I left Christianity in college after an experience with abuse and domestic violence blasted my views apart.  I've come to appreciate your writing as a good expression of what many of us experienced growing up as young women in the conservative movement. &n … [Read more...]

Witches, Demons, Halloween, and Fear

When I was a Christian, Halloween always terrified me. Now don't get me wrong, I loved dressing up in costumes for our church's Harvest Fest, where we played games and got candy. What terrified me was Halloween itself, which I was taught to associate with witches and demons.I grew up believing that there were real witches who worshiped Satan and communed with demons. These witches were dangerous and powerful because they got actual power from Satan himself. We believed that God would win … [Read more...]