Conspiracy theory is sometimes used by some to explain human tragedies. Such as with the case of the recent Aurora shooting. One conjecture, presented by Fr. Dwight Longenecker, is that shooting suspect James Holmes was “possessed demonically.” The Wild Hunt‘s Jason Pitzl-Waters, however, argues that such an idea is dangerous also:
“What a tempting idea, that an external evil took control of Holmes and instigated his actions. That it was an embodiment of Evil itself that guided the hand of the shooter, gunning down innocent people. However, this idea is pernicious, particularly within a Christian context, and only serves to prop up a system of abuse that targets anyone who steps out of line with a narrow idea of Christian morality and behavior.”
Yet, the Christian conception of demonic possession is unique in how exorcism is used as a form of boundary maintenance, a social-political tool to hammer those who stray from proper behavior. This is hinted at in Longenecker’s essay.
“The second level of demonic influence is obsession. At this level, there is still no sign of anything paranormal happening. The person starts to give in to the temptation. He may become reclusive and secretive as he becomes obsessed with the evil that he is entertaining. This evil may be in the form of occult activity, violent video games or movies, pornography, drug abuse, sexual perversion, sexual promiscuity, or obsession with power and violence.“
In other words, if someone you love is gay, into kinky sex, likes to play video games, or is Pagan, they might already be influenced by demons (and, by inference, that can lead to terrible tragedies).
Intrepid readers can find the complete article here.